Talking about Xandria is talk about one of the most enduring institutions in gothic metal history since their foundation in 2003, the band is well-known for their albums Ravenheart (2004) and India (2005) these records not only put the name of Xandria on the international metal scene, but also added an extra mile to the gothic metal scene of the time. In 2012 Xandria returns after a silence of four years with a new album, a new front woman, and a new label. Neverworld’s End is the result of those four years of work and perseverance.
Let’s start by point out that Xandria had a bit of trouble finding the right singer after Lisa Middelhauve left the band in 2008. In 2010 the band couldn’t find a better singer than Manuella Kraller (Ex-Haggard) to fill up the position. Manuella’s voice is just beautiful, powerful and totally fits the band’s style. By 2011 Xandria inked a deal with Napalm Records, and immediately the recording process of a new album begun.
Neverworld’s End is a complex record full of bombastic symphonic arrangements, operatic voices and fast guitar riffs. Songs like Valentine, Euphoria, Blood On My Hands, The Lost Elysion and The Nomad’s Crown are a clear example of that. Xandria on this album takes a step back from what many female fronted bands are doing these days, and gets back to the old style that started this genre more than 15 years ago. The album also has some modern style songs like Soulcrusher, and A Prophecy Of Worlds To Fall. The folk component is present on songs like The Call Of Wind and A Thousand Letters. I can say that this album presents a modern interpretation of the sound that started the symphonic gothic movement back in the 90’s.
I had read many reviews comparing Neverworld’s End with the sound of old works by Nightwish, but I think that the record has influences beyond that. You can listen some old Therion, Tristania and Within Temptation along the lines of the album. so compare it with a single band will be unfair for the work that Xandria has put on this album, I feel that they took the traditional sound of early symphonic gothic metal and adapted to today’s standards.
Last week we had the pleasure to talk with Nils Middelhauve bass player of Xandria. We talked about Neverworld’s End, Manuella Kraller, their relationship with Napalm Records and the future plans of the band. This is what he told us.