Xandria – Sacrifium
text: Helena Jakobsson
genre: Symphonic Metal
release: 2 May 2014
label: Napalm Records
Xandria was formed by Marco Heubaum in 1994 and they released their debut album “Kill The Sun” in 2003. There has been some line-up changes through the years and the latest changes is that Dianne van Giersbergen is the new female vocalist.
The title track “Sacrifium” is an impressive first song on the album. It lasts for over ten minutes and during those minutes you really get a good idea of what the album is like.
A very moving string intro causes me shivers down my back and when I wonder what is coming next, the song speed up. You hear Marco Heubaum’s dark voice slowly tell the story of the song.
Then it all comes together when the music explodes, it becomes faster and oh so demanding. I enjoy hearing Dianne Van Giersbergen’s confident vocals. The characteristic mixture of opera vocals and this symphonic metal are very interesting.
The first taste of the album comes with a lyrical video for “Dreamkeeper.” An instant favourite of mine, in a way that it reminds me of the older Xandria songs. The song structure is build up well, together with strong lyrics. Again the beautiful combination of vocals and music, will provide that you push the ‘repeat’ button.
“The Undiscovered Land” also makes an impression on me. Truely enjoying this beautiful ballad. The strenght of Van Giersbergen’s vocals is the eye-catcher of the song together with a harmonic string arrangement. A strong middle part that leads to a strong climax towards the ending of this album.
Changing the female vocalist a couple of times, is probably not a bands dream scenario. It is a pleasure listening to Dianne Van Giersbergen as frontlady of Xandria. Her voice fits very well to the songs on “Sacrifium” and I believe that she will deliver the older songs beautifully on stage. Some of the songs on this album are a bit rough for my taste and I enjoy the ‘easier’ ones more. Nevertheless it creates an interesting and complex that really will grow on you after listening to it repeatedly.
5. The Undiscovered Land
7. Until The End
8. Come With Me
9. Little Red Relish
10. Our Neverworld
11. Temple of Hate
12. Sweet Antoement
Marco Heubaum – vocals, guitar, keyboards
Gerit Lamm – drums
Philip Restemeier – guitar
Steven Wussow – bass
Dianne van Giersbergen – vocals