|Review: Xandria - Neverworld's End|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2012
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: April 10, 2012
Reviewed by: MetalMike
If a band is going to play Symphonic Metal with operatic female vocals the comparisons to Tarja-era Nightwish are going to come, like it or not. In the case of Germany's Xandria the comparisons are certainly justified. That's not to say Neverworld's End sounds like a lost Nightwish album. While all the songs are very reminiscent of the Finnish pioneers' best works, there is no plagiarism to be found. Xandria simply play upbeat, speedy at times, majestic, keyboard-driven Power Metal with some sublimely beautiful vocals courtesy of recently added singer Manuela Kraller. She easily matches Tarja Turunen in range but her voice has a deeper, breathier quality. While Kraller's voice is the centerpiece the rest of the band are no slouches. Guitars and keyboards carry the melodies equally while the bass and drums provide the solid foundation from which the songs are able to launch through the speakers.
There are no weak tracks on Neverworld's End and while there are no truly killer songs ("The Lost Elysium" comes close) an album this strong doesn't really need one. The whole album is a pleasure to hear, from start to finish. For everyone who still laments Nightwish's infamous open-letter change of direction, Xandria is your new favorite band.
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