Devil’s Review: Xandria – Neverworld’s End

Xandria Group One

Some time ago I was a bit uninspired by the lackluster metal that was being released and I somewhat fell out of love with it. It took a while for metal to find its way back into my veins but it did (thanks to Stream of Passion, for example) and I’ve been constantly immersed in it ever since.

Fast forward to now, and still I find myself relishing all that metal entails: bombastic, epic, heart-pounding and aggressive music that causes uncontrollable head-bobs and spastic hair whipping that leads to the eventual neck aches. Well, at least at my age it does.

Right now, those sounds, sensations and involuntary movements are the direct result of Xandria‘s upcoming release: Neverworld’s End.

Xandria Cover

This album is just brilliant and its scope runs far and wide. Neverworld’s End runs the gambit of all that makes epic metal “Epic”. Xandria’s upcoming album was recorded in the noted Principal Studios and its impressive production delivers both heaviness and clarity. “Neverworld’s End” delivers the perfect union between metal and magnificence: a symphonic metal album full of sensual and breathtaking moments.

The intro to the first track “A Prophecy of Worlds to Fall” starts you off with a Conan-esque feel to it and goes into fist pumping metal at it’s finest. You’ll hear grandiose symphonic, high energy songs and soft and beautiful ballads. You’ll also come across a swashbuckling, grog pounding song just as good as the pirate metal out there today – if not better.

One of my favourite things about this band is their new vocalist Manuela Kraller. Her vocals remind me a lot of Tarja (especially during the Nightwish years) though she’s her own singer and not trying to be a clone. Because of the similarity it also makes me wonder how Nightwish would have sounded with Miss Kraller instead of Anette Olzon, which is still somewhat a questionable choice IMHO. Either way, Kraller is fantastic and could belt out a KFC menu I would still be in awe.

Manuella Kraller

Apart from making an excellent choice in vocalist, the guys from Xandria have the uncanny knack of composing perfectly brilliant songs and have phenomenal musicianship.

I can say without a doubt that there is absolutely nothing to complain about or anything remotely wrong with Neverworld’s End. It’s a fantastical musical ride that I plan on enjoying again and again.

Neverworld’s End releases on February 24th in Europe (March 6th here in the States) on Napalm Records. Really – don’t let this pass you by.

10 out of 10 Sins

in honour of Valentine’s Day, here is Xandria’s first video for Neverworld’s End; Valentine..

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