Xandria – Theater Of Dimensions (Napalm Records)

Genre: Symphonic Metal

Xandria are back in a big way and Theater of Dimensions makes a statement almost as big as their sound.

With symphonic metal groups there is always going to be a lot going on, but the Germans harness and unleash their sound perfectly alongside the impeccable vocals of Dianne van Giersbergen.

The power and skill the band possess is shown in abundance from the very first song, Where The Heart Is Home – a six minute epic that manages to engage and surprise the listener at every turn.

Theater of Dimensions comes after 2014’s well received Sacrificium and the subsequent 140 date tour and you can tell that Xandria are a group who are in their groove. Death to the Holy flows a lot more fluidly than the opening track of the album, but van Giersbergen has the skill to change track at any time and she seemingly delights in doing so.

That’s not to say that this isn’t an album for the blood and vinegar type metalheads as the two singles from the LP, Call of Destiny and We Are Murderers (We All) are hard, fast and out and out brutal.

The duo really allow guitarists Marco Heubaum and Philip Restemeier to show off their work, as the first one lets rip with the type of shredding that would bring Lemy out of his grave, guitar in one hand whiskey in the other.

Similarly We Are Murderers (We All) is a hard hitting tune that brings in some delicious, gravely vocals that are timed and placed to perfection. There is little accident that the pair were chosen to be singles for Theater Of Dimensions and they are two of the standouts from the album.

Symphonic metal can be an incredible powerful medium and when it’s produced well it can sound like no other genre in music. Xandria are at the top of their game and this album is proof of that.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Power and poise