Leaves Eyes
   
Njord
   
   

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Produced by: Alexander Krull
Format: CD

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10/23/2009
John Dunphy


 

Not so much an evolutionary leap from the band's last folk metal-tinged work, Vinland Saga, as a further refinement to what that made that album a solid work that could be loved by those fond of the genre, appreciated and respected by those who do not.

Once more culling its subject matter from lead singer Liv Kristine's Norwegian heritage, the work has a very “big” sound – everything feels big, one great big Viking journey to the new world. The addition of American-born drummer Seven Antonopoulos (ex-Opiate for the Masses) brings a tighter rhythm section that in previous albums suffered from a somewhat thin production at the hands of male lead (and husband of Liv Kristine) Alexander Krull. Everything essentially feels tighter, however, including some real fist-pumping moments of bombast like the guitar breakdowns in the opening title track, the blistering “Emerald Island” and “Take the Devil in Me,” which somehow seems to mimic the Nightwish standout track “Nemo” without sounding like a complete ripoff. Good mid-range songs like “Scarborough Fair,” a traditional English ballad popularized by Simon & Garfunkel in the 1960's and “The Holy Bond” help balance out the battle cries of other tracks.

Perhaps it is because their sound has been refined rather than revamped over their first three albums, perhaps I am personally not as interested in this sort of Renn. Faire metal as much anymore (the cover imagery just feels a little silly, to be honest), but Njord did not leave as indelible an impression on me as 2005's Vinland Saga did. Still, it is a solid entry into the subgenre established Leaves' Eyes fans should not walk away from disappointed.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 



 
     
     
     

 

 

   
 
     

 

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