Liv Kristine

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Liv Kristine
Liv Kristine Espenaes 02 (cropped).jpg
Background information
Birth nameLiv Kristine Espenæs
Born (1976-02-14) 14 February 1976 (age 46)
Stavanger, Norway
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1993–present
LabelsNapalm Records

Liv Kristine Espenæs (born 14 February 1976) is a Norwegian singer 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. She is known for her work in close association with her then-husband and leader of the German band Atrocity, Alexander Krull. Currently she is a singer of a German band Midnattsol alongside her younger sister Carmen Elise Espenæs. She also released a number of solo albums in various genres.


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.[1] She was fired from Theatre of Tragedy in 2003, a fact she learned about via an e-mail.[2] She had been living in Germany since 1996 and collaborating with the death metal band Atrocity, whose singer Alexander Krull she married on 3 July 2003.[3] With the five musicians from Atrocity she formed a new band, Leaves' Eyes, in August 2003.[4] 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.[5]

In 2005, Kristine was nominated for a Grammy award with Cradle of Filth for the song "Nymphetamine".[6]

In 2016, she joined Eluveitie as a session vocalist for a couple of their live shows after the departure of their singer Anna Murphy.

On 16 April 2016, Leaves' Eyes stated that Kristine, who formed and had the idea of the band project, was no longer the singer of the band.[7]

In December 2017 it was announced that Kristine 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.

Personal life[edit]

On 3 July 2003, Kristine married Atrocity vocalist Alexander Krull.[3] They have a son, Leon Alexander.[3] Kristine and her husband split-up in early January 2016.[8] She married Michael Hansen, in June 2021.[citation needed]

Her younger sister, Carmen Elise Espenæs, is the vocalist of the German symphonic/folk metal band Midnattsol[9] and of the Norwegian gothic/folk metal band Savn.[10]

Contributions to music[edit]

Kristine at a live show in Israel, 2016

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.[11] 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.

A second album Velvet Darkness They Fear arrived in the following year.[12] Theatre of Tragedy's third album Aégis in 1998 saw the band "venturing into fresh musical territory".[12] The piano was replaced by electronic keyboards while Raymond Rohonyi opted to discard his death growls in favor of a "soft, spoken, sometimes whispering voice".[13] The music was more clean and soft,[13] "stripped of guitar harshness" but with a "near flawless execution" that "prompted many European critics to award Aégis perfect review scores".[12]

For over a decade, this beauty and the beast aesthetic has flourished with many representatives across the European continent.[11] Cradle of Filth has also been known to make use of this approach through guest female vocalists such as Kristine and Sarah Jezebel Deva.[14]



Studio albums;


  • 3am (1998)
  • Take Good Care (1998)
  • 3am – "Fanedition (1998)
  • One Love (1999)
  • Fake a Smile (2006)
  • Over the Moon (2006)
  • Trapped in you Labyrinth (2006)
  • Skintight (2010)
  • Paris Paris (2012)
  • Love Decay (feat. Michelle Darkness) (2014)
  • Skylight (2019)
  • Gravity (2020)


  • Fake a Smile (2006)
  • Have Courage Dear Heart (2021)

Live albums;

  • Liv(e) in Nagold 2019 (2021)

With Midnattsol[edit]

Studio albums;

With Leaves' Eyes[edit]

Studio albums;


With Theatre of Tragedy[edit]

Studio albums;


  • A Rose for the Dead (1997)
  • Inperspective (2001)

Live albums;

Guest appearances[edit]

  • AtrocityWerk 80 (1997) - (additional vocals)
  • Heavenwood – Swallow (1998) - (vocals on "Downcast")
  • Atrocity & Silke Bischoff – "Blue Moon" (non-album single) (1998) - (additional vocals)
  • Atrocity – Non Plus Ultra (1999) - (additional vocals)
  • WeltenBrandDer Untergang von Trisona (1999) - vocals on "The Devil Gets the Profiteer"
  • Das IchRe-Laborat (2000) - vocals on "Des Satans neue Kleider" (Atrocity Remix)
  • Atrocity – Gemini (2000) - additional vocals
  • Atrocity – Thank You – A Tribute to The Sisters of Mercy (2000) - vocals on "More"
  • Genius – A Rock Opera Part II (2004) - vocals on "To Be Free"
  • Immortal Rites – Art of Devolution (2004) - vocals on "Mirror Reflections"
  • Hortus AnimaeThe Lotus Eaters – Dead Can Dance Tribute (2004) - vocals on "Summoning of the Muse"
  • Cradle of FilthNymphetamine (2004) - vocals on "Nymphetamine"
  • Atrocity – Atlantis (2004) - additional vocals
  • Umbra et ImagoMotus Animi (2005) - "Ein letztes Mal" (Leaves' Eyes Remix)
  • DelainLucidity (2006) - vocals on "See Me in Shadow" and "Day for Ghosts"
  • Atrocity – Werk 80 II (2008) - additional vocals
  • Doro PeschFear No Evil (2009) - backing vocals on "Celebrate"
  • Legio Mortis – The Human Creation and The Devil's Contribution (2011) - vocals on "Life Denied"
  • Bob Katsionis – Rest in Keys (2012) - vocals on "Rendez-Vous in the Sky"
  • TýrValkyrja (2013) - vocals on "The Lay of Our Love
  • RomanthicaEterno (2013) - vocals on "Despierta"
  • Primal FearDelivering the Black (2014) - backing vocals on "Born with a Broken Heart"
  • Savn – Savn (2014) - vocals on "I Am Free"
  • Emerald Sun – Metal Dome (2015) - vocals on "Call of Nature"
  • Cradle of Filth – Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay (2017) - vocals on "Vengeful Spirit"
  • Orden OganGunmen (2017) - vocals on "Come With Me to the Other Side"
  • Lux in Tenebris – To A New Eternity (2018) - additional vocals on "The Grand Design"
  • Ben Blutzukker - Queen of the Nite (2019) - additional vocals on "Queen of the Nite"
  • Myrkgand - Old Mystical Tales (2019) - vocals on "Chthonian Cyclops"
  • Mortemia - The Pandemic Pandemonium Sessions (2021) - vocals on "Decadence Deepens Within"
  • Tales of a Sleeping Giant (2022) - vocals on "Summer's End", "Lost in Emptiness", "Morgana"


  1. ^ "Liv Kristine – Official Website". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Ex-THEATRE OF TRAGEDY Singer Says She Was Betrayed And Deceived By Her Bandmates". Roadrunner Records. 27 August 2003. Archived from the original on 3 October 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Dunphy, John (15 July 2005). "Liv Kristine Espenaes Krull (Leaves Eyes) : Interview". Music Archived from the original on 27 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  4. ^ Reesman, Bryan. "Atrocity: Twenty Years of Passion, Progression and Perseverance," Metal Maniacs, December 2006, p. 113
  5. ^ Interview with Liv Kristine about 'Njord'- Metalexperience webzine, december 2009. (16 December 2009). Retrieved on 5 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Artists – LIv Kristine". Napalm Records. 2012. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Liv Kristine – Official Website » LEAVES' EYES announce new singer".
  8. ^ "Leaves' Eyes – Official Website » Brand new interview for ROCK COR / Russia!".
  9. ^ Nordlys – CD von Midnattsol Archived 1 August 2012 at (27 December 2007). Retrieved on 5 August 2012.
  10. ^ "Midnattsol, The Sins Of Thy Beloved Members Join Forces In Savn -". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  11. ^ a b Reesman, Bryan (1 November 2007). "They Will Rise: Metal's female ranks on the move". Retrieved 9 August 2013.[dead link]
  12. ^ a b c Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Theatre of Tragedy". MusicMight. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  13. ^ a b Eldefors, Vincent. "Aégis review". Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  14. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Cradle of Filth". MusicMight. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2008.

External links[edit]