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Xandria – Sacrificium

With the latest full length “Sacrificium” Xandria proudly introduces the new vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen and, since we keep on noticing frequent line up changes in so many female fronted bands, hopefully this time things will work out better. Despite line-up instability and lack of commitment issues, Xandria steadily proceeds along their majestic symphonic pathway. In fact, “Sacrificium” simply adds additional stylistic details and improved musicianship to the renowned musical recipe that brought a huge success to bands like Nightwish and Epica.
The title track is intensely grandiose and gives you immediately an idea of what to expect from Xanndria’s work on this album. It is noticeable that the band is trying to recreate a quite successful trend empowering the guitars riffs with a generous dosage of triumphant keyboards orchestration and strong operatic vocals & choirs that suit the symphonic theme.
“Nightfall” follows exactly the same music layout with dominant and flawless soprano vocals gracefully supported by meticulous orchestrations and catchy guitar riffs.
“Dreamkeeper” begins more quietly with soft piano melodies permeated by a fairytale like atmosphere. This track is particularly catchy with simple melodies and a chorus very easy to remember.
“Stardust” is another song that could easily attract the devoted symphonic metal fanbase. With an absolutely precise array of vocal skills Dianne van Giersbergen channels the golden era of Nightwish with Tarja while Marco Heubaum diligently provides the right musical tapestry to support and enhance her powerful vocals.
“Betrayer” sounds quite intriguing with a more gothic tinged atmosphere and a faster rhythm that gives the guitars a chance to shine with loads of tighter riffing and shredding before passing the scepter again to Dianne van Giersbergen.
“Our Neverworld” is a delicate operatic semi ballad focusing almost completely on Dianne van Giersbergen’ s flawless performance further enhanced by an ethereal dreamlike orchestration.
All the gentle and softhearted listeners will also be delighted by “Sweet Atonement” where melancholic harmonious melodies performed with piano and violins create the ideal musical frame for Dianne van Giersbergen’s highly emotional delivery.
Overall, with every key element fitting perfectly in the right place, “Sacrificium” sets another important step that would help Xandria gain more popularity in the symphonic metal scene. While “Sacrificium” might not shine for an extraordinary uniqueness, it will be an absolutely pleasurable listening for all symphonic metal lovers.

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