Liv Kristine – Vervain

Liv Kristine - Vervain

Liv Kristine is a norwegian soprano vocalist who got the attention of the metal community while with gothic/death metal band Theatre of Tragedy and their pioneering “beauty and the beast” vocal pattern. She started her solo career in the late nineties, soon followed by a band called Leaves’ Eyes. Her husband, Alexander Krull, of german death metal band Atrocity fame, performs all keyboard parts and arrangements in both projects since their wedding in 2003. Vervain is the fifth Liv Kristine‘s album, and it is an excellent one.

On this new record, the atmosphere is in a pop-flavoured gothic metal vein. The sinister guitars, the haunted keyboards and plaintive vocals provide indeed the gothic touch, while the catchy choruses wrap up the whole in pop regalia.

Liv Kristine

The vocal performance is impeccable, pleading and cheerful in turn. It reaches its peak on the painful ballad Lotus, which starts in a neo-romantic vibe with a piano-cello duet, then wanders in epic territories with anthemic guitar and proud vocal delivery. Liv‘s vocalizations, like on Oblivious are also breath-taking. On two songs, vocal duties are shared with special guests. First, the  vaporous Love Decay where Michelle Darkness (vocalist for german gothic band End of Green), which low voice, reminiscent of Nick Holmes at the time of Paradise Lost‘s Draconian Times, yet less powerful, comes as a counterpoint to the high notes of Liv. Then, the tormented Stronghold of Angels where Doro‘s raspy voice once again contrasts with Liv‘s angelic voice.

At times, the music presents a dancing beat, a feature to which the very tasty drums contribute (Vervain & Elucidation). Alexander Krull‘s performance and arrangements are instrumental in this album, as evidenced by the “good relationship” between haunting keys and colourful piano in songs like Two and a Heart. Guitars are also versatile, agressive and aquatic in turn, yet always in a moderate way. Their echoing notes contribute to the appeal of songs like Wilderness for example.

Overall, Vervain sees the talented soprano in very good form. The versatility of keyboards and guitar, as well as the solid drums raise even more this album to the pantheon of female-fronted gothic metal.


01. My Wilderness
02. Love Decay (feat. Michelle Darkness)
03. Vervain
04. Stronghold of Angels (feat. Doro Pesch)
05. Hunters
06. Lotus
07. Elucidation
08. Two And A Heart
09. Creeper
10. Oblivious


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