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Xandria: Sacrificium

It would be somewhat cruel and heartless to suggest that the main point of interest about Xandria is the revolving door through which band members enter and leave but it must be difficult to keep a sense of vision and purpose going when the band is populated by different musicians and singers roughly every five minutes. Take the lead vocalist position as an example. The best known Xandria singer is undoubtedly Lisa Middelhauve (who was married to the bassist, neither of them are now band members)who was replaced by Kerstin Bischof who was briefly replaced by erm, Lisa Middelhauve who in turn left again to allow Manuela Kraller to perform on the Neverworld's End album. Finally Kraller quit the band in October 2013 just before the recording of Sacrificium and Dutch Dianne van Giersbergen now occupies the space upfront. Now onto the guitar and bass positions…

Fortunately despite the upheavals Xandria have always maintained a level of consistency – sadly one which has seen them remain in the lower half of the female-fronted symphonic metal league table along other bands such as Edenbridge. Will this new album produced with the help of Joost van den Broek and Sascha Paeth propel them in the upper echelons? I honestly don't know but it is a very accomplished album topped off by a fabulous vocal performance from Dianne van Giersbergen.

The obvious reference point for this album is early Nightwish with each song being lovingly grand and orchestrated in the epic manner which one would expect from the early Nightwish description. Perhaps the album lacks a "hit" single in the vein of Nightwish's Nemo although Dreamkeeper is within the same paradigm but this is a record which I have been consistently playing from beginning to end and that is the sign of a good 'un.

Track Listing:
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

Added: May 9th 2014
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3107
Language: english

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