January 2018 Album of the Month – Leaves’ Eyes’ Sign of the DragonheadMonday, 12th February 2018
Perhaps fueled by the energy of having a new vocalist in Elina Siirala, Leaves’ Eyes have returned with their seventh and strongest release to date with Sign of the Dragonhead. Continuing the path that they’ve strived towards with more recent efforts, what’s most remarkable is the sheer variety present. Epic symphonic cuts share space with more energetic and fun songs to create a balance of immediacy and depth. Truly an exciting position for the veteran act to be in at this point, Sign of the Dragonhead marks a new chapter for the band – one that’s overflowing with potential.
An excerpt from Kyle McGinn’s 9.5/10 review, which posted on January 7, 2018:
Ever since the act seemed to define itself with the excellent Njord, it’s been all about upping the ante and providing a feel that’s both grounded and epic. Of course, diversity along the way has helped, and Sign of the Dragonhead has it in spades. The already fan-tested and approved “Fires in the North” as well as the title track showcase the band’s particular brand of symphonic Viking metal, with their combo of heavy riffing and soaring choruses. But despite their ability to really condense things down to their essence on this album, they pull out all the stops on the grand and epic finale of “Waves of Euphoria,” where choirs, orchestration, and shifting dynamics merge into a song that’s a cinematic journey all of its own. There’s also the anthemic “Jomsborg,” one of the heavier cuts and one that is a testament to Siirala’s soaring and powerful vocals and their counterpart in Alexander Krull’s energetic growls.
From concise to epic, and from symphonic to folky, there’s a bit of everything sprinkled about in Sign of the Dragonhead. Each track stands out in its own regard – a tough one to really nail in terms of favorites, but one that is consistently stunning from beginning to end. Leaves’ Eyes have not only crafted what’s likely their strongest release to date, but successfully reinvented themselves into what should surely be an even more successful era to come. But for now, consider Sign of the Dragonhead as 2018’s first must-have metal release.
Read the entire review HERE.