Xandria – “Fire & Ashes” EP (2015)

Label: Napalm Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

Three new songs, two cover songs and two re-recorded Xandria songs. “Fire & Ashes” is the new EP from Xandria and it really surprised me! This is the second album that the band has delivered with Dianne van Giersbergen as the band’s lead vocalist. On the previous album – “Sacrificium” Dianne was definitely great, but on “Fire & Ashes” her vocals shine brilliantly. This EP contains symphonic metal at its best. The album opens with the three new songs. “Voyage of the Fallen” is backed with prominent drums and guitars. It is the lead vocal and choir that give the song an epic symphonic effect – I love the arrangement. “Unembraced” follows and it is another awesome track, still with the excellent drums and guitars, but with symphonic elements in the music. The last new song is “In Remembrance” for which the band slows down with a classical guitar and piano accompanying a melodic Dianne for one third of the song before other instruments gradually join to bring the song to a climax in the last two thirds. Two existing Xandria favourites – “Ravenheart” and “Now & Forever” – are re-recorded to showcase the emotional depth that Dianne‘s vocals are bringing to the band. We also have two cover songs. Meat Loaf‘s “I’d Do Anything For Live (But I Won’t Do That)” and Sonata Arctica‘s “Don’t Say a Word”. The Meat Loaf cover is superior to the original and “Don’t Say a Word” is well done – hearing the song with female vocals is awesome, it is hard to pick version which I prefer. Maybe Sonata Arctica and Xandria should record this song together. “Fire & Ashes” is simply fantastic. The only thing wrong is that it finishes after 35 minutes of music. I really want to hear more. Yes, I will beg. Please Xandria give us more.

Rating – 97/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Voyage of the Fallen
  2. Unembraced
  3. In Remembrance
  4. I’d Do Everything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) (Meat Loaf Cover)
  5. Ravenheart
  6. Now & Forever
  7. Don’t Say a Word (Sonata Arctica Cover)

 

Line Up

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

 

Links

facebook.com/xandriaofficial

twitter.com/XandriaBand

youtube.com/user/officialxandria

xandria.de