The new album is the follow up to “Sign Of The Draginhead” which was the last full scale album with the new singer Elina Siirala from Finland.
The songs of “The Last Viking” clearly go into the same direction and are a bit more refined, opinion.
What bothered me a bit on “Sign of the Dragonhead” is the growing “folk metal” influence in LE’s music since the departure of Liv Kristine. It is more and more folk influences and less and less symphonic metal influences.
With Elina they have a great singer nevertheless and it shines through that she could do a lot more vocally as what she is required to in LE. Comparing her with Liv is nonsense as both are great singers and both have their strengths and weaknesses. Elina has a power and full voice that Liv did not have, however, Liv was great on soft ballads with her tender singing. But it is impossible to say “x is better than y”.
The production is top notch again as it always is with Leaves Eyes albums. The massive guitar sound is really something else. Also it is nice to see that the new second guitarist Micki Richter is allowed to play some leads on the album and not just has a role as a rhythm guitarist and videos, as the previous second guitarists were. Micki is a great player who played in quite a few bands already and was a member in KRAYENZEIT and also guested in various other projects including BLOOD RED SOUL’s 2017 abum.
The songs are good but not exceptionally. Krull relies a bit too much on his same old formula for writing songs on each and every album. It shows that they lack some new ideas and new spirit from the outside. Maybe he should let Micki and Elina contribute a lot more, as especially the latter is a fantastic songwriter in her own rights.
Elina really shines on the songs though and her modest and rather reserved character is what distinguishes her very positively from a lot of her colleagues on other bands who are often put more attention on their fake eye lashes than on great singing. Siirala is not an attention seeker and that makes the whole package a lot more plausible.
We are giving the album a 7/10.
The Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking (Nuclear Blast) 2020