Special written commentaries on each song inside booklet
Makes a great holiday gift!
*We process orders daily! North American orders should receive their orders within 7 business days and international orders within 10-12 business days. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we're very happy to help! Cheers! ~ Leah & Team Ex Cathedra
Troy Donockley (Nightwish), Anna Murphy (Cellar Darling, Eluveitie), Shir-Ran Yinon (Eluveitie, Haggard, Epica), Oliver Philipps (Everon, Phantasma), Rupert Gillett, Jan Yrlund (Tina Guo, Apocalyptica, Manowar), Tom Mueller
It has a unique and winter feel to it like it should. Sounds great and the music is creative and easy to listen to.
I love your music. I just got the ring I ordered and I love it!
easy listening very pleasant
Really enjoy listening to the CD while driving !!!
Thoroughly enjoyable thank you.
Love this unique and appreciated christmas music. We are going to scotland soon and this has the feel of the Highlanders too
Very relaxing and full of Celtic culture!
I play this loudly in the car
Thoroughly enjoy and your next album
It is a good cd and would recommend it to other people.
I have bought two CD’s from you and they are amazing. Thank you for making such beautiful music.
I didn´t quite know what to expect from this music - but I must say I was totally overwhelmed by the beauty and calmness of the music. So soothing and relaxing ! I really enjoyed that !
A very lovely CD, reminding me of my trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Love the CD the packaging looks amazing and the song's are just so amazing and soothing
Still listening to the "Ancient Winter" cd, 'Redemption' being my favorite song, just ahead of 'Light of the World'. I love all of the songs and will be listening to them all winter...and probably beyond! All of your music is epic!
Ancient Winter is rich and layered with the deep tones similar to Enya, but I particularly love the themes of this collection. It is deep and spiritually pleasing.
Close your eyes and travel in your mind to distant lands. Mystical worlds and fantastic places....search within, escape reality for a while and find yourself.
Goes good with the collection and sounds super!
I love listening to the music on this album. Every song is unique and touches me emotionally in its own way. I look forward to receiving my next delivery of 4 CD set. I definitely want more Leahmusic.
Beautiful music, what more is there to say
I love the purity of the vocals, but sometimes the "background" music overshadowed the voice. And as the CD played, I noticed a certain sameness in the melodies. But when I put it on "shuffle" it didn't seem to bother me as much. It was a lovely addition to the Yule music in my collection.
The music is ethereal but Leah’s voice is hauntingly beautiful. I like to listen when I’m driving or after a stressful day. Find myself relaxing and absorbed by the music & voice.
Thanks, Leah, for your work.
The music is beautiful!! Thank you
I have listened to this album multiple times. I took it to my exercise class that is more of a yoga-based class. Everyone in the class loved it! For me because I know of Blackmore’s Night, it is a little reminiscent of it in some areas. But it’s a little bit everywhere regarding mid evil times. Absolutely love the album!
Another terrific album by Leah. Easily my favorite. Ditch the metal and stick with pure Celtic style!
What beautiful music! Perfect for a writer who needs "mood music" to create new worlds!
This CD is excellent both in appearance and content. Thank you..... "H"to
This music is all that I expected it to be. Her voice is beautiful! The accompaniment enchanting!
A great addition to my music collection.
I absolutely love every track on this CD. It can either be Christmassy or just to enjoy. I just wish there were more tracks to enjoy!
I loved this CD. I’m a knitter, and I listen to this while knitting- perfect mood music to create!
Well, first of all, the CD arrived pretty quickly. The artwork on the cover is superb, and the music....WONDERFUL! It was so relaxing just listening to it, feet up on the sofa, a tankard of mead, (or two), in hand, eyes closed and I was away, in a land of Knights, Castles, forests, rivers, standing stones,....well, you get the picture.
Love the album, totally recommend Ancient Winter to everyone, it's superb!!
