Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Xandria - Fire & Ashes

I've always had this weird special place in my heart for Xandria and I'm honestly not quite sure why. At the end of the day it's fairly easy to categorize them as just another "white woman wailing" symphonic metal band. But I get the impression that in fact there is something much deeper to Xandria's success that makes them all the more charming and engaging. There is something strangely visceral here, despite the layers of cheese and the over the top harmonies and triumphant synthesizers that couch the entire piece in layers of aural magic.

I think what gets me about Xandria is how they take every traditional element of symphonic power metal and do it so god damn well that it becomes impossible to deny their greatness. Xandria have a sense of sublime chaos behind them, and they channel this madness into epic and bombastic music that will leave a smile on your face. The quality of the production is incredible too and it helps to make things even more mesmerizing. The way the vocal lines seem to cascade into each other on tracks like Don't Say A Word is stunning. Toss in the bands high quality cover of I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) and you start to see how this band has been able to channel traditional ideas into something greater.

Xandria fill a void in the listeners heart and give them a chance to escape from the day to day drudgery that plagues all of us who must suffer through the bleak life of modern times. Fire & Ashes only real perceivable drawback is that it's simply not long enough to fully immerse yourself in the soundscapes. Xandria are the kind of band who need to put out albums for the message to fully come across. That being said, Fire & Ashes will stand as another gem in the bands crown and will keep fans spinning it again and again!

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