Archive for leave’s eyes

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 2

Posted in 70000 tons of metal, Concerts, Music, The Great Tour 2020, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 19, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

So it was upon us! The second day of the cruise was upon us, and it started pretty early with a merch sleepover. Thankfully, it was all worth it as we got all the merch we wanted.. How great, huh? And then, Trollfest already starting at 10. But you gotta go hard, not at all, am I right?

They put on a real fun show, and I’m officially a survivor of the worlds longest congaline! Or at least this cruise longest congaline. After the show, we decided to go grab something to eat and work out a little bit before getting ready for the highlight for us on this cruise, or at least the first thing for us: Bloodbound

Bloodbound

They opened up strongly (as always, am I right?) with “Battle in the Sky” and then quickly continued on with “In The Name of Metal”. Amazing as always. I have a feeling I dont see this band even half as often as I hope to. After having a little chat with the audience we continued on with “The Warlocks Trail” which is a song they live premiered on Sabaton Open Air last year, and I’m SO. SO. SO. happy that they continue to have this song in their live roster! It’s fucking amazing, and probably even the best song on the album, despite what I might have said before, and the crowd seemed to love it as much as I did.

“Stand and Fight” was next song on the list, tightly followed by a common crowdpleaser in “Moria”. I love the fact that they’ve “chaged” the lyrics to “Show me the HORNS of Moria” instead of Roads. Loving it.

For whatever reasons, Daniel Sjögren couldn’t attend for this show, so instead former Follow The Cipher drummer Karl Löfgren filled his shoes, which is kind of half ironic considering Daniel is the new drummer in Follow The Cipher (as well as Bloodbound).  He was doing an AMAZING job filling in, don’t believe anything else!

“Dragons are Forever” was the next song they ripped off before diving into the epicness that is the titletrack of the latest album, “Rise of the Dragon Empire”. And what a RAGE this song is live? It’s the absolute bomb. More of this please!

At this point, sadly, I had to leave as Leaves’ Eyes were starting the same time Bloodbound was set to end, and them being on the Pooldeck, which is you know, 8 floors up from where Bloodbound played, it’d be quite the run. But, I made it just as the intro started rolling.

Leaves’ Eyes

The epic nordic folk kind of intro rolled as the band then headed straight into “Sign of the Dragonhead”. It was quite a small turnout, but I’m guessing this could have to do with the Liv drama, or early in the day, or Bloodbound. Either of the ones, but I don’t exactly complain, more place for me to be honest!

They continued on with the new single “Serkland” which I’m assuming will be on the upcoming album before continuing on the previous path with “Across The Sea” which simply just is the perfect song for this cruise, am I right or what?

And also, can we talk about how perfect Elina Siirala is? Seriously. It’s such a shame for her that this bands suffers so from the drama, she doesn’t deserve that because she is AMAZING.

“Swords in Rock” was the next song on the list, before staying on the same album and doing “Edge of Steel”. A part of me had hoped Simone would join them, but that was hoping for too much I guess.

And.. You know it’s funny. Besides the addition of “Serkland” I can swear this must be pretty much the same setlist they had when they played the boat two years ago as I could even predict them playing “Riders of the Wind” on the pool deck, much like they did then. But I don’t mind, that song is just a party.

“Hell to the Heavens” followed afterwards, before wrapping up with “Beowulf” and “Blazing Waters”. Another amazing set was made by this amazing line up, and I am so happy that I got to see them again. So far, highlight.

After Leaves’ Eyes we headed down toward the Playmakers sportsbar again to attend some signing sessions. I was really lucky actually, all of the bands not only me but both of us wanted to attend happened to be on the same time, or at least closely related. Lucky, huh?

So, we went down for the first signing, which was Epica. It was a bit of a line when we arrived, but much to my surprised they worked very quickly through the line, and after a mere 20 minutes it was my turn actually. Was relatively uneventful, except from the bandmembers complimenting my collection of festivalbracelets as well as Mark greeting me by name which he knew from reading my stateroom card which happened to be placed in a very visible way.

Right after this, we started lining up for Bloodbound, and it was just like, one person ahead of us, so no problems. Ivan had a clinic he wanted to attend, so he was a bit stressed. But it turned out to be no issue, as the signing moves along quickly. So, quickly grabbing the autographs of Bloodbound and Edenbridge before hitting up pool deck.

