|Country||International (Germany, Norway)|
|Release Date||6 December 2019|
International symphonic metallers Leaves’ Eyes have released seven records since their founding in 2003. The band was formed by vocalist Liv Kristine and the enigmatic metal band Atrocity, but, after Liv parted ways in 2016, Elina Siirala of Angel Nation has been its frontwoman. For the most part, their sound has been pretty generic as far as female-fronted symphonic metal goes: melancholic, operatic vocals, a bit of rough vocals, gothic overtones, that sort of thing. Despite being their second release with their new vocalist, as well as the first to feature guitarist Micki Richter, Leaves’ Eyes’ latest EP Black Butterfly offers absolutely nothing new except for a mopey vocal feature of ‘Stille Nacht’ (‘Silent Night’) because, you know, it’s Christmastime.
Actually, I shouldn’t have said that the EP offers nothing new. Let me correct myself; Black Butterfly actually offers, well, nothing at all. The sound is bland, the arrangements and songwriting is bland, the musicianship is bland. It’s actually kind of fucked up how a band consisting of five people could sound so consistently boring. I mean, no single aspect here is necessarily bad, but they’re so plain that it’s painful.
I really wish I had more to say about this one, but I don’t, so let me offer an anecdote. A few years ago, I saw these guys open for Sabaton in Vancouver. As my first show (and considering that Battle Beast were also playing support), I was primed and fucking ready when Leaves’ Eyes took the stage. But, to my dismay (and pretty much everyone else’s in the venue), my excitement had all but evaporated about three minutes into their set. If killing a crowd that isn’t even alive yet doesn’t give you an idea of how monotonous this band is, then I suppose you’re just going to have to dive into their material and see for yourself, although I don’t recommend it.
So, yeah. Especially considering the obvious amount of effort that went into making and mixing this album to sound clean and modern, it’s not worth anybody’s time. The playing isn’t bad, and the songwriting isn’t bad, but it’s about as one-dimensional as you could possibly make a symphonic metal album. However, if you want to listen to the equivalent of staring at a featureless white wall for fifteen minutes, then Black Butterfly will be right up your alley.
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