ALBUM REVIEW: Liv Kristine – River Of Diamonds


Gothic rock Norwegian heroine Liv Kristine is integrity personified when it comes to representing her chosen genres, the ideal ambassador of grace, fun, shimmery, and shadowy melodic reflection. River Of Diamonds (Metalville Records ) is one of her most digestible yet nonetheless compelling efforts yet, the closest comparison is a merging of a lighter variant of the love rock of H.I.M. with the captivating gothic roots she is known for. 


Liv doesn’t just flirt with the darkness but has walked through challenges and always returned head high with hope, light, and torch songs for us all.


Much of the material here, carefully crafted with Tommy Olsson, builds upon the Have Courage Dear Heart EP to breathless effect. Kristine still has plenty of mastery over the crystaline and velvety voice that makes many consider her the only true front person of Leaves’ Eyes, and even more impactfully, Theatre of Tragedy. Velvet darkness they actually don’t fear, but rather stan! 


Kristine has had a remarkable life and pours that experience, creative drive and flair for imagination into these moving songs for one of the best outings she has delivered yet (which says a lot when you have ‘Meredead’, ‘Deus Ex Machina’ and ‘Assembly’ on your resume already).


Let me discuss my personal favorites here, as a lot of reviews will likely regurgitate the same shit. The whole album is good, but the first six tracks in particular knock your socks off one after the other. Østen Bergøy of Tristania duets to brooding effect on The 69 Eyes meets Sisters Of Mercy-esque black fishnet, lace, leather and biker boots ready ‘Our Immortal Day’.



‘No Make Up’ is sure to be a fan favorite sing-a-long, a beautiful and maze-like splendor, and is both sorrowful and self-celebratory. The melodic hard rock power of ‘Maligna’ is one of the strongest and angriest cuts, Kristine even dropping F-bombs as she forcefully lists abusive situations she hopes people find their way out of. 


‘Gravity’ feels like a slightly industrial-tinged ballad that could be distantly related to the aforementioned ‘Assembly’ or if Sneaker Pimps were goth, the vocals drifting along spacious piano and beats like ripples along soothing but yearning waters.


The highlight of the record for me, a big Moonspell and Liv fan, is hearing Fernando Ribeiro crush the title track so hard with her. They really knocked it out of the park, obvs. To say it is a perfect single for Kristine is an understatement. It lodges into your head and won’t let go, spilling a whole daydream world into your psyche and a vibe you will want to remain inside of throughout your workday.


Michael Espenæs interweaves stunningly with Kristine on Jon Lord‘s ‘Pictured Within’ and you can feel the bond between the couple. The octave shifts are warm and moving. The whole record balances perfect restraint between supportive musicianship for showcasing Liv’s vocals at the forefront but also exhibiting wonderful song and performance-craft. 


‘Love Me High’ and a cover of the very famous and potentially cheesey ‘True Colours’ (Cyndi Lauper) exhibit how deft delivery from a pro can nail sentiment without stretching into the artificial sweetener territory of so much bad pop music. 


All in all, the whole record does indeed flow like a hypothetical diamond river, one reward after the next to be found as well as some delightful twists and turns. 


Buy the album here:


8 / 10