This is the most amazing music. Transports me to another time and place. Mystical, harmonious, simply beautiful
Very enjoyable music; very nicely created and implemented. I like the strong feeling of Christmas time, and yet not the well-worn songs. Very clearly seasonal, and still original. And the scripture references shine clearly even though even purely secular listeners will enjoy the music. If I had to find a negative, it seemed sometimes that that vocals are a bit muffled and indistinct at times.
The tempo of the vocals contrasts with the frantic drumming, often not in a good way. Recommended as background music -- this way goes great in a gaming environment.
Beautiful & Haunting music. Love it!
I am super fond of ancient music. This CD well fits the bill! Extremely well done, lyrical, melodic, and gorgeous. Don't hesitate to order...you won't be disappointed.
That cover is just captivating... i was personally happy to find a "Christmas" album that wasn't typical... it has such a great celtic feel, superb musicianship and recording... I'm glad to have this album playing in December... but no problem playing it all throughout the year!
Popped this album on and just couldn't stop playing. Loved it so much bought other albums and so far I have not been disappointed. Wonderful music the hits the soul. X
I absolutely love this cd. I played it through 4 or 5 times when I first got it and now listen to it every few days. Can’t wait to get the 4 cd package I ordered in early December. I would love to see Leah perform live.
I ordered this CD shortly before Christmas and was amazed at how quickly it arrived. It is a beautiful mix of contemporary and ancient sounds. Perfect for creating a peaceful night ambiance. Thank you and I can’t wait to order my next CD!
Absolutely love love this album. Listen to it nearly everyday. Thankyou.
One of the finest new traditions 2019 brought me came by way of LEAH's ‘Ancient Winter’. This collection of originals and lost-to-time traditionals has been such a monumental blessing as I went into and through the Christmas season. Songs like ‘Light of the World’, ‘Upon Your Destiny’ and ‘Redemption’ are awash in mystique and awe, rich with incense-smoke and starlight as LEAH weaves the strands of the Nativity and Advent into something as rapturous and sundering as it was always meant to be. A majesty and joviality continued into several revived medieval gems, of which ‘Puer Natus’ is my absolute favorite. A beckoning tannenbaum-dance that carols and wassails with the mightiest joy I’ve likely ever heard from a centuries-old hymn, interpreted with a rolling, irresistible sense of elegance, warmth and renaissance-rich worship. And really, that sums up the entire album. A remarkably beautiful and elegant contemplation on the Advent, filtered through the evergreens and musks of ages past. A gospel of starlight, a carol blown across space and time still smelling of manger hay and frankincense. Eternally captivating.
The music is beautiful and thought provoking
Cant wait for your next CD
Albuquerque New Mexico
A beautifully produced album with superb songs sung with love and passion. I have played more than half-dozen times, so relaxing. Leah is a great artist and wish her much success in 2020. Also website easy to use and communications excellent, postage always on time. Thanks Colin Britt, Newent, Gloucestershire.
I was in on the pre-release campaign for Ancient Winter. As soon as I finally received and listened to it I then ordered 2 more copies to give away as Christmas gifts. The overall production, sound quality, instrumentation, musical arrangements, artwork, packaging, etc., are all top notch! Very well produced and mastered. The sound fidelity is just as well as any of my other professional industry produced albums and in several cases it sounds even better. It's that good! I happen to love the Medieval flare that this album has. LEAH's metal albums are great. But this one is my personal favorite of hers.
A great pice of music ,cant wait to see what she does next.
Excellent album! The case was slightly cracked when it arrived but I don’t care, I love the music!
Leah's Ancient Winter is an amazing album and each song is really great. Especially Leah's voice is magical.
Nice version of the old melodies, easy listening
This is by far one of the most beautiful albums I have ever purchased. I will be looking for others by you.
I just love your music, what else can I say!
This CD was my introduction to Leah and as soon as I saw the promo on social media, the quality and atmosphere of the music caught my ear. Having been a longtime fan of Celtic Progressive Folk music by UK based band IONA, this fit me perfectly!
I loved this cd so much I bought another one to share. It has such a lush sound and feels appropriate for the season with out the over-done Christmas classics. I recommend it 100%!
Great album. A nice combination of new age and world music. Looking forward to a follow-up CD.
