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Leaves Eyes | Njord | review | metal | Lollipop

Leaves Eyes

Njord (Napalm Records)
By Mike Delano

The best you can hope for from an overdramatic, female-fronted "symphonic metal" band nowadays is one or two tasty songs, being as far removed as we are in 2010 from the early days of The Gathering and Lacuna Coil (when there existed a smidgen of class in that particular niche). Leaves Eyes make good on these low expectations and not much more. Tongue appears to be firmly in cheek throughout Njord (early indicator: Singer Liv Christine's funbags are a hair's breadth from popping out of her deep red corset on the cover, and there's a dude brandishing a sword), with ample atmospheric sound effects (birds squawking, water running) and a hideous cover of "Scarborough Fair" plunked right in the middle, which sounds like the work of cut-rates like Evanescence rather than the supposedly more refined European bands of this ilk. The album does start off strong, however, before tapering off into a mediocre slush. The chorus of the title track uses Christine's pipes and the requisite male growling in glorious unison, rather than trading off in a good cop/bad cop scenario. The real highlight is "My Destiny," which nails everything on the kitchen sink checklist (big hooks/mournful piano outro/big chorus/strings/even a hype man yelling out the name of the song!) and manages to corral it all into something memorable.


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