Fire and ashes
“Fire and Ashes” obviously belongs to XANDRIA’s latest album “Sacrificum” – you can see this by looking at the CD covers. Musically, the new EP continues the path the band has chosen after parting ways with vocalist Manuela Kraller. Dianne van Giersbergen once again keeps opera metal alive with her unbelievably high and clean voice.
The EP contains three new tracks, two cover songs and two remakes of very old XANDRIA songs. First new one, ‘Voyage of the fallen’, is a powerful and impressive symphonic metal track proving that German/Durch combo is one of the best bands in this shrinking genre. It’s a tipical XANDRIA song with lots of orchestra. But the band is open for something new and so ‘Unembraced’ has some electronic elements and in the beginning one doesn’t believe it’s the same band. But everything is fine when the guitar riff starts. Cool song, guys!
Listen to that Meat Loaf cover!!! It’s brilliant!
The last one of the new numbers, ‘In rememberance’, is a beautiful ballad like every album needs it. Slowly, quiet, melancholic. Great. XANDRIA’s version of Meat Loaf’s ‘I would do anything for love (but I won’t do that)’ is a playground for Dianne’s voice showing her variety. She puts a lot of drama into the song within the first minutes, then the tempo rises and the instruments change a lot from guitar only to all instruments of an orchestra plus choir. It’s a rollercoaster at it’s best and a lot of fun listening.
Next songs are – as mentioned – remakes of older tracks that are ‘Ravenheart’ from identically named album and ‘Now & Forever’ from “India”. Old fans can compare Dianne’s and Lisa’s voices. Dianne puts even more opera into ‘Ravenheart’ and her voice is more lightened. For me as a Sonata Arctica fan the cover version of ‘Don’t say a word’ is a big plus on the EP and XANDRIA did a good job in interpreting the song their own way. Really interesting! Dianne again plays with the vocal lines and lyrics and changes them a bit. Love it!
01. Voyage of the fallen
03. In rememberance
04. I would do anything for love (but I won’t do that) (Meat Loaf cover)
06. Now & Forever
07. Don’t say a word (Sonata Arctica cover)