I LOVE To listen to Leah's Ancient Winter. It just relaxes me and is very soothing
Extraordinary, beautiful album. Such a beautiful voice resounding in Celtic Christmas music.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE ALBUM!! It has been by far my most played Christmas album this season!!! Honestly there isn't a single negative comment to be made. The songs are AMAZING, the artwork is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL and as always LEAH has put out an absolutely MAGICAL album!!!
Play the CD in my truck often and thoroughly enjoy it !
I rarely purchase music, but when I discovered Leah's Ancient Winter I had to have it. Wonderful music, amazing voice.
I love Celtic music, I listen too it all the time, this album is wonderful. It is a bit different from many of the others, and it stands well on its own.
Fantastic CD. Loaded the music onto my laptop and have it on continous replay.
I m a musician, multi-instrumental, with 20 albums out of my own. I really like the direction and scope of this Winter album. It's a "constant player" in rotation with our Christmas albums. Great job, Leah!
I fell in love with this sound as soon as I heard it and this was my first purchase. Quality vocals, production and beautiful songs and arrangements. As a result I am awaiting a bundle of previous albums. Relaxing and ethereal. Simply gorgeous x
Wonderful mix of new music with some celtic holiday music. Well Done!!!
I love it so much that in one day I picked out and memorized my favourite song on the album and I may have to buy another one or 2 because right now it's in mum car so she can enjoy it before I move and if my nana hears it she'll claim it as hers. I have a family of Celtic music lovers, but I'm the one with the edgy, metal heart <3
After three albums and one EP, Leah the Canadian queen of medieval/celtic metal comes back with her new endeavor, once again the outcome of a successful crowdfunding campaign. “Ancient Winter” is an album devoted to winter and the festive spirit of Christmas. Do not deceive yourselves, though. All you that know Leah, will find all the elements that at times you’ve loved at the sound and orchestrations flowing through this album. The speed is slower, the melodies much more intense and the eight tracks of the album let out an overall atmosphere of delight.
Once again Leah manages to combine the atmosphere with folk melodies (“The Whole World Summons”), the fantasy element with the eastern rhythms (“Light of the World”) and medieval music (“Upon Your Destiny”) with the traditional ethnic idiom (“Redemption”). “The Messenger” makes up the perfect atmospheric bridge to lead us to the trilogy that concludes the album and has a Christmas festive element. It’s about “Gaudete”, Latin carols of 16th century, “Puer Natus”, a medieval Christmas anthem (Latin as well) and “Noel Nouvelet”, a French song with traditional instruments, seducing us along with the ethereal and angelic voice of Leah.
In this musical travel Leah is surrounded by acclaimed musicians like Troy Donockley (Nightwish), Anna Murphy (Cellar Darling, ex-Eluveitie), Shir-Ran Yinon (Eluveitie), Oliver Philipps (Everon, Phantasma) and Rupert Gillett. Cello, violins, violas, keyboards, mandolin, hurdy gurdy, uilleann pipes in full arrangement will take your breath away with their perfect orchestration. Close your eyes and let yourselves in a ride to freezing and snowy places, where tradition, melody and atmosphere eternally rule.
“Ancient Winter” makes up the perfect company by a warm fireplace along with a glass of red wine. Now Leah can feel proud of gaining fair and square a prominent position in the frame next to great voices of the genre like Enya and Loreena McKennitt.
There are times in life when you encounter a magic so deep that it is very difficult to describe using our ordinary language. It awakens something inside of us, something childlike; as adults we lose touch with the magical, but every so often something comes along that allows us glimpses, as though there is a break in the clouds that once again reveals the moon. Just this very morning I was aware of the magical as I walked in the cold fall rain with leaves falling. A door appeared before me, and I walked through it to find myself in a Middle Eastern Desert with dunes made out of sand. We celebrated a winter festival with the different kingdoms and I was tasked to guide a messenger to the elven King. The way was hard and I felt very alone. Before I gave up, something came alongside me and I felt new strength as I accepted the struggle before me. Slowly I entered into foothills, with woods around me. I was joined by other creatures in a marching song. We climbed and marched, until I was quite suddenly in the presence of the Elven King. I delivered my message, but decided to stay in his court for a while, hearing the elven tales. At last and suddenly a new door appeared – a door called Noel Nouvelet, I arose and opened it. This is the magic I lived today, but it was not found in a vision or a book, but rather in this album, “Ancient Winter”, by recording artist Leah.
