By Steven Neff, Rock At Night Orlando Correspondent
Venue: The Orpheum, Tampa,Florida–May 20, 2017
LEAVES’ EYES Continues its Tampa assault
The clanging of metal could be heard in anticipation of the European metal invasion that would soon take place at The Orpheum in Tampa, Florida. Swords collided as Leaves’ Eyes and Battle Beast opened for Swedish metal warriors Sabaton on their “The Last Tour”. The tone for the power metal war was in the air.
When one looked over the 2nd story balcony onto the bottom floor, it was evident that The Orpheum was filled to capacity and Leaves’ Eyes hadn’t taken stage yet.
When Leaves’ Eyes takes stage, their music serves as a bridge of time where legends of the past are the backdrop for the lyrical imagery, folk and symphonic arrangements, and driving guitars; which together, form a brutal metal masterpiece. This force they’ve created has garnered them critical acclaim and a strong fan following.
Leaves’ Eyes took the metal world by storm from their formation in 2003 and continued that power until early 2016 when co-founding frontwoman Liv Kristine departed from the band. Many wondered if the band would be able to continue with such a strong presence in Kristine having been lost. Shortly after Kristine’s untimely loss, Elina Siirala stepped behind the Leaves’ Eyes mic and established herself the vocal warrior and the band has successfully continued. By the looks of the big crowds, Leaves’ Eyes fans have given their metal seal of approval on Siirala and the band has been able to stay true to what they do best, make music.
The Leaves’ Eyes performance captivated the capacity crowd with seven strong tracks from the King Of Kings and Symphonies of the Night albums and Fires in the North EP.
Alexander Krull briefly left, only to return to the stage, dressed in full Viking attire and sporting his edge of steel to wage war. Elina Siirala’s powerful vocals and Alexander Krull’s backing [growling] vocals proved the double edge sword of the Leaves’ Eyes performance. Well done. The Orpheum’s capacity crowd was both riveted and conquered by Leaves’ Eyes, but had only received 1/3 of its European slaying.
Leaves’ Eyes Setlist
- Halvdan the Black [King of Kings Album]
- Swords in Rock [King of Kings Album]
- Edge of Steel [King of Kings Album]
- Hell to the Heavens [Symphonies of the Night Album]
- Fires in the North [Fires in the North EP]
- Sacred Vow [King of Kings Album]
- Blazing Waters [King of Kings Album]
Leaves’ Eyes Lineup
Elina Siirala – Vocals
Alexander Krull – Vocals
Thorsten Bauer – Guitar, Bass
Pete Streit – Guitar
Joris Nijenhuis – Drums
BATTLE BEAST CONTINUES TAMPA ASSAULT
Battle Beast was the 2nd part of the European metal assault to hit Tampa. This impressive band comes by way of Helsinki, Finland and it was the first time for this writer to see them. The band stepped onto the stage amongst a roar from the crowd. When Noora Louhimo stepped behind the mic and opened her mouth, that rush of adrenaline goes through the body when you know you’re witnessing an entirely different level of vocal talent. Bravo!
It was also a good time for Battle Beast to hit North America as their newest album; Bringer of Pain had just been released on February 17, 2017 via Nuclear Blast Records. There was no doubt in this writer’s mind that Battle Beast added many new people to its ever growing fan base when taking North America.
The Bringer of Pain album dominated the Battle Beast eight track setlist and like Leaves’ Eyes, Battle Beast’s weapons of choice are the vocals of its frontwoman and an impressive guitar loaded assault that doesn’t stop until there’s nothing left standing.
Where Battle Beast deferred from their new album was with the fan favorite “Black Ninja”, which got a thunderous ovation from the fans when Noora Louhimo announced it was next on the setlist. This heavy guitar laden track has over six million views on Youtube, but to hear the song live was spectacular.
The combined power of Leaves’ Eyes and Battle Beast proved to be one for the ages, igniting The Orpheum into a frenzy for what would be the climax of the night with Sabaton completing the metal invasion on Tampa. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, until we meet again.
Battle Beast Setlist
- Straight to the Heart [Bringer of Pain Album]
- Bringer of Pain [Bringer of Pain Album]
- Familiar Hell [Bringer of Pain Album]
- Black Ninja [Battle Beast Album]
- Lost in Wars [Bringer of Pain Album]
- Bastard Son of Odin [Bringer of Pain Album]
- King for a Day [Bringer of Pain Album]
- Beyond the Burning Skies [Bringer of Pain Album]
Battle Beast Lineup
Noora Louhimo – Vocals
Eero Sipilä – Bass, Vocals
Pyry Vikki – Drums
Juuso Soinio – Guitar
Janne Björkroth – Keyboards
Joona Björkroth – Guitar
A big thank you goes to the staff at The Orpheum who were a huge help in getting this writer where he needed to be. You were awesome.
Special thanks go to Dustin Hardman at AFM Records who made our concert coverage of Leaves’ Eyes and Battle Beast one to remember. Dustin is one of those rock stars in the shadows that enable us to bring these concerts to you, our readers.
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