Meredead is the latest album from LEaves Eyes. For those who havent heard the band before, they blend symphonic metal with a strong folk influence.
This album has a far stronger folk feel to it than earlier albums by the band. The use of Uilleann pipes (An Irish version of the bagpipe) certainly emphasises the folk feel to the album, and with Nystev being a Norwegian traditional stave and Krakevisa being Norwegian traditional folklore then this also adds to the folk feel.
The whole album is a lot less heavy than earlier albums, with Alexander Krull's growls and screams being almost completely absent from the album, and only a few songs such as "Velvet Heart" having the power and richness we're used to from earlier albums. Velvet heart features some excellent guitar work and allows Liv's voice to soar.
The album includes a cover version - of Mike Oldfield's "To France". I was pleasantly surprised by this - I think the original version is great, so there is always that moment of doubt when you're about to listen to a cover version of a track you like. Leaves Eyes do a fantastic job of covering the song, and the use of folk instruments really make the song feel like a Leaves Eyes song rather than someone elses.
For Sigrlinn, Liv Kristine is joined on vocals by her younger sister, Carmen Elise Espenaes (the singer from Midnattsol) to make the album a real family affair (Liv's husband is the other vocalist in Leave's Eyes, and the producer of the album, Alexander Krull). Sigrlinn is also the only track to feature Alexander Krull's growling vocals, an even here they are kept at a lower level than on many songs from other albums by the band.
For fans there is a very limited edition deluxe version of the album which includes a Leaves Eyes pendant in the shape of a Celtic cross with the Leaves Eyes logo on it, as well as a DVD of them performing at the Metal Female Voices Fest (MFVF) in October 2010.
Overall another great album from Leaves Eyes. Definitely recommended.
1. Spirit's masquerade
3. Velvet heart
5. To France
8. Mine Taror er ei grimme
9. Empty horizon
12. Tell-tale eyes
13. Sorhleod (Bonus track)
Bonus DVD tracklisting (Deluxe edition only)
2. My destiny
5. Freya's theme