Let’s face the truth: Xandria is one of the most well-known Symphonic Metal bands. And one of the best. Period. Last year, Xandria released their 6th studio album Sacrificium and now they are coming up with a new EP, Fire & Ashes, including three new songs, two old songs recorded again and two covers.
Although the three new songs are nothing special, since it’s “only” an EP, the melodies are catchy and Dianne van Giersbergen shines with her operatic voice, I guess sometimes she sounds even better than the “Opera Metal Goddess” Tarja. The song “In Remembrance” is a beautiful ballad where Dianne once again proves that she is an awesome singer and her voice fits perfectly to Xandria.
Xandria decided to record two old songs again, both originally sung by Lisa Middlehauve. They don’t differ much from the original versions, but it is interesting to listen to this songs with a different voice (and again Dianne sounds brilliant).
I was very surprised to read that one of the two covers would be “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meatloaf, since this song is very epic, which would fit to a Symphonic Metal band, but I couldn’t imagine this song played by Xandria. And I have to say that the song maybe is a bit out of Dianne’s league, but she does her very best and somehow tries to make it to her own song, which is great.
The Sonata Arctica cover is part of the “A Tribute To Sonata Arctica” compilation, in occasion of the 15th birthday of Sonata Arctica, with covers by bands like Stream Of Passion, Van Canto and.. well, Xandria. As a big Sonata Arctica fan, I had some struggles while listening to “Don’t Say A Word”. It’s not that different from the original, the lyrics were changed a bit, because the original speaker is a male person, and I miss the insanity Tony Kakko puts into his voice.
But in a nutshell, Fire & Ashes is a brilliant EP (and look at this album cover. It’s so beautiful). But let’s hope that Xandria will continue working on a complete new album soon. I am looking forward to it.
01. Voyage Of The Fallen
03. In Remembrance
04. I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) (Meatloaf Cover)
06. Now & Forever
07. Don’t Say A Word (Sonata Arctica Cover)
Playing time: 34:59
Release date: 31 July, 2015
Label: Napalm Records