Whereas Christmas albums have typically disappointed and had a very limited audience and time for enjoyment, to describe such art as Ancient Winter by Leah as a “Christmas” album would be to mislead oneself. There are not the same Christmas songs repeated here that are always re-recorded by every musician. No, this is a winter album, an album that is full of the Christmas themes (life, hope, magic!) without taking you down the same roads; its Christmas music for people who don’t like Christmas music, but even die-hard Christmas music fans will find something reminiscent but new and enjoyable. Leah has succeeded in reaching the widest audience possible. While building on Christmas themes we are taken on a journey through the snow and mountains – an epic quest. What we have with “Ancient Winter” is in essence a fantasy tome written not with ink but with notes, read not with eyes but with the heart.
The case art work is gorgeous and detailed, with homage to Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, Bethesda’s “Skyrim”, and Elizabeth Moon’s “Deed of Paksennarion”. It has 8 tracks that are 35 minutes, and rather than feeling unfinished, it feels perfect. In fact, I recommend listening to it on repeat: it will take you on a new journey every time you listen to it, as though you are going, to borrow the words of C.S. Lewis, further up and further in. Musically it is distinctively Leah (if you are familiar with her other albums: “The Quest”, “Kings and Queens”, “Otherworld”, and “Of Earth and Angels”), yet you will find no blistering guitar solos here. What she has done in “Ancient Winter” is something we always desire from mainstream musicians but never find: creative talent rather than simple regurgitation of previous (and usually minimal) efforts. Leah is an independent musician, which I think has helped her make such a satisfying musical journey, but more than that she has it in her soul, and empties herself into her music. To listen to her music is to listen to her soul as it whispers enchanted secrets. It is standalone enjoyable, whatever style you prefer, without having to be compared to her other albums; it is much like reading Journey to the Center of the Earth after reading 20,000 Leagues under the Sea: this is a different story and well worth considering. I cannot emphasize enough what Leah has done here (truly the impossible!): she has made a winter album that is fresh, fun, enjoyable, and unshackled to the weights that bind Christmas albums – a real pleasure to listen to.
The album was conceived, written, funded, and recorded in a very short amount of time, but the rush does not come out in the music. There are quality musicians, quality instruments, quality recording, quality writing, quality editing; in a word: fantastic. When she said she was toying around with the idea of a Christmas album I tried repeatedly through social media to dissuade her, but I’m very glad she remained resolute. For my purposes I have divided Ancient Winter into 2 sections: the first 5 tracks (written fully by Leah I believe) and the last 3 tracks (reimagining’s of traditional holiday songs). A major theme in the album is light, but without knowing that it is (sort of) a Christmas album, one could easily overlook the connection and just enjoy the journey. Light is often combined with joy and peace while contrasted with sorrow.
The first 5 songs are the part of the journey I previously mentioned ending at the Elven King.
The first song “The Whole World Summons” begins with an ominous Cello, then quickly transitions into orchestra and wintery sounding music. It gives you the idea that you’re stepping into a story that already has much history to it. One thing Leah does frequently on this album is that she uses the same concept in multiple senses. For instance, winter as good, calm, and peaceful but also bad, dead, and ominous. Another example is how track #3 ends very similar to how it had begun, but she was able to capture a completely different emotion and mood with the same notes and words. Ancient winter is full of contrasts, between sorrow and joy (even in the same song), surrender and perseverance. No matter where you are, this album will reach out to you there and join you into the tale.
The second song is “Light of the World”. It begins singing about the light of the world in the 3rd person, but in the chorus she switches to the 1st person “I am the light of the world” which does a few things. First, artistically it works to keep from too much repetition, but poetically it joins the singer and even the audience into the statement: “I too am the light of the world”. Strangely at first this song picks up with a very middle-eastern feel (musically), but quickly turns into folksy/celtic, like a festival of many different cultures.
