Symphonic/Celtic vocalist LEAH – described affectionately by her fans as “the metal Enya” – has launched a crowdfunding campaign for her upcoming winter-themed album, Ancient Winter. A variety of bundle packages are available for per-order directly at AncientWinter.com.
Says LEAH, “When I went to create this album, I had the idea of making music that was a bit more accessible than my regular symphonic metal music, while also drawing on themes that really inspire me such as gothic and medieval culture, ancient melodies and fantasy. What I ended up with is holiday music for people who hate holiday music. I would describe Ancient Winter as earthy, atmospheric, gothic, worldly and medieval. I hope this becomes a favorite for metal and non-metal fans alike!”
Ancient Winter features eight tracks – five of which are originals and three traditional century medieval songs that LEAH puts her own unique touch on.
“It’s a mixture of several musical genres and styles, but still it makes something whole and round,” says fiddle/viola/violin player Shir-Ran Yinon. “On one hand you have the Celtic and folk music style…but you also have the orchestral parts that are really epic and are taken a bit more toward the film music direction. You also have parts that are medieval and renaissance style and a few songs are really based on traditional melodies.”
With the help of a generous and dedicated fanbase, LEAH has been able to crowdsource and fund three of her five recordings without the assistance of a record label. These effective crowdfunding campaigns have also afforded LEAH the opportunity to bring in top-notch talent to play alongside her beautiful vocals. A diverse cast of musicians – including Troy Donockley (Nightwish), Anna Murphy (Cellar Darling), Shir-Ran Yinon (Eluveitie), Oliver Philipps (Everon, Phantasma) and renowned string musician – join LEAH on Ancient Winter, adding an international flavor to the album.
LEAH‘s first four albums, Of Earth and Angels (2012), Otherworld (2013), Kings & Queens(2015), and The Quest (2018) are a rapturous blend of a symphonic metal style carefully spiced with Celtic, folk and fantasy. Her emotive vocals are often compared to Loreena McKennitt, Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan.
Ancient Winter, however, offers a slight departure from symphonic metal into a more atmospheric, ethereal sound. It is a more earthy sounding album filled with new instrumentation such as fiddles and uilleann pipes which give it a beautiful harmony of middle eastern feeling and Celtic folk and fantasy.
“This new album we made is very different from all previous releases because it’s the first one that does completely without the element of metal,” says musician Oliver Philipps, who also oversaw production and orchestration. “It turned out pretty great. When LEAH came to me with the idea of doing this winter album, I liked the idea very much.”
Ancient Winter represents a new approach to holiday music as it celebrates winter themes in a way that is sure to give it a wider appeal. This is not simply a “Christmas album” but rather an emotional journey into transcendent ideals that will inspire any listener from anywhere. Visit www.ancient.com for a preview of the album.
“My favorite song on the album is a song called ‘Gaudete,’ which is a beautiful 16th century Christmas carol,” says Celtic piper and flutist Troy Donockley, “I’m a huge fan of Yuletide songs, Christmas songs and songs of Advent, and I’ve had quite an involvement in that area over the years, so it was a winner from day one for me. If you love high-quality music that is beautifully sung that isn’t of the mainstream and is completely accessible, then you will probably love this. It’s a beautiful album.”
Ancient Winter Tracklisting:
The Whole World Summons
Light of the World
Upon Your Destiny
LEAH is a fan-described “Celtic vocal goddess” hailing from the coast of British Columbia, Canada, and is inspired by Celtic and world music influences such as Clannad and Enya to European symphonic and progressive metal influences. Her debut self-released album Of Earth & Angels received international critical acclaim, including landing the “The Best Symphonic Metal Album” Metalstorm Award for 2012. Her 2013 release, Otherworld, is a five-song Celtic-metal masterpiece, mixed by Christian “Moschus” Moos at SPACELAB in Germany (Delain, Everon, Imperia) and features the vocals of guitar legend Eric Peterson (Testament/Dragonlord) on the ethereal metal track “Dreamland.” 2014 was very successful year for LEAH as she raised over $27,000 through Indiegogo via her fans to record and produce her heaviest album, Kings & Queens, which was eventually released in early 2015 through Inner Wound Recordings. The album received dozens of four and five-star reviews, and helped her gain thousands of new fans around the world. LEAH raised over $87,000 in 30 days via Indiegogo and her shop to launch last year’s The Quest, again released via her own independent record label, Ex Cathedra Records, along with Inner Wound Recordings. The Quest received 5-star reviews and critical acclaim.
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