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Xandria - Theater Of Dimensions

Published January 25 2017

=Staff's pick

Where The Heart Is Home
Death To The Holy*
Forsaken Love
Call Of Destiny*
We Are Murderers (We All)
Dark Night Of The Soul
When The Walls Came Down (Heartache Was Born)
Ship Of Doom
Song For Sorrow And Woe*
Burn Me
Queen Of Hearts Reborn*
A Theater Of Dimensions

Genre Symphonic Metal
Dianne van Giersbergen
Tracks 13
Marco Heubaum
Running time 74 Min.
Philip Restemeier
Label Napalm Records
Steven Wussow
Release January 27, 2017
Gerit Lamm
Country Germany
Producer Joost van den Broek
Similar artists early Nightwish, Epica

Guest vocals by: Henning Basse (Firewind) track 13, Zaher Zorgati (Myrath) track 11, Björn Strid (Soilwork) track 5 and Ross Thompson (Van Canto) track 8.

Xandria caught my attention with the Sacrificium album (2014), with the chorus beast Temple Of Hate being the first song I heard with them, and I immediatly took on a liking for the classic, old school operatic metal forged in the same vein as the early albums by Nightwish, but a tiny bit more intense and with some rougher edges.

The brilliant dramatic soprano vocals by Dianne van Giersbergen give it most away, and especially in songs like Song For Sorrow And Woe, Call Of Destiny and Queen Of Hearts Reborn. They are strong, powerful and thick, yet with a great and smooth tone being very soothing to listen to. Absolute top class in the genre.

So far I have only worked my way through half of the band's back catalogue but I have clearly noticed that they have constantly taken steps in the right direction, and continue to do so, with the latest shift of vocalist being the icing on the cake, even though no shadow at all should fall on the previous singer Manuela Kraller.

It happens a lot in Xandria songs to make it a tad more interesting than your average symphonic and operatic band, and they incorporate a great deal of nice melodies and, again, great vocals from Dianne van Giersbergen. This album is also a little heavier in parts than before which is a nice touch which suits them well.

This album continues pretty much where the last two albums have left us, perhaps a bit more modest in tempo and intensity in a direct comparison, but with more diversity and dynamic. There are a couple of fillers to be found (We Are Murderers (We All) and Dark Night Of The Soul), meaning non-saying songs rather than bad, but overall they manage to hold an impressively good quality throughout the extensive playing time, as with the earlier albums.

It's a safe and solid purchase for the already initiated fans, and something to start paying attention to for the as of yet oblivious fan of this genre and especially the early works of the band that serves as an obvious inspiration.








7 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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