It’s not been the smoothest of journeys for Leaves Eyes to get to this album. Especially when you consider a change in vocalist is perhaps the most drastic alteration a band can make. New singer, new sound, it’s pretty much that simple.
Enter the classically trained, Finnish born and Angel Nation vocalist Elina Siirala, who steps in for the departed Liv Kristine. Liv’s fantastic voice was stamped on the Leaves Eyes tone since the band’s inception so a hard to act to follow.
With that aside, how does ‘Sign of the Dragonhead’ compare to previous albums, Does Elina’s voice stand up to the majestic powerful music of `Leaves Eyes’? Well stick around and read on!
Straight off the bat, you get to hear Elina’s voice in full Throttle. The opening track and title one, “Sing of the Dragonhead” is almost saying “Sign of Elina”. Her voice is classical trained and powerful in its approach, think Tarja Trunen of Nightwish and you’d be along the right tracks. Elina is the perfect match for the heaviness of some of Leaves Eyes tracks and “Sign of the Dragonhead” is definitely the right approach to get the fans buzzing and showcasing the new voice with immediate effect.
The 3rd track on the album, “Like A Mountain” opens with a slow and ethereal piano led by Elina’s angelic voice. The track then descends into a heavy riff and still Elina’s vocal range doesn’t appear phased by this at all. This track really showcases her dynamic ranges within the structure of Leaves Eyes. It’s powerful, sweeping and yet contains elements of softer sections that Leaves Eyes can definitely explore on further albums.
The song `Riders On The Wind’ is another notable track which has the crucial elements of Power Metal or Symphonic Metal such potent forces to the metal masses and which is the ability to have catchy sing-along chorus that can be sung back at 2 in the morning at Wacken. This is an absolute fun tune and one that will be a highlight of the album.
The album as a whole is a great showcase of Leaves Eyes new intent. The stylistic approach hasn’t really changed since the band’s inception, yet the way in which they can now deliver the music can certainly facilitate a new approach. With Elina at the mic, she appears to handle all of the heavier tracks with ease and still adds those softer moments.
The whole album feels like a great homage to symphonic pioneers Nightwish coupled with the death metal antics of Alex.
8/10- “Sign of the Dragonhead” is Leaves Eyes intent, fun and a real showcase of Elina’s talents as the new Dragonhead!
Stand out tracks:
`Sign of the Dragonhead’, `Like A Mountain’ and `Riders On The Wind`
1. Sign Of The Dragonhead
2. Across The Sea
3. Like A Mountain
6. Riders On The Wind
7. Fairer Than The Sun
8. Shadows In The Night
9. Rulers Of Wind And Wave
10. Fire In The North
11. Waves Of Euphoria
Leaves Eyes online: