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4.3 out of 5 stars
Symphonies of the Night
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2013
I don't typically write reviews, but I think this album really deserves it.

I'm haven't historically been a huge Leaves' Eyes fan despite listening to Liv Kristine since Theatre of Tragedy. I found their first two albums to be extremely simplistic and really rather boring (in fact, the ONLY song on either I liked was Elegy). Meredead was an improvement, but still lacking in many qualities. Symphonies of the Night is in another world.

For reference, I think Leaves' Eyes is in the same "symphonic metal" genre dominated by Nightwish, Within Temptation and Epica almost exclusively. It's my favorite genre and my preference for the bands is in the order I just listed. Leaves' Eyes has not established themselves at the top of that list with this album. What they have done is created an album that shows they might one day deserve a spot. It's not better than any of those three's best, but it is better than all three of those bands' latest efforts. This album is excellent.

When I listen to music, I don't listen to lyrics except as another musical instrument. I put the value of music almost entirely on how interesting it is. Can I predict what is going to happen next? If I can't, and it sounds good, then I'm going to like the band. Leaves' Eyes really nails that with this album. So many times I was simply amazed by how well-written this music is. It's night and day compared to their previous albums. So much happens in these songs and it all fits together perfectly.

Not every song is a gem, and I'm sure the other reviews will discuss that in-depth. But many of them are quite good and this album is well worth your purchase if you're on the fence. Best album I've heard in a long time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2014
Pre-ordered on strength of “Meredead” plus all earlier albums. Played once – underwhelmed. Left a few weeks then played again – still underwhelmed , hit the skip on several tracks down to “growling overload ”. Several other songs set out promisingly enough but somehow lose their way down to either recycling too many bars from previous albums or even some straining in Liv’s vocals not sounding quite right.

So what’s up here? Well ,first, where “Meredead” was light on grunts/ growls from Alex compared to all Leaves Eyes previous albums, for me at least this album simply overdoses on them . Next, in some songs here Liv seems to be trying to develop a heavier “opera metal” vocal style only to sound as if she is trying to force her vocal chords beyond their natural range. As a folk-metal “whispering goddess” Liv has few equals, and has been equally entrancing in much of her “solo” work (especially DEUS EX MACHINA) .

Sometimes a band needs an outside producer to bring out its best. Especially one ,as here, with several albums already under its belt. Alex has worn both his Mastersound Studio Producer and his band-member “hats” together on all these, until now nearly always to great effect. And any other band ‘s album I have that he has produced has always turned out very well.

For some reason though it just hasn’t worked out near as well this time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I came to Leave's Eyes after having found their song Elegy, and after doing some research (YT is your friend) I decided they were worth the investment. As a first disc to get into Leave's Eyes, this is a pretty good start. It's got a spread of symphonic metal that covers the gamut, some slower material, some faster material, and a spread of material that starts slow and speeds up.

Great songs: Hell To The Heavens, Maid of Lorraine, Symphony Of The Night
Good Songs: Eleonore de Provence, Galswintha, Hymn Of The Lone Sands, Ophelia
Average Songs: Fading Earth, One Caress, Saint Cecilia. Good Lyrics, just little to no impact to the songs.
Bad Songs: None on this album.

Bottom Line: Not a bad place to start for anyone who's already versed in Symphonic Metal.
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on December 4, 2014
Interesting, but the thematic consistency sacrifices some of the passion and musical interest of earlier albums. Very polished, technically very good music but I have only listened to this album three times since buying it the day it came out. Liv's voice is still amazing, the instrumentation is complex and well done but it doesn't grab me like any of the other albums, all of which I have listened to dozens of times each.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
I have been following these groups for sometime (including all the groups mentioned in other posts) but since I discovered these first via an Evanescence channel on Pandora I was not much of a fan the opera type of voicing that Liv Kristine does so well. Even though I had never purchased a Leave's Eye album I was well aware of her talent via the Pandora selections, however, it just did not move me to buy a whole album of that type of voicing. I have stuck more with the basic voicing like Sharon den Adel and Charlotte Wessels (for example).

However, I think this album allowed me to enjoy this type of voicing or maybe it is just because the music and the voice works so well together. Someone mentioned that there were no "memorable" tracks and I would have to agree but in the end that is what makes this whole album special. All the songs go together to enjoy a full listening of the full album. Maybe as I listen to it more I might find some special memorable songs but until then I will enjoy listening to the whole album.

I recommend this album and based on this I will probably go back a review Leave's Eyes other albums...

UPDATE. After listening to this album more I feel that I should add a bit to this review. I am even more impressed by the album and have found that it is an fairly cohesive album not just a group of tracks. There are not many albums that I feel like I want to listen from start to end and this is one. One interesting thing I found was that the first 11 tracks constitute the album. My purchase included two bonus track. These two addition are different from the album tracks since it feels like atrocity left the house and left Liv Kristine with the Orchestra. The are "nice" songs but kind of jarring after the emotional ride of the first 11 tracks. I finally had to delete them from my MP3 player making it end at the end of Ophelia...
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on January 28, 2015
This is a good album, the best one in my opinion and seems harder than the others, what I have and sampled. I like the death growls and listen to much harder metal but I like symphonic ok. I love the vocals though.
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on May 22, 2014
Im a big fan of within temptation soon decided to try this group. Needless to say it was good pick. I like their music. Been listening to it for multiple times. I can't get enough of it.
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on April 27, 2014
This is the latest masterpiece from the best female vocalist and metal band out here today. Buy it now support the talent. No regrets
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I'm a long time fan of Liv Kristine and Theatre of Tragedy. I've been listening to Leaves' Eyes since Lovelorn first came out. This is easily my favorite Leaves' Eyes cd to date. In my opinion, Symphonies of the Night has some of the best tracks of their career so far. Liv's vocals are top notch.
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on March 11, 2014
I would have enjoyed more growls and crunch guitars. The album rocks, just not quite hard enough. Still, though, it's a great album and I highly recommend it.
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