You know the score, leather clad symphonic metal band put out another slice of mead guzzling sword waving music to pillage by. Or do you? Why is it, you have to ask, that bands such as Leaves Eyes endure? The answer is in the detail and the fact that even on their eighth studio album the Nordic five piece are continuing to push themselves creatively. Elina Siirala, now nicely embedded into the band has a clean sharp vocal that allows you to hear every word. The music may not be earth shatteringly progressive but it’s not supposed to be. What it is is solid and well written. It’s very noticeable that the stability of the line up over the last four or more years is showing in the cohesiveness of each song. The Last Viking is Siirala’s second album with the band too which gives some breathing space after replacing Liv Kristine. It’s an album that hits like Thor’s hammer. Fans will love it and more importantly Leaves Eyes sound readily identifiable in an area of music heaving with acts that aren’t. The Last Viking is an invitation to enjoy camp fires and ale, and that makes it pretty irresistible.