Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Leaves’ Eyes enlighten Manchester with Myths of Fate

With days getting longer and trees blossoming again, Leaves’ Eyes anticipated the arrival of spring.

Metalite were aiming to make a solid first impression on their UK debut and it didn’t take them long to get Manchester on their feet. From Stockholm, this electronic power metal group has a dazzling style. Other than typical traits of the subgenre like major scale outros, epic choruses and complicated arpeggios, they put a cinematic twist on it with a lot of sci-fi sound effects and feelings of space adventures. That night was no different as they brought the IMAX experience to life. 

Erica on vocals had a charismatic stage presence, representing the passionate leader ready to fly into the unknown with her beautiful voice containing too much suction power for fans to look away. Edwin and Robert’s chemistry on guitars was a match made in heaven as the pair made easy work of their instruments with delightful shredding and tidy sweep picking while razor-sharp drumming by Lea Larsson finished off a frantic start to the evening. The set may have been short but the impressive energy levels left behind demanded that the next bands kept it up to prevent people heading for the exit.

NorthTale were up next and they did exactly what was needed by raising the hype. They were also making their UK debut and just like Metalite, rubber-stamped their approval that a much needed return to Manchester awaits them. Taking a more traditional power metal approach, they upped the pace with a grandiose sound that spread tidal waves of smiles across the venue. Guilherme Hirose’s vocals pierced through the air like Zeus’s lightning bolts, sustaining falsettos provided by lungs with diver oxygen tank capacity.

However, guitarist Caio Kehyayan also wanted a piece of the spotlight with his insane shredding abilities that could rival the speed of time lapse footage. The transitions between sweep picking, tapping, pinch harmonics and arpeggios were smooth as silk so if you blinked, you’d miss it completely. Alessandro Kelvin nailed his part on drums with tight double kick and fills in perfect harmony to keep the tempo in check.

After solid performances from the previous acts, energy levels showed no signs of diminishing by the time Leaves’ Eyes closed the evening. With spring around the corner, a symphonic metal show couldn’t be a better match as the German six-piece delivered exactly what fans deserved. On paper, you’d assume that the vocal partnership of Elina Siirala and Alexander Krull is a complete mismatch but it’s actually the complete opposite. It was written in the stars like a love story featuring Alexander as the gentle giant falling in love with the princess Elina. If sound waves were visible to the naked eye, it would form a heart shape when they sing together with their contrasting techniques suiting the band’s prevalent themes of Norse mythology and Vikings. When combined with the extra folk elements, you can see why they were musically made for each other.

The tall, petrifying figure of Alexander standing over everyone dressed as a warrior would make you retreat like a dog with its tail between its legs as he unleashed his battle cries resembling the ones willing to sacrifice themselves to earn a place in Valhalla. His counterpart Elina did the clean and operatic parts which could brighten anyone’s day. With barely any effort, she sings like a bird during sunrise as the delightful texture of her angelic voice travels like a delicate sea breeze, touching you softer than a paint brush stroke.

While there weren’t any live synths, the samples did their trick as the warm sounding orchestra added a much needed enhancement to the bottom end and when mixed with the ancient props, it really felt like you were reliving the brutal Nordic winters. The Leaves’ Eyes lineup, other than Elina, was formed by all members of Atrocity and their adaptability skills to switch radically from one subgenre to another shone brighter than the sun beating down on the Sahara. Joris Nijenhuis on drums flexed his elastic limbs to the limit without going out of time by a millisecond with bullseye precision playing. He’s a living metronome and can always be relied on if the clicks stop working. Meanwhile, Micki Richter and Luc Gerbhardt did a magnificent job on guitars by coming up with some tasty riffs and harmonies to put the gloss on a night full of joy.

As winter came to a close, Leaves’ Eyes announced the beginning of a new season in style as it was all smiles with Manchester ready to embrace (fingers crossed) more pleasant days ahead. 

Pedro Felippe
Pedro Felippe
Metalhead since the stone age. Always bash the crap out of my drum kit and am an avid gig goer. I massively identify myself within the metal community as the sense of belonging is unrivalled.

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