Xandria welcome their seventh album Theater Of Dimensions to the table which suffice to say sounds exactly like the name implies. Although it’s yet another orchestral affair worthy of a TV Series these Symphonic metallers are very much on top of things with operatic flare.
It’s very hard to fault Xandria’s newest album which makes it even harder to compliment as so many parts are exemplary. In addition to this it tows a line between classic and pop that many bands try but only manage to scrape the surface and Theater of Dimensions is anything but superficial. If there was one thing to moan at it’s the happiness bleeding through the performance. Muting the metal elements and silencing the catharsis.
If you want a ride and a great trip through some elaborately decorated music then jump on and tune in. Ripe with commanding licks and rich with the dynamics of colour this production is commendable foray into virtual reality. Within it’s cadence lies hooks that are too sweet not to cause tooth ache. Which is pretty neat for a cheese.
As mentioned earlier the compositions borrow from pop music, which themselves have their hooks on loan from classical. Xandria have adopted a folkier approach however which you could say is humbling but in context of this album is massive. Now with a stronger rhythm section thanks to the guitar and utilizing the electric guitar to augment the compositions and involving it as artillery rather than as a direct line of communication.
While the compositions are sound, solid and strong their expression is perhaps slightly generic but in a genre over saturated with performers and musicians wanting to add some class to the devilish reputation of metal that’s almost part of the plan. Almost. It’s hard to absorb the pomp of theater when metal has it’s roots in blues. Yet somehow Xandria make a good show of it.
Pacing is everything, especially in music when the entire method is systematically about painting time with noise. Theater of Dimensions delivers an engaging render of ideas and fantasy directed with a keen eye (ear) for detail. Yet in aspiring for sonic beauty it loses the ugliness of emotional truth in its sentiments towards metal. Seeming more aloof than ritual; it’s a nice bedtime story.