Leah – The Quest

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Leah – The Quest
Label: Inner Wound
Released: 2018
Reviewed: December, 2018
Rating:  3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

The Kings of Kanadian Karnage!- The Frozen North Rides Forth!

This feature is so good, I had to name it twice!   About once a year I indulge my patriotism and review a bunch of Canadian Metal releases.  There has been a whole pile of albums recently released in the past few months and I want to help bring some exposure to these bands. There are bands of all styles and all genres from across the country in this feature. The bands covered in this feature are… (listed alphabetically)

Anvil (Toronto, ON)

Apprentice (Vancouver, BC)

Arctic Circle (Brandon, Manitoba)

Assault (Vancouver, BC)

Black Rat (Calgary, AB)

Cauldron (Toronto, ON)

Codex:Factoria (Vancouver, BC)

Dethgod (Calgary, AB)

Fractal Cypher (Montreal,Quebec)

Haiduk (Calgary, AB)

Iomair (Scarborough, ON)

Ice War (Ottawa, ON)

Leah (Vancouver, BC)

Lee Aaron (Vancouver, BC)

Malacoda (Oakville, ON)

Mongol (Edmonton, AB)

Ominous Eclipse (Ottawa, ON)

Skullfist (Toronto, ON)

Solborn (Edmonton, AB)

Thor (Vancouver, BC)

Trollwar (Alma, PQ)

Untimely Demise (Saskatoon, SK)

W.M.D (Calgary, AB)

Ye Goat-Herd Gods (Calgary, AB)

Please enjoy all the albums in this feature and check out all the talent Canada has to offer!

Leah is an example of how an independent artist can really connect with the fans and create a strong fan-base.  Leah has just released her fourth independent album, THE QUEST with very little media or industry support.

Everything about THE QUEST in terms of production and presentation is top-notch.  The packaging, the gorgeous visuals courtesy of Jan Yrlund (Amberain Dawn, Coronatus, Imperia, Pellek etc)   and the full-colour booklet with lyrics and so on.  The CD is distributed by Inner Wound so it should be easy to find in your local stores, if you are like me and want a hard copy.

I’m a member of the Leah fan club and quite some time ago when she was starting to develop the new album I received a invitation to comment on how the new direction of the album should take.  The choices were (paraphrased)  ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’, which sort of worried me that going mellower was even an option, seeing that Leah is toward the mellower end of the spectrum for Metal fans to begin with.  Naturally, I voted ‘heavier’!   Well, I was a little disappointed in that the album is indeed a bit mellower… think, lighter Nightwish.  However, the fans have spoken and THE QUEST is more progressive, more ambient, more ethereal, and mellower. It’s all quite sonically beautiful really.

The whole album is laden with celtic and folk influence, but more of a subtle kind, not the lusty, drinking whirly-gig style of say a Korpiklaani for example.  The production is lush and full, the album sound superb on many levels.  The album starts ambitiously with the epic 10 minute + title track and never looks back.   I tend to use these terms a lot but ‘epic’, ‘symphonic’, ‘orchestral’ (kinda the same thing) are all very apt descriptors of this style.  There are lots of sound-effects, flute, pipes, piano  all adding to the layers of sound. I’d put this side by side with any of the bigger name, female fronted, European acts of this style.

The array of talent is extremely impressive on her album; there are guest contributions from members of Blind Guardian, Delain, Nightwish, and Orphaned Land!  Not bad for a independent artist from British Columbia! THE QUEST, despite being a little mellower, might be her most complete album to date.

Track Listing:

  1. The Quest

  2. Edge Of Your Sword

  3. Lion Arises

  4. Heir

  5. Ruins Of Illusion

  6. Labyrinth

  7. Abyss

  8. Oblivion (Between Two Worlds)

  9. Ghost Upon A Throne

  10. The Water Is Wide