LEAVES’ EYES – The Last Viking

LEAVES' EYES - The Last Viking
  • 7/10
    LEAVES' EYES - The Last Viking - 7/10


AFM Records
Release date: October 23, 2020

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Heavy Metal Opera

Germany’s Symphonic Metal veterans Leaves’ Eyes are back with another epic Viking history lesson set to music with their 8th full length album The Last Viking. Returning to the lineup are Finnish vocalist Elina Siirala with her siren like haunting voice, shouter Alex Krull, founding guitarist Thorsten Bauer and drummer Joris Nijenhuis. New on the roster is guitarist Micki Richter, aptly taking over for Pete Streit. The band is back to tell us of the epic sagas of Norway’s king Harald III, called Hardrada (the hard ruler) in what feels like a full-length Heavy Metal Opera from start to finish.

Attention to Historic detail

The Last Viking was lyrically penned and conceptualized by vocalist Alexander Krull, with guitarist Thorsten Bauer composing the music as both took on the role of producer in the studio. Krull places historical accuracy high on the list when crafting their albums, stating “Some tv dramas or blockbusters make me smirk when I see the Viking Sagas turned upside down. We don’t mess around in mythology!” The sagas of Hardrada are full of drama, emotions and the everlasting fights for power, making them the perfect topic for the kind of Symphonic Metal that Leaves’ Eyes continue to produce.

Favorite Tracks

The new album has 14 songs with a running time of over an hour on 2 CDs, with 3 of the songs being new versions or remixes of tracks from the 2019 EP Black Butterfly. The music is bombastic, with loads of keyboards over galloping guitars and rapid fire drums. Add to the mix Celtic themes, operatic vocals, aggressive shouting and pretty quickly you get the feeling that you’ve been transported into a modern Valhalla of Nordic Heavy Metal. For this reviewer the top tracks include “Serpents and Dragons” with it’s pounding rhythms and strong choruses along with the catchy Celtic “Varangians” and it’s metal jig.

Final Notes

The album felt like it ran a little long by the time it was about 50 minutes in, making the listener feel ready for a bit of a break. The production is well done, but could have been a little more balanced as at times the shouter vocals seemed to over power the band. The musicianship is not in question as everyone pulls their weight, but as the album plays you start to notice some predictability in the chord progressions. Over all it’s a positive experience, with a little something for both fans of the genre and history buffs to sink their teeth into on cold, rainy nights on the Fjords.

Leaves Eyes band photo 2020


Elina Siirala – Vocals
Alexander Krull – Vocals
Thorsten Bauer – Guitar, Bass
Micki Richter – Guitar
Joris Nijenhuis – Drums

The Last Viking Tracklist

01. Death Of A King
02. Chain Of The Golden Horn
03. Dark Love Empress
04. Serpents And Dragons
05. Black Butterfly (feat. Clémentine Delauney)*
06. War Of Kings
07. For Victory
08. Two Kings One Realm
09. Flames In The Sky
10. Serkland*
11. Varangians
12. Night Of The Ravens*
13. The Last Viking
14. Break Into The Sky Of Aeon

Running time: 1:03:48


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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