Label: Napalm Records Playing Time: 75 Min Release: 27th January 2017
I have been a fan of Symphonic Metal for quite a while now. But until today, I have somehow overlooked the band Xandria from Bielefeld / Germany. Luckily this has changed now and the impressive new album “Theatre of Dimensions” is the reason. It is the 6th release since the founding of the band in 2000 and the 2nd album since the entry of vocalist Dianne von Giersbergen (not to be connected with The Gathering’s former vocalist Anneke von Giersbergen, who is not even remotely related to her).
But what makes “Theatre of Dimensions” such a fantastic album? First of all, it is the complex, multi-layered song writing. It creates some sort of soundtrack atmosphere and can compete easily with such genre kings called Nightwish. The same importance has the versatility of the music. The band easily shifts between fast Thrash stuff (‘We are the Murderers’), mid-tempo head-banger-friendly stuff (‘When the Walls come down’) and ballads (‘Forsaken Love’). But all of these facts would be worthless, if the songs themselves were weak. But they are not! ‘Death to the Holy’, ‘Call of destiny’ and ‘Burn Me’ are some of best on the album. But the absolute highlight is ‘Ship of Doom’, which is quite hidden in the second half of the CD. Dianne receives some male support here, which creates a great atmosphere and adds a nice dynamic to the song. But not just this song, the whole album is really great! I want more!