Xandria - Fire & Ashes (Napalm Records)

  Van Muylem    2 augustus 2015

Xandria strikes back with a brand new EP called Fire & ashes and follows the latest, very successful and beloved, release called Scarificium. The full CD was the first one with Dianne van Giersbergen as their new leading lady. It was a shot in the rose!

Not only the CD was a fine piece of music but she also confirmed on stage! With the new EP we can she an evolution: Dianne is more and more integrated and the band now act as one resulting in an even better result! If you already read positive things about this one, well: I can fully confirm all the great things on this one!

To start with: we get three new Xandria songs. It starts with Voyage of the fallen: a bombastic gothic symphonic metal pearl with fast guitar solos and a magic melody. The vocals are just perfect! You get sucked into the story and forget everything around you. The music gets you into a whirlwind of emotions and a great symphony. Can’t wait to see this one getting performed on stage. Unembraced is the next one, a bit softer, but yet very melodic and yet a bit darker! Fans of Nightwish will love this one, just listen to the beat and drive and set your conclusion! A melancholic and symphonic half ballad called In rememberance is a pearl, yet another proof of their positive evolution. This five minutes masterpiece will enchant you! 

The first cover on this EP is I do anything for love from Meat Loaf. Xandria does a good job. It ain’t easy to work on a world famous track, but they succeeded with brio and even changed the female parts onto male and vice versa without destroying the whole track. The more you listen to it the more you figure out that the bombastic sound is simply typical for the new Xandria sound. It must have been a challenge and they just did it with brio. I hope they will have the chance to perform it more and more on stage.

As Dianne and Xandria also perform old tracks they decided to re-record two older tracks, showing that even the older tracks get what they deserve: the perfect treat! Ravenheart (2004) and Now or never (2005) get a more bombastic sound and a higher drive, showing off the new direction that the band took. I must say that Ravenheart is by far my favorite one, it somehow touches a weak spot and makes me melt. I hope old and new fans have the same feeling!

As last track we get the last cover with their interpretation from Sonata Artica'sDon't say a word. I read a lot of positive things about this last one and can – once again – only confirm the fire and the passion put onto this bombastic symphonic metal pearl. The way they did it, it sounds as if it is indeed one of their own tracks! I hope you agree with me.

My conclusion is that this new EP is just a perfect taster for what will come, expectations rise and I feel Xandria is ready to conquer the world!


  1. Voyage of the fallen
  2. Unembraced
  3. In rememberance
  4. I'd do anything for love (but I won't do that)
  5. Ravenheart
  6. Now & forever
  7. Don't say a word