The band that started its career singing about a blue-eyed Norwegian girl with blond braids has continuously expanded its world—they sang songs about Norwegian folk tales, Viking sailors, Njord and Frøya. More and more hints of folk metal and symphonic metal have been infused into its songs over the years. Now Leaves’ Eyes has come back with the tale of Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway. As the theme suggests, the album shows the deep old affection of the band for Norwegianness that was quite hard to see in its last album «Symphony of the Night».
Leaves’ Eyes has constantly showed ambition to add more and more heaviness to their music while keeping the symphonic and mystical atmosphere, and «King of Kings» seems to have handled the ambition in ever-more refined way than the old albums. In epic songs such as «King of Kings» or «Edge of Steel», the sound of choir, electric instruments, orchestra and the vocalists’ voices intertwine with each other beautifully without one overwhelming another. The seven-minute song «Blazing Waters» displays such power to draw in the listeners with its neat and compact composition, the power much stronger than the songs of similar length made before. The song is the second last track of the album, and it seems that the song contains all the elements Leaves’ Eyes has attempted to infuse into its music so far—symphonic metal, folk metal, and a hint of heavy metal, and it works finely. The last track «Swords in Rock» serves us with a strong taste of folk metal along with the sixth track «Vengeance Venom».
«King of Kings» is indeed the most epic and the heaviest album (plus, the most Viking) of all the albums made by Leaves’ Eyes so far. The symphonic ambience is ever stronger than before. With this album the band successfully demonstrates its ability to play with its ambition to combine different musical styles in a polished way.
Artist: Leaves’ Eyes
Album: King of Kings
Record Label: AFM Records
Text: Yeonwoo Baik