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Review: Xandria - Fire & Ashes
Fire & Ashes

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 35:01
Tracks: 7
Genre: Symphonic Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: November 13, 2015
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Fire & Ashes

Rated 5/5 (100%) (1 Vote)

I've been touting Germany's Xandria as the next Nightwish for a few years now and in 2015 my opinion has not wavered. Diane van Giersbergen, who joined for 2013's Sacrificium, is the real deal and with the Fire & Ashes EP the band further cement their claim on the Symphonic Metal crown. As I've said in previous reviews van Giersbergen has the elusive ability to sing operatically when needed as she has a beautiful voice but can also slip right into "metal" mode without sounding out of place. The three new tracks on Fire & Ashes are excellent with the bombastic "Voyage of the Fallen" and "Unembraced" backed up with the melancholy and soulful "In Remembrance." There are two rerecorded tracks ("Ravenheart" and "Now & Forever") that are fine but not truly necessary and a couple of covers. With "Don't Say a Word" Xandria give us their version of Sonata Arctica (great for a fanboy like me, your mileage will vary) and "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" their version of Meat Loaf, a "brave" choice (kudos to Bruce Dragonchaser for that description).

Fire & Ashes is worth every penny to the dedicated female-fronted Metal fan as the original tracks are so good it makes you wonder the stuff for the next album must be if these could be relegated to an EP. The rest of the material isn't anything anyone needs to have but doesn't take away from release by their presence. Xandria is at the top of their game right now, don't miss out.

Other related information on the site
Review: Neverworld's End (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Sacrificium (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Theater of Dimensions (reviewed by MetalMike)
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