A lot of running back and forth yeah. Haggard was a band I had gotten a little hooked on when listening for the bands before the cruise, so I figured I’d grab a few songs with them before Leaves’ Eyes signing at 17.

They experiences some issues and were late with the soundcheck and had to redo the first song twice, but such things happen you know? The little timeI did watch them though, was pure magic. I remember especially the moment when they played “Awakening the Centuries”. THAT, was NOTHING but pure magic. I was really sad that I had to leave relatively early to attend the signing of Leaves’ Eyes, but it is what happens.

So imagine how disappointed I am… to see that the band, or more to be exact, Alexander, arrives late. First and foremost, there was barely any line. There was technically no one before me but I let someone pass because I’m shy as hell. And then Alexander was like 10-15 minutes late. Which means that I could have easily seen all of Haggard, and still had my signed vinyl in a reasonable time. Goddamnit.

But that aside, it was nice meeting the band and getting the signatures! After this, back to the cabin for a quick clothing change, you know, it’s getting late and colder, and then off to the Theater for Epica’s first set.

Epica

We made it there pretty good on time, not too early and not too late. Perfect timing, if you like. The intro rolled and they started off with “Sensorium”. I can tell that is has been what at least feels like ages since I saw them, and I guess more importantly since I saw them in this kind of intimate setting.

The band delievered as they always do, and the crowd was just as much on fire as the band continued on with “The Obsessive Devotion” which is really, and excuse me for overusing the word, but the bomb. “Storm the Sorrow” was next before it was time for the ever beautiful “Cry for the Moon”, and it’s about this time I realize how much I missed seeing this band live.

“In All Conscience” was next on the list, before Coen came upfront and started off “Sancta Terra” with his amazing keyintro, and seriously, nothing but perfection.

My personal favorite off “The Holographic Principle” ” Beyond the Matrix” followed and then they wrapped it all up with “Consign to Oblivion”, with a wall of death and everything.

Another amazing show by this amazing band, left us tired enough to drift away to sleep, preparing for the adventures in Mexico… But.. with a little stop in the night, as I just HAD to witness the biggest pillowfight to Origin. Which was epic. I tell you.

// Sara

 

Kamelot @ Pustervik, Gothenburg, Sweden 20/9 – 18

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 20, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

So here we go again. After one of the biggest bloghiatuses of my life, it’s time to get on it to write about a concert too, on top of everything! How great is that?

Festivalseason is behind is, and tourseason is upon us – so September was set to be a rather quiet month. Except from this little bad boy right here. Kamelot. Well, I’ll admit to you that I have barely ever heard Kamelot. After some discussion with Toivo we came to the conclusion that I have heard one song, and I’ve seen a song or two live with them some years ago when Kobra Paige was touring with them – but aside that – I’m completely blank as far as Kamelot goes. So why was I here?

Dynazty and Leaves’ Eyes. That’s why.

Dynazty as you know is one of my top favorite bands these days, and they aren’t particularly easy to catch live either. So when they show, you simply go. As far as Leaves’ Eyes goes, they are a rather new band to me. So, I’m just starting to see them.

So, since this concert was in Gothenburg, I simply got in my car and drove down. Toivo was coming in with the bus from where he lives, and we met up at the busstation in Gothenburg. So, you know how I’ve written about some very long time ago that I get a bit anxious driving somewhere, because I don’t know exactly where and how to go? And then I got to Gothenburg and surprise! Road constructions. But gladly, it was very well re-directed, and no major issues. We ran by Lush Cosmetics real quick to pick up some small stuff (Rose Gourmet Soap, Ectoplasm packaging free shower gel and Aromatic deodorant, for those whom it may concern)

After that, Toivo took the wheel and we headed over to Pustervik. Quick, the quickest I ever had, dinner at Burger King before going to the doors, where we found our friends Dennis and Susanna, as well as Cyril! Haven’t seen him in ages, so that was amazeballs. The doors was a bit delayed, which was great for us since that meant we made it, and I ended up at the front together with Cyril, his friend and Toivo. Couldn’t be better!