“Upon your destiny” begins mystically with Leah hum/chanting, but then transitions to a very sober, almost tavern song, which strikes all the more savagely after listening to the cultural festival in “light of the world”. I have intentionally not done a more thorough song analysis as far as “what does the song mean” because I don’t want to ruin the magic. One does not simply remove the magical from the mysterious.
The fourth song, “Redemption” feels very reflective, yet determined, as though the profound realization of a second wind has encouraged others to gather in a forward march. It builds more and more in complexity, but right when you think even the complexity may become monotonous, it shifts to a profound elegance. The notes themselves gain consciousness and build with her to a soft climax.
The last song of the first section “The Messenger” is completely atmospheric. It acts as a buffer between the first 4 songs and the last 3. It feels like something from the Lord of the Rings, as though you are in the court of an Elven King. Things switch from a journey to a destination in the realm of magic. It’s as though the journey is over, the quest fulfilled. Leah’s range comes out throughout the whole album, as does her musical ability and diversity, “The Messenger” reveals it more so since it is void of other distractions such as many instruments or singers. The realm of the mystical is not resolved, only elaborated on.
The second part of Ancient Winter begins with a reimagining of a traditional Latin Christmas song “Gaudete” (rejoice). Though the last 3 songs are not written by Leah, they don’t lack the magic, although they are definitely in a different chapter of the same book; they belong, but it is as though the narrative has changed. Indeed, I describe these final songs as “What happened in the court of the Elven King”. It is hard to know how much of the perfection in this album is due to the songs and how much is the musicians, how much is due to her voice and how much is due to the words. Is it all in the imagination, as though one’s ability to tune in to the magical makes the magical all the more alive? The seventh song “Puer Natus” is also a redone traditional song in Latin and carries with it celebration and joy. The last song “Noel Nouvelet” is in French and begins very mystically, as a foggy morning that slowly clears. Returning to the story, I liken it to a new door appearing while in the court of the Elven King, as though there is much more to experience, more yet to do. The quest has not left the traveler exhausted but rejuvenated and ready for adventure. And indeed, every time I listen to this album I appreciate more and go to places that I have forgotten and maybe never visited. I put it on repeat and feel as though I’m going on many quests – the end welcomes fantastically the presence of the beginning again, as though it was meant to be. This is perfect year round, but on weathery days, Christmas days, and Winter days it is especially welcome. Although you desire more songs, the album leaves you content, and travels through your veins to feed your body air while returning once more to your heart to wrap you in blankets of cheer. When you listen to the first track after listening to the full album, you feel wiser, as though you understand more fully something you didn’t before, but still realize there is much more to know.
How does one review a thing that impacts people in such various ways, accomplishes so much with so little, and causes such stirrings and yearnings? It’s as though you learn to listen so as to understand the message rather than impute new meaning, as it would be silly to confiscate Latin words and redefine them. “Ancient Winter” is very global in its scope, and therefore fulfills what is intended with Christmas albums without reducing itself – all Christmas music tries to do what Leah does. Leah is capable of such diversity in her albums. But all the more I can say is she nailed it.
One last thing worth mentioning whenever you are discussing an album is the musician. Leah is extraordinary. She homeschools her 5 children, she started her own business, built her brand herself, did all her albums without the help of a record company doing all the work, faced unexpected health problems this last year with transparency, courage and determination, and oozes wonder from her core. She is a fount of imagination, and much like finding a favorite author, I look forward to what else she has to say in the future. I greatly respect Leah, not just as a musician, but as a person. That is important to me because most mainstream musicians don’t have anything worth saying and definitely aren’t worth listening to.
Conclusion: 10/10; flawless.
'Ancient Winter' is one of the most anticipated holiday albums of the year. Written & performed by Celtic-Fantasy artist LEAH, you'll be taken to another era as your soul is immersed in Medieval choirs, Celtic instruments, and Worldly flavors of the middle east.