Xandria- “Sacrificium” (Napalm Records)
Epic, symphonic, bombastic – such is how I’d describe the majesty of Xandria. Now with new Dutch Ex Libris vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen, who incidentally fits like a glove with her delicate Tarja like soprano vocals that brilliantly match founder guitarist Marco Heubaum’s lofty playing as well as his ambitious material. Opening with the 10 minute title track, it’s clear that the band have set their sights high as although musically “Sacrificium” sounds just its 2012 pivotal predecessor “Neverworld’s End”, it is a definite step up with songs like ‘Stardust’, ‘Come With Me’ and ‘Our Neverworld’ taking the band into the realms of film score metal graced by massive orchestral backing and heaps of gothic choirs! Despite all of this, Xandria are still able and more than willing to rock it out with crunching riffs and powerful drumming when they want to, showing the unpretentious honesty of their roots beyond their grandiose symphonies. Powerful and passionate, incorporating a big sound, and unashamed in its emotional overload, “Sacrificium” is twelve songs of sweet suaveness that take you back into the dark and mystical world of Xandria!