Liv Kristine – “Vervain” (2014)

Label: Napalm Records

Review by Tony Cannella

In addition to her main gig with Leaves’ Eyes, Liv Kristine has forged a prolific solo career for herself in recent years. This actually began in 1998 with her debut solo effort “Deus Ex Machina”, but it wasn’t until 2006’s “Enter My Religion” that she began to regularly release her solo material. In the past, her solo work has had a more organic, rock and even a pop-ish feel to them. With her newest release “Vervain” Liv has gone in a heavier direction, incorporating all of the elements of her previous works whilst adding heavier, doomy guitars and a gothic vibe to the songs.

“Vervain” features 10-songs and 43-minutes worth of music and I believe this is Liv’s most focused solo material to date. “My Wilderness” is a solid opening track. It is an up-tempo song with a great opening riff that just pounds away. The album features two duets. The first is “Love Decay” featuring Michelle Darkness from the band End of Green which is a great tune and gives the track a heavy gothic flavor. The other duet is with Doro Pesch on the track “Stronghold of Angels” which is another huge highlight. The song begins with a monstrously heavy guitar riff, before evolving into a moody, almost dark track. As a huge fan of both singers, I have to say that this pairing is a dream-come-true, the two work magic together on this track. “Hunters” takes things into a different, more electronic direction which adds to the eclectic mix present here. “Lotus” is a great ballad with a good amount of heaviness thrown in as well. Other highlights include: “Creeper” and “Oblivious” which features a heavy riff, reminiscent of Black Sabbath and serves as a great ending to a great album.

You must give Liv credit, she has done a great job in differentiating her solo music to that of her music with Leaves’ Eyes and that continues with “Vervain” and thus her solo career is indeed its own entity but should still appeal to fans of Leaves’ Eyes and this lady’s wonderfully expressive voice. I was not disappointed with “Vervain” and I am confident that fans won’t be either.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. My Wilderness
  2. Love Decay (feat. Michelle Darkness)
  3. Vervain
  4. Stronghold of Angels (feat. Doro Pesch)
  5. Hunters
  6. Lotus
  7. Elucidation
  8. Two and a Heart
  9. Creeper
  10. Oblivious

 

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