(7/10) Xandria is already around since the early 90's but started to get more into focus from 2000 on. The music of the band from Bielefeld, Germany is to describe as symphonic metal. They are comparable with bands like Nightfish.
Xandria didn't have a lot of good luck with their singers. With Dianne van Giersbergen, who is not related with Annike van Giersbergen, the band has their forth vocalist. Let's hope that she will stay in the band for a few years, which would be from a continuity standpoint a good thing.
Since the former singeress Manuala Kraller did a very good job the curiousity was sky high about the performance of Dianne. Already at this stage I can say that she did a good job. The new album called "Sacrificium" became a logical continuation from the former LP. Dianne's vocals are classical and operatic. Actually she is not that far away from Manuela Kraller. This also means that Xandria's big idols are still the Finnish genre grandfathers from Nightwish. Parallels are more than visible and audible.
In my opinion Xandria is brave to kick-off the album with the longest track. "Sacrificium", the title track, is also the opener of the new record. With an epical length of 10 minutes the song is really special on the album. In my opinion it is also one of the highlight. It's many-faceted, with a lot of heavy riffing parts as well as slower elements, inclding some spoken word sections. The choir adds even some more bombast to the tune. The driving metal track "Nightfall" is another good song on the album. It is less pompous than the other tunes and this fits the band actually very well. "Temple of hate" goes into the same direction. A power metal track with some slower parts (which actually have similarities with the earlier Alan Parsons (after 1:45 min.)) Next to that the song is full of screaming guitar soli and in the end you find some Irish elements. The heaviest composition on "Sacrificium" is called "Betrayer". Pounding drums and a slow heavy riffs dominate this song. It spreads an dark and gloomy atmosphere and is really thrilling.
The production is powerful and balanced. The mix between vocals and instruments is as it should be, which leads to a warm and organic sound.
But I also have to say that I'm not the biggest fan of the operatic and dramatic female vocals. I prefer more the style of Sharon den Adel and Doro and I like the mix which Liv Kristine found with Leave's Eyes.
But however, the album is a good one and definitely to recommend to all fans of Nightwish and Tarja.
- The undiscovered land
- Until the end
- Come with me
- Little red relish
- Our neverworld
- Temple of hate
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Symphonic Metal