[Symphonic Metal] Xandria – Fire and Ashes EP (80%)

Andrea just released their new EP “Fire and Ashes” that are mostly made of covers of existing songs, here is the playlist:
1. Voyage of the Fallen
2. Unembraced
3. In remembrance
4. I would do anything for Love (Meat Loaf cover)
5. Ravenheart (2015 Version)
6. Now and Forever (2015 Version)
7. Dont say a word (Sonata Arctica cover)

First thing I can tell, Dianne is Dianne, simply fantastic voice. Really a great new generation of Dutch symphonic metal singer. Dianne really made a great job in the 2015 covers or “Ravenheart” and “Now and Forever”. Her great voice is simply awesome on these cover, topped with the musical maturity of the band that give these tracks taken from the early time of Xandria (roughly 10 years from now) a fantastic fresh cover.

“Voyage of the Fallen” gives another proof that Xandria grew in maturity and despite Manuella Kraller is not anymore in the band, Dianne just secured more her position as a great replacement in the band. The band really great a very good quality and certainly put the band as a flagship band of German symphonic band.
“Unembraced” has this kind of Nightwish sound that was not bad. “In remembrance” is a nice metallic ballad giving Dianne the lead of the song, allowing to fully appreciate her pristine voice. Switching lead singer is always a delicate situation and it ever makes the transition or not. It did not make with Anette Olzon back then with Nightwish because of the context and her vocal maturity back then. When Manuella joined the band, she really gave this push into it that made the band going from “meh band” to “A-band”. So yes, when Manuella announced she was parting from the band, it was a bitter pill for me to swallow.

Where I was less excited was the covers of Meat Loaf and Sonata Arctica, as I am used to have a masculine voice impersonated by Meat Loaf and Tony Kaikko that give this low frequency voice that made these songs great, such frequencies are of course well below Dianne range and sound too acute to my ears.

In conclusion, if you are looking for an interesting EP release to go through summer (usually like other cultural creation, summer is a season that is fairly hollow, stuck before Fall and far enough for Spring), this is a good choice. About covers, my thoughts are more mixed and usually stick to the original.

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