Showing posts with label xandria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label xandria. Show all posts

Monday, February 27, 2017

video review: 'theater of dimensions' by xandria

You know, I don't know if I had covered this a few months ago I would have gotten more hits off of it, but I am a little disappointed this doesn't seem to be attracting more attention. Eh, it happens, but still...

Anyway, it's not the only review I'm dropping tonight, so stay tuned!

album review: 'theater of dimensions' by xandria

So I've talked a little before about the rise and growth of symphonic metal on this channel, but one thing I haven't touched on as much was the very brief moment in pop culture where it crossed into the mainstream, specifically in the early-to-mid 2000s. Of course, it was the sort of crossover that was driven by one of the absolute worst entries - yes, I'm talking about Evanescence, and you'll get the full extension of that rant if they ever release that next album they're threatening - but for a brief segment of time, acts like Nightwish and Within Temptation had a chance to at least snag attention on the fringes of rock radio, and you definitely saw their sound on albums like Century Child, Once and The Silent Force pivot slightly in that direction.

But one factor that tends to get overlooked is like with any other trend, there arises bands that want to copy or at least get a taste of that same success, and symphonic metal was not an exception. You had obvious wannabes like Delain which continue to this day or bands like After Forever, which disbanded only a year or so after the boom collapsed in the mid-to-late 2000s. And somewhere in the middle falls Xandria, which despite forming in 1997 didn't release a debut album until 2003. And for the next five years, right in the heights of the subgenre's boom, they released four albums, none of which I'd argue are all that memorable or well-produced, with India probably being the best of them. And yet as the 2000s ended, rotating through singers and bassists and guitarists, you could easily make the statement that the band might not last.

And then something strange happened. After a fairly solid release in 2012 with Neverworld's End with Manuela Kraller fronting - the only record for which she was frontwoman - the band seemed to stabilize their lineup with the recruitment of Dianne van Giersbergen, arguably their best lead singer to date - of no relation to Anneke van Giersbergen, I should stress. And with the release of 2014's Sacrificium, I started noting a marked improvement in the arrangements and writing, to say nothing of some more spacious production. This was even further enhanced on the sharper EP Fire & Ashes, and thus I had reason to hope going into Theater of Dimensions that the improvements would continue - was I right?