@ The Garage, London
19th January 2014
Review by Ben Spencer
Photography by Graham Hilling
Having quickly wrapped up an insightful interview with Liv Kristine before hand, it was time to rush into the main bar to catch what little I could of tonight’s opening band Atrocity.
Full of monstrous growls and metallic guitar riffs Atrocity certainly set the pace for tonight’s events as the face melting solos and double kick pedal drums reverberate throughout the first song I was able to catch.
After an orchestral opening, ‘March of the Undying’ pulverizes through with a heavy guitar drone and venomous shrieks.
The symphonic undertones and technical lead guitar reveal the band’s talent for their craft as a swarm of head banging fans reciprocate to their mammoth sounding take on progressive Death Metal.
Afterwards vocalist Alexander Krull introduces two exotic dancers to the stage who dance and grind their bodies up against him during the sinister sounding ‘Satans Braut’. The infectious drums and fully charged riffs race ahead to a wall of raised fists from onlookers whilst the bass lines tie everything together.
Closing their set on a fan favourite ‘Reich of Phenomena’ the rapid fire drums spray wildly out of control as the droning guitars plough through with a gritty tonality. Vocally, the husky growls remain as unyielding as ever with slight symphonic layers running parallel. During the final moments of the song the band barge through at full force leaving a trial of destruction behind them.
Although their set was short in comparison to the other bands, Atrocity provided that much needed kick to get things started tonight. Full of energy and intelligently crafted songs they certainly kept momentum alive. Great set guys.
Having been introduced to Pythia a few years back, it was certainly an added bonus to learn that they were on tonight’s bill. After assembling on stage to a mass roar of approval from their fans, the band plunge straight into ‘The King’s Ruin’ an opener that is full of vitality and cathartic vocals.
Next up, the eccentric pace of ‘Betray My Heart’ speeds through with a classical assortment of keys and dynamic guitars, as the vocals remained transcendent throughout. The galloping drums remained consistent as the chorus sections took flight with a strong operatic backbone.
There were some great standout tracks, as the venue was filled with vocalist Emily Ovenden’s impressive vocals as she hit all the right notes. The guitars slid in with high adrenaline induced riffs and ecstatic drum work giving everything edgier sound. The fret board wizardry from the guitarist shreds away as the Pythia’s elevate their sound to a whole new level.
After breezing through their set in what felt like an effortless display of tight musicianship, ’Heartless’ glides through with a strong Gothic sounding vocals, fast drums and formidable guitars that build into climactic guitar solos.
These guys put on an impressive set with no room to catch your breath and with a quality control over their music and piercingly clear vocals. They are without question one of the most exciting band’s in this genre at the moment and should be well and truly on the way to playing bigger venues with an increasing fan base.
As the lights dim down and tonight’s head liners take up arms on stage, Leaves Eyes are met with an all out applause from their loyalist fans as the drum led intro of ‘Galswintha’ sets the tone. Together with her husband Alex Krull (vocalist from Atrocity) the two singers display a flawless balance between demonic growls and soaring clean vocals with both orchestral and Celtic influences scattered throughout the opening song.
Next up, ‘Take the Devil In Me’ comes loaded with a strong symphonic texturing as the steady drums and blissful vocals sweep over the guitars. As the chorus kicks in the overcrowded venue raised their hands in approval as the classical dynamics take centre stage.
The heavier sounding ‘Farewell Proud Men’ shows just how well the convergence of sonic guitars and delicate vocals work together in a complimentary way that comes intact with merciless drum pounds and keyboard layers.
Meanwhile, ‘Velvet Heart’ displayed some of Liv’s strongest vocal range as the charging riffs pulled the track forward with a weighty sounding core as the lead guitar kicks into some impressive solo work.
As Alex returns to the stage for another onslaught of beast sized vocals, ‘My Destiny’ is received as a fan favourite as the transition between both vocalists shows just how well harnessed their style is when performing live.
The new album’s title track ‘Symphonies of the Night’ is a refection of how far Leaves Eyes have come over the years as the alluring vocals lunge into a greater sounding depth as their take on orchestral metal is both confident and distinctive to them.
‘Froya’s theme’ reveals a more reflective sounding aura before erupting into an all out guitar driven powerhouse with growls and violins that builds into a cinematic scale closure.
This has to be one of the best live shows I’ve been too in some time.
The atmosphere and rapport between Leaves Eyes and their fans is undeniably strong and their approach to song writing is without question top notch and something that will definitely by remembered for some time.
With absolutely nothing to criticise, in the way of their performance or style let’s hope the band return to the UK soon!
Take the Devil in Me
Farewell Proud Men
Symphony of the Night
(Mike Oldfield cover)
Maid of Lorraine
Hell to the Heavens
Mot Fjerne Land