On their 1998 debut album, Evanescent, Everfading, Fall of the Leafe displayed the typical qualities of Finnish heavy metal: a bevy of Scandinavian death and doom metal tricks spliced with folk music and laden with grandiose song titles. Formed in the town of Turku two years earlier by vocalist Jani Lindström, guitarists Jussi Hänninen and Kaj Gustafsson, bassist Juha Kouhi, and drummer Marko Hyytiä, the group had issued a number of demos leading up to their first contract with tiny independent label Defiled, but they were clearly still searching for a comfortable direction to pursue. Enter new vocalist Tuomas Tuominen and keyboardist Petri Hannuniemi, who helped flesh out the band's sound with gothic overtones for the sophomore August Wernicke in 2000. Recorded with returning guitarist Gustafsson (he'd been temporarily replaced by Mika Rostedt on the aforementioned L.P), 2002's Fermina showed even more improvement while bringing Fall of the Leafe closer to the more conventional, if still slightly skewed, style of hard rock made popular by Finnish headliners Amorphis. This direction was further explored by 2004's Volvere (introducing new drummer Matias Aaltonen), which was Fall of the Leafe's first recording for English independent Rage of Achilles Records.
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