Liv Kristine Espenæs (born February 14, 1976), better known as Liv Kristine, is a Norwegian singer-songwriter who has performed and composed songs mostly for various subgenres of heavy metal music. She started her career in the music industry as a vocalist for the gothic metal band Theatre of Tragedy, and is the former lead vocalist for the symphonic metal band Leaves’ Eyes. Currently, she is a singer of German band Midnattsol alongside her younger sister, Carmen Elise Espenæs.
Liv Kristine was born in Stavanger, and joined the Norwegian gothic metal band Theatre of Tragedy in 1994 as a backup singer, but was soon sharing lead vocals duties with Raymond István Rohonyi. She was fired from Theatre of Tragedy in 2003, a fact she learned about through the band’s website. She had been living in Germany since 1996, and collaborating with the death metal band Atrocity, whose singer Alexander Krull she married on July 3, 2003. With the five musicians from Atrocity, she formed a new band, Leaves’ Eyes, in August 2003. She has also released five solo albums, the most recent of which was released in October 2014 through Napalm Records.
Kristine has a soprano vocal range.
In 2005, Liv Kristine was nominated for a Grammy award with Cradle of Filth for the song “Nymphetamine”.
In 2016, Liv joined Eluveitie as a session vocalist for a couple of their live shows.
On April 16, 2016, Leaves’ Eyes stated that Liv Kristine, who formed and had the idea of the band project, was no longer the singer of the band.
In December 2017, it was announced that Liv joined her sister Carmen’s band Midnattsol. She was originally announced to be a guest on their new album but after some discussions, the band picked her up as a permanent member.
Kristine helped to pioneer the beauty and the beast vocals approach, later used by many other successful bands such as Tristania, After Forever, Epica and Within Temptation in their beginnings. The term “beauty and the beast” refers to an aesthetic contrasting “angelic” female vocals with male growls or aggressive singing. Paradise Lost and The Gathering had already made use of this technique on some songs from their earlier albums but it was the Norwegian Theatre of Tragedy, Kristine’s former band, that first released an entire album devoted to this approach with their self-titled debut in 1995.
Vervain / 2014
1. My Wilderness
2. Love Decay (feat. Michelle Darkness)
4. Stronghold of Angels (feat. Doro Pesch)
8. Two and a Heart
Limited edition has three bonus tracks, two of which are vocal re-recordings of Stronghold of Angels and Love Decay with only Liv on vocals.
12. Love Decay
13. Stronghold of Angels
Vervain is the fifth album by Liv Kristine. It was released in 2014 on Napalm Records.
Libertine / 2012
2. Solve Me
4. Vanilla Skin Delight
6. Paris Paris
7. Wait for Rain
8. Love Crime
10. Meet Me in the Red Sky
11. The Man with the Child in His Eyes (Kate Bush cover)
Libertine is the fourth solo studio album by Liv Kristine, released in 2012 on Napalm Records.
Skintight / 2010
3. Train to Somewhere
4. Love in Grey
5. Emotional Catastrophe
6. Life Line
7. Boy at the Window
9. Versified Harmonies
10. The Rarest Flower
Limited edition has one bonus track.
11. One of Them
Skintight is the third album by Liv Kristine. It was released in August 2010 on Napalm Records.
Enter My Religion / 2006
1. Over the Moon
2. Fake a Smile
3. All the Time in the World
4. My Revelation
5. Coming Home
6. Trapped in Your Labyrinth
7. Blue Emptiness
8. You Are the Night
9. Enter My Religion
10. Streets of Philadelphia
11. You Take Me Higher
12. For a Moment
Enter My Religion is the second album by Liv Kristine. It was released in 2006 on Roadrunner Records. In an interview Liv Kristine gave with Brave Words And Bloody Knuckles in 2006, she was quoted as saying “When it comes to music, doing one thing is not enough. I’ve got a lot of different sources of musical inspiration, and I know that doing one thing is easy and saves time, but I wouldn’t know what I would do with all my ideas and dreams if I went that direction. I have to bring them to life somehow, so doing a solo project is a way of being creative. With me, the creative process is an ongoing thing, so it really comes down to the planning. My husband (Atrocity frontman/producer Alex Krull) and I have the same profession, I have a fantastic mother-in-law, and I’m also able to close the door when I leave the studio or tour bus. Time off is time off and work is work, and I enjoy both.”
The album received mixed reviews. In an early 2007 issue of Terrorizer Magazine, it got 2 of 10, and the reviewer called it “Euro-pop bilge”. But Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles thought differently, calling it “a melancholic pop-rock album geared towards a non-metal audience. While it does have commercial potential-particularly on the European market- it is also a surprisingly strong multi-faceted piece of work well distanced from the Britney Spears/P!nk/Jessica Simpson formula.”
Deus Ex Machina / 1998
2. Deus Ex Machina
3. In the Heart of Juliet
4. 3 AM
5. Waves of Green
6. Take Good Care
8. Portrait: Ei tulle med øyne blå
9. Good Vibes Bad Vibes
11. 3 AM
Deus Ex Machina is the first full-length album from Liv Kristine. Unlike her follow-up, “Enter My Religion“, she only co-wrote two songs: the title track and “In the Heart of Juliet“. The song “3 am” is a duet between Liv Kristine and Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost.
It was re-issued in 2007 on Candlelight Records, with the catalog number 338.
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