Dynazty

So, with that said, the wait was rather short before Dynazty enter the stage and started off their set with “Breathe With Me”, the first single of their upcoming album “Firesign”. The audience… besides us, I mean, was a bit lukewarm. Kind of expected, but still a lot more than I thought it would be.

“The Northern End”, seriously, the best song this band has ever written – followed up. May they NEVER take this song out of their setlist. I’ll literally murder someone if they do. And it was as magical as always.

“The Grey”, second single from the new album followed suit, and I was surprised.. I think? To see that this was the song that most people seemed to know. “Firesign” came up next, and I can’t tell you enough how much I love this song. Easily the best song on the new album, and magical live. Seriously.

“The Human Paradox” and “Titanic Mass” wrapped up the show tonight, a very good and energetic show – it was some time since I saw them be this on the game, so that was nice!

Leaves’ Eyes

So… The intro started rolling, and Toivo and I was caught up in a conversation, right? So, I stand there, with my back sort of turned to the stage, and then, by the corner of my eyes, I look toward the stage and I have a minor heart attack.

Because there, was full fledged vikings on stage alright. They did not have those on 70.000 Tons of Metal (which is well understandable) but jesus I did not expect that.

With that said, the band walked on stage and opened with “Sign of the Dragonhead”. The energy was on top, and it seemed like they had quite a few fans in the audience as well!

“Across the Sea” was the next song, and the whole audience was lit! And so was the band, if I may say so! It’s nice to see Elina really get out of her shell. “Swords in Rock” was next song on the list, followed by “Edge of Steel”. Seriously, am I the only one considering this song being extremly magical live?

My very own personal favorite – “Riders on the Wind” was the next song, and I don’t think I’ve had this much fun to this song ever as I did tonight. Seriously, this song was the highlight of the evening. And everybody seemed to have a lot of fun to it as well – not just me!

“Hell to the Heavens” followed suit before they wrapped it all up with “Blazing Waters”.  The band, as well as the vikings, thanked for the show and left the stage. And wow.. I mean wow! They were soo good, better than I remember them from the boat! I really hope they tour relatively soon again so I can see them. Again and again.

Kamelot

So, as I mentioned earlier in this post, I have never actually really listened to Kamelot prior to this show, but I was still looking forward to see it. I did catch an eye on the setlist, so don’t get confused by the fact I can still name some songs, hehe!

They started off the song rather ferioucously “Phantom Divine” and the arena practically exploded. Was happy to see them get such a good reception!

Well. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know all about this band, so I’ll keep it rather short. On this tour, they had Lauren Hart from Once Human with them, an Australian singer who is supertalented. They put on a very good and entertaining show to watch, will definitely look more into the band!

Another fun thing that happened was just two or three songs in, when the bassplayer handed me a pick. I motioned for Toivo to take it, because he is a bigger fan, or well, a fan, which I wasn’t, but the bassplayer just shook his head and put it in my hand. I pretty much squealed out a thank you, not really knowing what to say. Gladly, Toivo got one himself just a minute or so later.

After the show, we headed over to the merch where I picked up a Leaves’ Eyes shirt, finally! Caught up a bit with Susanna and said good bye to Cyril one last time before heading out, toward a 7-11 to buy some snacks and then home to Toivo for a good nights rest.

// Sara

 

REVIEW: Leaves’ Eyes – Fires in the North EP

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 1, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, there’s been this little situation going on with Leaves’ Eyes, a band formed by singer Liv Kristine. After what seemed to be a bit of a peaceful, yet turbulent period of disagreements within the group itself, which left us knowing that the founding member, Liv Kristine, was no longer a part of the band and had been replaced by Finnish singer Elina Siirala, mostly famous from EnkElination to fill her shoes. It wasn’t an easy thing – they released a new video and a new recording of “Edge of Steel” with Elina on vocals, and while most people WERE being respectful to Elina and not hating on her, it wasn’t welcomed with big arms, which is mostly for the sole reason of re-recording Liv’s songs with Elina.

But, finally, after a bit of time, Leaves’ Eyes are delivering an EP with Elina as a singer, and I was looking forward to hear her in action with a song written more for her operatic voice, rather than trying to sing Liv’s more pop-oriented vocals, in lack of a better word to use.

