Liv Kristine – Vervain

It’s always a pleasure to listen to the solo work of a talented artist and with the fifth solo album entitled “Vervain” Liv Kristine reconfirms her absolute supremacy as one of the most creative singers in the metal scene. As expected all the songs on “Vervain” are composed to make Liv’s vocals the main focus, therefore in terms of songwriting there’s nothing groundbreaking or particularly original. Yet, it comes easy and quite spontaneous to fully appreciate the delicate gothic oriented musicality of this album which might remind of her past vocal performances inTheatre Of Tragedy.
“Love Decay” is particularly intriguing because of the charming duet with Michelle Darkness from End Of Green. This is probably the most gothic track on the album with slow decadent guitars appropriately tuned on the somber side. The unusual contrast between Michelle’s baritone interpretation and Liv’s delicate vocals create a mysteriously dark atmosphere that would certainly please a more metal oriented audience.
On the title track it’s inevitable to notice how Liv makes all those technical operatic vocal phrases sound so effortless and almost easy, yet we all know that few singers can nail that kind of stuff. The musical theme is once again quite simple and straightforward with a strong focus on the melancholic, yet rather catchy and dynamic, chorus.
“Stronghold Of Angels” will easily become a hit. Seriously, who wouldn’t fall in love with a duet featuring the iconic Doro Pesch? I’m not even a bit surprised to see how Liv and Doro successfully deliver a bright passionate performance that fluently provides a glowing harmony and a delightful strength to the hyper melodic guitar core.
“Hunters” is almost certainly the catchiest song on “Vervain”. There’s a Nordic feeling throughout the song which well supports the whole array of popular dark rock elements further enriched by marvelous operatic backing vocals.
The omnipresent romantically heartbreaking ballad entitled “Lotus” despite the usual, maybe abused, recipe of slow motion piano and guitars is still a greatly enjoyable moment. This is mainly due to Liv’s majestic performance that bears a sensitive burden of human emotions that will touch any listener.
If you’re in the mood for some gloomy darker tunes make sure to check out “Oblivious” which revolves around gothic/doom fusion riffs diffusing through a highly atmospheric music theme enriched by Liv’s elegant vocals.
With “Vervain” Liv Kristine goes back to explore the darker roots of her musical career and it’s just lovely how the lack of unnecessary complications allows the listeners to focus on the encouraging artistic energy that surrounds the whole album.

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