German/Dutch symphonic metallers Xandria is back with their 7th album “Theater of Dimensions”. It is however the 2nd album which features Dianne Von Giersbergen as the vocals after the “Sacrificium” album of 2014.
The band states that it is their most colorful album yet. Colorful of course not meaning poppy and soft but the opposite, great epicness feel and heaviness and tragic nevertheless entertaining narration told by powerful riffs, grand strings and classy operatic vocals by the Dutch singer Van Giersbergen.
“Theater of Dimensions” kicks off with Where the Heart is Home. It feels a bit long – well, 7 minutes is not short at all- and you want to skip to the other ones to find your catchy anthem. And here it comes… “Death To The Holy” comes with all its melodic glory, it´s symphonic, it’s catchy as hell with a whole choir chanting and riffs. It is as paganic as it gets with folkloric elements. Breakdown comes with the choir and Dianne narrating. There you have the drama and cinematic experience. It satisfies enough and I move on to the next song. “Forsaken Love” starts with a familiar melody, I am not saying it´s a generic a symphonic metal song, but Nightwish or Delain minus the operatic singing come to mind by automation. I love it as classic and conventional as it is. It has a wonderful melody and you will probably come back to it to listen to it many times more. There you have your proper symphonic metal album with the whole dramatic vocals and atmosphere. “Call of Destiny” also pleases this genre’s fans. “We Are Murderers (We All)” catches your attention and grabs it until the end, it somehow presents heavier riffs with also heavy clouds in the skies. “Dark Night of The Soul” is a beautiful ballad that you are free to revel in Dianne´s angelic vocals and go on a journey to a soul in distress way back in medieval times. “Ship of Doom” is a folk metal track with polyphonic choirs and operatic vocals. You will like the variation of instruments and mood changing as the breakdown kicks in.
The album cover art has this larger than life quality with the beautiful chaotic digital design. Theatrical journey of the protagonist is summarized by the catastrophic somehow futuristic steampunky horror tale portrayed by the cover art. It definitely parallels with the atmospheric setting of the songs on the album.
Also some well-known guest artists such as Björn Strid of Soilwork and Ross Thompson of Van Canto contribute to “Theater of Dimensions” which increases album’s attractive quality.
Every song is full of quality, production is there, musicianship is there and it definitely serves the genre an enormous justice. If you listen to Xandria and alike bands you are already in for a bunch of drama embellished by the dance of strings, sentimentally loaded keyboards and melodic guitar solos and riffs. Hence “Theater of Dimensions” does not disappoint at all and highly recommendable to the fans who have attires and attitudes in black and are into fantastic literature with a dramatic state of mind.
01. Where the Heart Is Home
02. Death To the Holy
03. Forsaken Love
04. Call of Destiny
05. We Are Murderers (We All)
06. Dark Night of the Soul
07. When the Walls Came Down (Heartache Was Born)
08. Ship of Doom
10. Song For Sorrow and Woe
11. Burn Me
12. Queen of Hearts Reborn
13. A Theater of Dimensions