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Leaves' Eyes Leaves An Impression In London With MaYaN And Almanac

Symphonic metal is one of the most popular sub-genres of metal today, with bands headlining festivals across the world and even holding their own in the case of Epica. One of the more prominent bands from this area is Leaves' Eyes, who earlier this year released their superb new album, "Sign Of Dragonhead," their first with new vocalist Elina Siirala. To promote the album, the band has been on an extensive tour of Europe, joined along the way by MaYaN, the side project of Epica mastermind Mark Jansen and Almanac, the new band from former Rage guitarist Victor Smolski. How did the show go? Read on, MacDuff.

Opening the show was Almanac, a power metal project from Victor Smolski with no less than both male and female vocalists. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see a good portion of their set as I was interviewing Leaves' Eyes, but what I did see was very impressive indeed. Smolski has gained the reputation as something of a modern guitar hero and it's easy to see why, as his one of a kind style leads the group to a fresh sound with a unique take on a genre which makes it easy to be bland. Of particular note too was the talents of singers David Readman and Jeannette Marchewka, who were in fine voice throughout. It wasn't a sold out show tonight and opening acts don't always get a large audience, but those who were here for Almanac would find plenty to enjoy.

Following Almanac was MaYaN, who were performing their first ever show in the United Kingdom. This is a very special idea from Mark Jansen, who performs death growls in the band with no less than four other singers. It's suitably heavy but highly intricate, with so many different vocal styles to hear and a sense of teamwork which shapes what could have been a disaster into a fascinating display of music. Every singer is unique and every musician is on point and fans of the band, many of whom seeing them for the first time were treated to material from their first two album, "Quarterpast" and "Antagonise" as well as brand new songs, "Tornado Of Thoughts" and "the Power Process" from their upcoming third album, "Dhiana." A wonderful experience from a one of a kind project.

Finally it was the turn of Leaves' Eyes to take to the stage. The offspring of German death metal veterans Atrocity have made a name for themselves since the 2004 debut, "Lovelorn" and fourteen years later are still going strong. In fact, now is perhaps the most interesting time to see the group as they have just released their first album without singer Liv Kristine. New vocalist Elina Siirala, a Finnish native who's lived in London for some time now, has got no problem stepping into her shoes however and she proved it tonight with an incredible performance.

Leaves' Eyes delivered plenty from "Sign Of The Dragonhead," seven in total to be exact, from the title track to the singles, "Across The Sea" and "Jomsburg," all of which seemed to go down very well. There were plenty of older songs to be enjoyed too, including "Farewell Proud Men" and "Take The Devil In Me," before finishing up with "Spirits' Masquerade" from "Meredead" and "Blazing Waters" from the 2015 album, "King Of Kings." All in all, this was an excellent night for symphonic metal with three very different takes on the genres and the future looks very bright for all concerned.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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