"The Last Viking" (AFM; 2020)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I guess I have the benefit of being new to the music of Leaves' Eyes. Because I was blown away by "The Last Viking."

Epic, symphonic metal with cinematic story-telling, tied together with breath-taking musicianship and stunning production, this album had me by the throat from the first track and held on all the way to the end. It's the kind of music that overwhelms you, surrounds you, brings you into its world. You don't so much listen to "The Last Viking" as you partake of it.

I understand from reading other reviews that new vocalist Liv is either the best thing ever to happen to the band or an unworthy replacement of the band's previous vocalist but I will tell you this as someone who is listening to this band for the first time: I think she's great. Her operatic vocals soar amongst the music in jarring juxtaposition to the rough male vocals on the album, giving every track an additional depth.

Like any good record should, "The Last Viking" will make me hunt down the band's previous recordings and maybe my opinion will be adjusted. I intentionally didn't say "altered" or "changed" because I can't imagine any previous recording being much better than "The Last Viking."

For more information, check out https://www.leaveseyes.de/.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2020 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.