Xandria – “Sacrificium” (2014)

Label: Napalm Records

Review by Tony Cannella

When it was announced that the long running German symphonic metal band Xandria parted ways with vocalist Manuela Kraller after just one album (“Neverworld’s End”) it came as a huge shock. What would this mean for one of the more durable and consistent bands in the symphonic metal scene? Well, the band has enlisted Ex Libris vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen and has released a new album (“Sacrificium”), and while it may be debatable whether or not this is their best work, it certainly is an album that sees the band pulling out all the stops.

The opening song “Sacrificium” lets us know what we are in for, straight away. At over 10-minutes it is interesting that they chose to begin the album with an epic of this nature. Dianne van Giersbergen’s vocals are huge and wickedly operatic. The songs are well written and the band has always known when to add just the right amount of symphonic elements and then pull back as to not over-do it. A perfect example of this is “Stardust” which features some pretty cool heavy parts. The other long song on this album is the 7 ½ -minute “The Undiscovered Land” which is also one of the best tracks. As always Xandria likes to incorporate some cinematic style influences into their music and this continues on “Sacrificium”. Other highlights include: “Nightfall”, “Dreamkeeper” and “Temple of Hate”. “Sacrificium” features 12 songs and a playing time of over an hour.

Maybe Xandria sees this as their last best chance, but with “Sacrificium”  the band has really gone for it. The addition of Dianne van Giersbergen is a good one and her performance helps push “Sacrificium” over-the-top.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Sacrificium
  2. Nightfall
  3. Dreamkeeper
  4. Stardust
  5. The Undiscovered Land
  6. Betrayer
  7. Until the End
  8. Come With Me
  9. Little Red Relish
  10. Our Neverworld
  11. Temple of Hate
  12. Sweet Atonement

 

Line Up

  • Dianne van Giersbergen – Vocals
  • Marco Heubaum Guitar & keyboards
  • Philip Restemeier – Guitar
  • Steven Wussow – Bass
  • Gerit Lamm – Drums

 

Links

Facebook * Twitter * Site