So, this EP consists of five songs – much to my dismay, it was only one new song, “Fires In The North”, released in two different versions – one “normal” and one acoustic, and then three re-recordings of songs from the latest Leaves’ Eyes album, “King of Kings” – “Edge of Steel” which we are already familiar with, accompanied by “Sacred Wov” and “Sword in Rock”. All three of these are amongst my personal favorites off the album, making it even more interesting, but I won’t deny I was a bit disappointed to only see ONE new song appearing.

So, lets first talk about the new song – “Fires in the North”. It’s a pretty… decent song. I want to like this a lot, but it lacks. It has a bit of the Leaves’ Eyes spirit, makes me think of a few of their songs, a bit adventourus, but it never pops. I’m waiting for that explosion in the chorus that never comes – in fact, it’s really the same tempo and feeling all through the song, and it’s not until the third verse things starts to happen, which I really like.

However, what I will give them is that this song fit Elina a lot better. When I first heard “Edge of Steel” from the video, I felt that she was singing “too slow”, or how to put it more properly. I was used to Liv’s tempo in the song, and was a bit taken a back how slow it felt, but putting her operatic voice on this new song, which was adjusted better for her, was a lot better, and gave us a better insight in how Elina would work with Leaves’ Eyes, and I think it’ll be just fine.

So – for the three re-recorded songs – you already know I love these songs so I don’t need to stress that – was delivered with mixed results. As I explained above, it feels for me that “Edge of Steel” got a bit slow for my taste, however, she did a really good job on “Sacred Wov”, where her style fit very well with the song, and her best performance on this EP was delivered on “Sword in Rock” where she actually picked up the pace a bit, without changing her style, which was a nice surprise.

With that said, it was nice finally seeing Elina perform on something original, and I’m looking forward hearing her work on an entire album, and not just one song in the future.

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(Label: AFM Records)

CDON I Amazon I Ginza

// Sara

 

REVIEW: Leave’s Eyes – King of Kings

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 23, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

At the top of the pack, as far as symphonic metal goes, Leaves’ Eyes has spent over a decade brining us world’s history set to music, and this time around, the lyrics are about Norway’s first king, Harald Fairhair. To create the magic that is this album, they’ve had help by the White Russian Symphony Orchestra, as well as the London Voices choir. If this wasn’t enough, the album also features guest-vocals by Simone Simons from Epica and Lindy-Fay Hella from Wardruna.

The first thing I notice about the album is the distinct atmosphere. While Leaves’ Eyes has a strong catalogue with enchanting melodies and epic arrangements, this one catches my ear a little bit more, as it has incorporated a bit of that medieval, or perhaps viking elements which helps setting the mood and tune for the entire album, which is set in the viking era.

The lyrics are well-written with a strong story-telling vibe. Together with this arrangements, it brings you right into wherever the songs may be set. And it gets even better by the occasional instrumentals. One thing that I really liked about this album, was that I didn’t really notice when the song changed. And unlike Butcher Babies, were all the songs would sound the same, this time it was all because of the instrumental which prepared you for the next song, and helped you get into the mood. I love these kind of things – when the bands or artists really make an effort to make it a listening journey, rather than just an album.

So let’s talk a bit more about the songs. I’m going to move straight onto my personal favorites – “King of Kings” – the epic, atmospheric bar-setting titel-track of the album which gives you a premonition about what is about to come, the more intense “Halvdan The Black”, the feasting song “Vengeance Venom”, the epic “Sacred Vow” and can we take a moment to appreciate “Edge of Steel”, featuring Simone Simons from Epica. And I guess Epic would be the right word to describe this song. It does make me think a little bit about “The Quantum Enigma”, so I’m not surprised I like it. The calming rhythms in “Haraldskvæði”, all of this wrapped up with the playful “Sword in Stone”.

But, to sum this up, I really like this album, okay. It’s a solid album with quality material. Well-arranged, well-written, well, everything really. It’s a step up from the previous albums, and even a tad bit better if you ask me. I hope they stay on this track in the future, but regardless – they should be proud of themselves as far as this album goes.

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(Label: AFM Records)

CDON I Amazon I Ginza

// Sara
Note; Lindy-Fay Hella guests on “Blazing Waters.