Leaves‘ Eyes are the loud, proud, symphonic, growling scribes of Nordic history and the tellers of ancient sagas. Whether swinging swords on the shore, pillaging a village or playing in the forest they bring the middle ages to modern life, seamlessly intertwining music and narrative.
They’ve sung about mermaids, the Vinland’s, strong and passionate women, and the first king of Norway as they’ve more than left their imprint in the woods and sea. Touring five continents and over 50 countries they’ve brought their live movie-like performances to the world’s stages. With iron wills, swinging steel and warrior’s pride, their stories are delivered by a soaring female voice.
A massive change came in 2016 when Elina Siirala stepped in, front and center replacing founding frontwoman Liv Kristine. Siirala made her live debut at the Hammersonic Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. Positive feedback came quick despite internet drama as the band carried on with the Fires In The North EP.
Sign Of The Dragonhead truly shows what Siirala can do behind the mic as the story of King Harald continues. Leaves’ Eyes continue to evolve their sound and storytelling proving history can be enchanting, barbaric and fun to listen to.
Battle born drums and an angelic choir start “Sign of the Dragonhead” introducing the next chapter of the saga. Siirala’s voice opens with the tale of Harald’s long ship as dramatic guitars play out the majestic praise of battle.
“Across the Sea” dances with festive conquest as drinking horns clank together. “Like A Mountain” slows, getting serious and tranquil like a longing shadowed face at the window reflected by flame. Pianos play into Siirala’s sorrow stricken wails as guitars rip the somber solace away.
“Jomsborg” is a prideful battle cry of modern warriors keeping the ancient traditions alive wearing the helmets and armor of their ancestors. “Völva” is a Keltic, folk celebration of magical women currying the gods favor. “Riders on the Wind” breathes out a signature Nordic majestic tune of heroism, triumph and celebration.
The instrumental “Rulers of Wind and Waves” commands wind and thunder as harps tell a warrior’s tale below a coming storm as spirits jump and dance like ancient memories. Bagpipes set the mood as choirs create historical ambiance and narrative soldiers prepare for battle.
“Fires in the North” provide the heaviest and mightiest riffs, like a welder shaping molten hot metal, with battle cries of the finished product.
Sign of the Dragonhead is the band’s first full length helmed by Siirala and she sounds more than capable of steering the ship onward.