This is my Elegy
I first saw Leaves' Eyes in September 2005 and I hadn't expected them to be as good as they were. Since then I've acquired their last full-length release 'Vinland Saga' and yet even to this very day it still doesn't create the fervour inside that the one night in Manchester did eighteen months ago. It was with great interest that I watched Leaves' Eyes for a second time, and as they graced the Prog Power stage to a rapturous reception I wanted to see if last time was a fluke.
Of course it wasn't and somewhere deep down I knew it. Two minutes into the opening song the huge down tuned guitars and booming rhythm section convinced me that this band are in their element on stage. Vocalist Liv was at her politest, most charming and appreciative best, its almost as if you expect her to say, "would you mind awfully if we played some heavy metal for you?" Again she was in fine voice and perfectly placed in the mix to let her angelic vocals rise into the rafters. She's a perfect compliment to her husband's growl and crowd urging antics, and I would argue that the band are a stronger outfit when the band are a six-piece than they are when Liv sings on her own. Alex, who probably has the longest hair in heavy metal, excited the Prog Power crowd by his constant interaction and stage striding, almost covering every inch of the performing area with his domineering frame.
The stage set-up, which, up to Leaves' Eyes had just been the band's gear and their banner across the back, was quickly and effectively adorned with Leaves' Eyes imagery on portable barriers. With the large back-drop, all of the onstage equipment hidden and their onstage presence and blatant enjoyment of what they were doing, you'd be fooled into thinking that Leaves' Eyes were headlining. The most effective aspect to the imagery was the lingering smoke and washes of coloured lights that caused pastel atmospheres around the musicians and really suited the gothic music of songs such as 'Into the Sun' and 'Ocean's way'.
Therein lay Leaves' Eyes secret, they were able to enchant the Prog Power crowd with simple atmospheric imagery and conditions whilst pummelling the ears with some very metal music. 'Elegy' rounded the set list off beautifully and for a second time I was applauding until my hands hurt. The guy behind shouted "Fuckin' Awesome' and I didn't have any intentions of disagreeing with him.