Released: 2004, Napalm Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Most people will know Liv Kristine from her former band, Theatre of Tragedy. Having almost completely turned their backs on the original gothic metal sounds of the band, Theatre of Tragedy opted to go for a more electronic approach on their last two CDs, MUSIQUE and ASSEMBLY. As if changing their music wasn’t enough, Kristine was unceremoniously given her walking papers by the rest of the band last year. Not one to stay down, Kristine joined forces with husband, Alex Krull’s band, Atrocity to form Leaves’ Eyes. The band’s debut album, LOVELORN, is based on the concept of a man whose lover drowns in the sea. He soon discovers that a mermaid can help reunite them in eternal love. I know…kind of sappy stuff, but it works within the context of the CD. Bassist Christian Lukhaup came up with the song ideas, while Kristine wrote the lyrics. The CD was recorded during her pregnancy and Kristine actually finished the vocal tracks two hours before leaving for the hospital! LOVELORN is a return to the music that was almost tailor-made for Kristine’s voice. Her lush soprano wraps around these songs and Krull’s growl even sneaks into a few passages to make things nice and rough. As with anything Atrocity delivers, the musicianship is superb and with Kristine at the helm and Krull handling production, there aren’t enough superlatives to do this CD justice.
Things start out on a mid-tempo note with “Norwegian Lovesong” and “Tale of the Sea Maid,” whose sweeping choruses are balanced with some crunchy guitars. Kristine’s breathy voice is further accentuated when placed alongside Krull’s growls on “Ocean’s Way” and “The Dream.” Kristine is in full opera mode in the choruses while Krull’s deep guttural roar in the verses creates a near-perfect song. Both the title track and “Secret” are very New Age-like, almost taking on an ethereal Kate Bush feel. “Temptation” goes from heavy as hell with loads of double bass, to epic ballad. Krull once again appears and his voice does so well back to back with Kristine’s. “Into Your Light” is the catchiest song on the CD (the video is included on a multimedia portion) and it has a soundtrack aura to it, almost like a Nightwish track from their latest CD. The Eastern riff that meanders through the track at around 3:50 is unforgettable and the double bass that thunders through the chorus behind Kristine’s vocal is enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
LOVELORN is a welcome return to the heavier side of things from Liv Kristine. Theatre of Tragedy’s loss is our gain as she proves that she is over and above the restrictions imposed on her in that band. With Atrocity as her backing band, Kristine‘s future is looking very bright indeed.
KILLER KUTS: “Norwegian Lovesong,” “Tale of the Sea Maid,” “Ocean’s Way,” “Temptation,” “Into Your Light”