Maria001_smallMaria Zubova, Media Writer, Music

Maria Zubova and “Maria’s Sound Space…” is a regular column for HorizonVU Music. Maria has a passion for music and she likes to communicate about it. Maria is herself a trained musician. She is follows photography, arts, fashion, and travel. Of course, she frequently attends different concerts and rock festivals.

World, seems it’s a high time for us to forget what energy drinks are! Welcome LEAH – a new artist ready to explode onto the musical landscape. Her debut album “Of Earth & Angels” is an unpredictable mix: heavy metal – symphonic – Celtic soulful and spiritual ballads, where you can listen to the harp, the lyre, the flute, and of course, very strong, catchy and simply amazing artists’ voice.

Leah is from the Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada. She has been writing since she was a teenager playing the guitar and piano. During her teenage years she listened to various music: gospel, blues, R&B, even The Doors, The Beatles and Mariah Carey. People say that she sounds like a “heavy metal Enya” or as “Loreena McKennitt with distortion” but in some interviews Leah tells us that one of her favorite bands include Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Epica, Within Temptation, Leaves’ Eyes, After Forever and so on. We definitely can find some parallels between these bands’ music and LEAH’s style but at the same time, she has gone much further and filled out these styles with Celtic melodies and personal input – feelings, voice, music and lyrics. Personally, I note that her music has many “layers”. The back vocals are very well developed and help her to create a truly full sound.

The band members are Leah – singer/songwriter, David Hughes – guitar, Sean Lang (from First Reign) – drums, Britton Liakakos – bass. Leah has been a part of other bands: mostly in small garage bands, but she has been with Ashur- a more known metal band. She is, by the way a home-sitting mother, managing to combine development of her musical career and personal life at the same time. “Of Earth & Angels” is not a “made in a hurry” album. Leah has spent 2 years to complete the album. She already had several songs written, so it was difficult even to choose the right ones and write the missing tracks in order to create a complete album in all senses.

The album begins with very strong and serious sounds of high-heeled shoes, guitar passages, and then it bursts into a classical and very well done metal track with orchestral parts, choir and outstanding back vocals that make it mysterious and tempting. So this intro track is called “Prisoner” about being in a hard situation of despair because of your own thoughts that you cannot escape. The second track is in my personal top of this album. It is called “Remember”- a highly professional track that I strongly believe can easily compete with best tracks of this music style. The song has easy-to-remember lyrics, a clear and catchy chorus and beautiful and logic melody. Leah’s voice sounds so soft, innocent and strong at the same time, and the music gives life and pure energy to this song. She has managed to show her wide musical diapason and create a real piece of musical art. The track reaches its hottest point practically at the end with the words “I’m reaching so deep, I cannot breathe” – that’s the moment when you understand that you need to listen to this track ten times more in order to get maximum pleasure from it.

“Old World” is one of the outstanding songs with Celtic touch. Great mix of brutal guitar sounds and truly metal passages, solo, gothic vocals, playful and jocular flute and well measured drums. This folky song is followed by “I Fade”, a very oriental song at the beginning in all senses that turns out to be a surprise of the album. While being played, it develops as a Eastern melody integrated into Leah’s powerful, metal song style. Its lyrics are touching and deep, “It is about the psychology of death and pain. The “art of grief”. The middle the album is a presentation of “calmer” songs like “Ex Cathedra” which is more reticent but still has a hidden power inside that we can feel through guitar party and chorus. “Ocean” is a very atmospheric ballad that shows us a new side of the artist that wasn’t that much shown before. Pure and frank track with beautiful melody and accurate singer’s work with all sounds.

“A Thousand Years” has continuesto follow the chosen direction and as well isa very tuneful and deep song. There is one track that sounds like an unbelievable song of elves in couplet that shows a unique ability of Leah to create such kinds of effects and is very metal and rocky in chorus. “Mainland” is an arguable and many-sided track in which everyone will manage to find something interesting for them. Two of the three last songs of the album “Say yes” and “Illusion” are considered to be the most personal as they were written about six years ago when Leah was writing songs mostly for herself, and now they have an extra value for listeners. We can feel the difference and progress in her music. The song in between – “Confess My Love” has good lyrics telling the story of a broken heart, but not soul and spirit. It is written in a rock style and fits well in the track list. The last song “Illusion” has a strong message in it, and it sums up the last tracks and completing the whole idea of the album.

I would definitely suggest you to listen to this album; especially its top tracks. I’m sure that when you start with first three songs-they will enslave your attention till the very end. Let’s definitely wait for LEAH’s future projects that are sure to be even more interesting and exciting for listeners. You can already find her latest EP “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” that includes three songs! All in all, Great job to the whole LEAH’s band!

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