Leaves' Eyes We Came with the Northern Winds / En Saga I Belgia

Leaves' Eyes We Came with the Northern Winds / En Saga I Belgia
After only two full-length albums and a few EPs, Leaves' Eyes have provided their fans with a two-disc DVD that's part concert and part documentary. The doc is entertaining but celebratory rather than probing. The narrative traces the band back to a 1995 tour that first brought together Theatre of Tragedy (fronted by Leaves' Eyes Liv Kristine) and Atrocity (featuring the other three core members of Leaves' Eyes: her husband/vocalist Alex Krull and guitarists Thorsten Bauer and Mathias Röderer). Although the DVD briefly profiles all four, Liv Kristine acts as the main centrepiece, appearing with parents, grandparents and sister Carmen Espenaes (from Midnattsol), who emphasize her Norwegian background. The Norwegian angle gets played up a fair bit for an otherwise German band, to complement (and justify) the Vinland/Viking themes dominating most of Leaves' Eyes' material. In between profiles, the documentary follows the band around the world as tours take them throughout Europe and into Turkey, Mexico, South America, Australia and North America. The concert - a major 2007 performance at Belgium's Metal Female Voices Festival - gives the band a chance to show off on a big stage, with lots of costume changes, an onstage Viking ship and a very large, adoring crowd. The tuning starts out a little rough but otherwise the performance and the filming allow Leaves' Eyes to revel in the theatricality and emotional drama embedded in their work. As with a lot of these niche DVDs, this is a fan-oriented package that's unlikely to appeal to anyone but those Leaves' Eyes have already won over. (Napalm)