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Music Reviews: Leaves’ Eyes, Operadyse, Royal Hunt, and Rhapsody of Fire

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Symphonic metal is for review this week.

LE_SOTF_web-200x200Leaves’ Eyes are back with Symphonies of the Night, and what a release. Their brand of Nordic-tinged symphonic metal does not suffer fools lightly. “Hell to the Heavens” is the opening statement in this tour de force. Liv and Krull’s vocal exchange is up to their normal standard, as Liv’s operatic range contrasts nicely with Krull’s gruff vocal style. While none of the songs have that instant hit about them, they reward repeated listens. This is a consistent album from the Norwegian band, and when it is this good, there is nothing wrong with saying it is “more of the same”. The album just came out in Europe on November 15 and will hit American stores on November 26.

Operadyse is a band that I have never heard of but they will release Pandemonium in North America on November 19 and in Europe on November 25. This is their debut, but the band from France have nailed it. They have the formula for symphonic metal down pat. To add to the mix, they have a male and female vocalist for that added level of complexity. This is gloriously pretentious and over the top, but it never reaches the level of twee. “Celestial Sword” is suitably epic in scope and sums up the album nicely. This is a strong debut and one that should set them on quite the career path.

Royal Hunt are set to release A Life to Die For later this month (November 29 in Europe and December 3 in North America). It is deliciously catchy and clever. To my mind it is some of the most catchy stuff they have done in quite a while. They have moved from melodic power metal to symphonic power prog. But it is quite accessible and not as pretentious as it could be. I found myself genuinely singing along to tracks like “Running Out of Tears” on the second go round. D. C. Cooper’s vocals rarely have been this good, “Sign of Yesterday” is a good example. There is a real sense of accomplishment on this release and the symphonic elements only add to its attractive musical stance.

Rhapsody of Fire are set to release Dark Wings of Steel on November 22 in Europe and in the USA/North America on December 3. This Italian band are back with another opus of symphonic metal. There is a nice touch on here with a song in Italian called “Custode di Pace”. Fabio Lione on vocals certainly takes his role seriously and his epic vocal style lends itself to this release. Songs like “My Sacrifice” show the talent and range of this bunch. I think symphonic power metal fans would be hard pressed not to like this release. In fact I think it would be possible to argue that Dark Wings of Steel is one of their best.

Stay safe and healthy out there my friends. But make sure you live life to the fullest because you never know what is round the next corner.

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