Label : Lion Music Records

Review By Tony Cannella

The Swedish band Xanima were originally formed in 2007 by Pelle Handen and female vocalist Jade Ell. The band have been compared to Evanescence, Enigma and Kate Bush and have just issued their debut CD “Inside Warrior”. I have to admit that I was a bit taken aback when I first started listening to the CD, but it only took me until about halfway through the second song to realize that this is really cool. The above mentioned comparisons are pretty accurate, but the band adds their own groove and vibe to the material that is presented here.The rock solid groove of the opener “The Deed and the Damage” sets things in motion on the right foot. It’s a bit of a subdued track, but it is a good song and the high point are definitely the smooth vocal delivery of Jade Ell. “Caged” is next and it has a pop feel to it, with a harder edge – I could really see this coming out as a single, it has a definite up-tempo feel to it and this was one of the highlights for me. “Poltergeist” keeps things going and there is a dark vibe that goes with the song. Other highlights include: “In The Lens”, “Soaring”, “The Essence of Being” and “Exodus”. Xanima includes some really great vocal harmonies throughout “Inside Warrior”. The vocals of Jade Ell are very strong and at times she reminds me a bit of Shirley Manson of Garbage. Xanima are a band that came as a bit of a shock to me (in a positive way). Overall, “Inside Warrior” is a very impressive debut that is quite different from many the current crop of female fronted metal bands. The band are reportedly working on album number 2, it should be interesting to follow the progression of this promising new band. A solid debut.

Rating – 80/100

 

Tracklist

  1. The Deed and the Damage
  2. Caged
  3. Poltergeist
  4. In the Lens
  5. Born into This Skin
  6. Soaring
  7. The Essence of Being
  8. Exodus
  9. Inside Warrior
  10. Reality Remains
  11. Short Sighted
  12. So Fragile

 

Line Up

  • Jade Ell – Vocals, lyrics, piano, glockenspiel, accordion and all vocal arrangements
  • Erik Bernholm – Guitars
  • Pelle Händén – Keyboards, programs, composer, sound, premix and production
  • Emeli Jeremias – Cello
  • Jan Hellman – Bass
  • Fredrik Söderström – Drums

 

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