Frequent changes of vocalists are very inherent to sympho-metal bands. Xandria also had such problems. Though, in 2013 Dianne Van Giersbergen joined the band and recorded awesome ‘Sacrificium’. And now, in the beginning of 2017 the band release their new album ‘Theater Of Dimensions’.
After first, not very deep listening it seemed to me that I hear Nightwish from 2000’s (‘Wishmaster’, ‘Century Child’, ‘Once’), only because of Dianne’s academic opera vocals. But I need to mention that unlike Mrs. Turunen, to which inherent some coolness, Dianne’s vocals are much more emotional. Sometimes it’s tender, sometimes it’s hard, sometimes she use some estrade receptions. That’s why it’s very interesting to listen to it, although sometimes the conjunction of riffs, keyboards and vocals reminds that something similar has already been listened.
An album contains 13 quite diverse songs. Here some pathos and epic can be found, (“Death To The Holy”, “When The Walls Came Down (Heartache Was Born)”), some cheerful melodies, even there is a place for instrumental (“Ceilí”) with a number of folk instruments.
In Forsaken Love” and “Dark Night Of The Soul” Dianne use all her charm. Tender, sensual and enchanting, perhaps, her voice can be described precisely with these words. Anyway it’s better to listen to it, because these songs will hardly leave someone indifferent.
“We All Murderers (We All)”, which was released in December is very interesting musically. Powerful and bit sinister guitar parties are quite differ from the patterns that inherent to this genre. Variety of riffs turns the song to a hellish, but very interesting mix, that departs from the usual canons of sympho-power-metal.
An album ends with self-titled 14 minutes creation. “A Theater Of Dimensions” starts as middle-age ballad, played only by piano and acoustic guitar. Other instruments enter gradually, and the song turns into a story, play or performance; there is a place for dialogue, choirs and of course for a tragedy. Passages from one part to another are very smooth, so “A Theater Of Dimensions” despite its richness sounds very organically. Nothing grates on the ear, allowing emotions to overwhelm the listener’s head. In a word, “A Theater Of Dimensions” is an album quintessence, and it seems one more bar that Xandria set to themselves.
According to musician themselves: “[…] Made us fearless. Made us push our boundaries once more. Made us cross some so-called genre defining borders. Made us bundle all our trademarks and take them to the next level. All this makes the most colorful XANDRIA album so far. It contains our most heavy and most emotional moments”. And for me, they really made it for 100%.
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