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Fires In The North
Released: 2016, AFM Records
As many fans no doubt saw, there was a social media firestorm this year (2016) as news broke that gothic metal darlings Leaves’ Eyes had parted ways with their beloved vocalist, Liv Kristine. Amidst the usual ridiculous mudslinging, the split seemed obvious given that Liv and husband Alexander Krull (band co-founder) had also separated in real life. Whatever; I’m sure fans wish them both well in their personal lives, as I do.
Musically, Leaves’ Eyes wasted no time in announcing new vocalist Elina Siirala, a relative unknown. Asking a newcomer to fill Kristine’s shoes is a tall order as her distinctive vocals and high profile would immediately draw negative attention to any replacement. The band introduced Siirala via music video for a re-recorded version of “Edge of Steel” and have followed that with this EP. Featuring five cuts, three new versions of KING OF KINGS cuts, plus electric and acoustic versions of the new title cut.
After watching the videos and playing this tidy little EP a bunch of times I can safely say this: the split with Liv is much ado about nothing. “Fires in the North” is very much standard Leaves’ Eyes; fans will certainly enjoy both versions of it. As for Siirala, if you didn’t know that she was new, you might not even notice the change. Her voice is less “breathy” than Kristine’s; certainly more powerful-sounding, but she’s basically got the same tone and style as her predecessor.
The real test for Siirala will come on the band’s 2016 tour where fans will see her live for the first time. Assuming that goes well, and we have no reason to assume it won’t, the next Leaves’ Eyes album should satisfy the band’s followers. For now, FIRES IN THE NORTH is a nice little introduction to the revised version of the band, but not necessarily essential.
1. Fires in the North
2. Fires in the North (acoustic)
3. Edge of Steel (2016 version)
4. Sacred Vow (2016 version)
5. Swords in Rock (2016 version)
Elina Siirala: Vocals
Pete Streit: Guitar
Alexander Krull: Keyboards, Vocals
Thorsten Bauer: Bass, Guitar
Joris Nijenhuis: Drums
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