Archive for Xandria

Headliners announced for Northern Symphony 2018

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 23rd September 2017 by Nico Davidson

Coming up to its fourth year, Northern Symphony – the UK’s premier symphonic metal event – is set to take place on Saturday 21st April at its home The Venue in Selby North Yorkshire. Having featured the likes of Winter In Eden, Alwaid, Old Corpse Road and more on its line-up in the past, Northern Symphony is already looking to have another great line-up following the announcement of French philharmonic metallers Whyzdom as the headliners for the 2018 edition.

Whyzdom was founded by guitarist and orchestrator Vynce Leff in early 2007, already well known in the progressive sphere having produced several successful albums for the British label Cyclops Records. After recruiting the band members, a first EP Daughter Of The Night was recorded less than 6 months from the band’s inception. It got instant acclaim from reviewers and music fans around the world.

Although still a young band, Whyzdom were invited to play in several festivals in France – most of the time as headliner – and won the Metal Female Voices Fest Contest in Belgium in October 2008. They played in the 7th edition of this great Festival and also played as official support to Delain to launch their début album in 2009, released by the British label Ascendance Records.

In June 2010, Telya Melane, lead vocalist left the band. Lisa Middelhauve, former Xandria singer, accepted to be “guest lead vocalist” for performances at the Raismes Festival in 2010 and for their concert in Paris as support for Tarja.

While touring in France, Belgium, UK, Switzerland, the band composed their new album BLIND?. Elvyne Lorient joined Whyzdom in February 2012 and recorded all the songs as lead vocalist. The album was released late October, by one of the most important European metal label: Scarlet Records.

The band are now fronted by the talented Marie Rouyer, who joined in 2013, starting with the “Blind?” European tour. Since then, Whyzdom have gone onto play various festivals around Europe including The Dames of Darkness.

Tickets for Northern Symphony 2018 can be found at this location for £15.

Xandria unveil album preview clip

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 15th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

German symphonic metallers Xandria, who are fronted by the powerfully voiced Dianne van Giersbergen, are set to release their new album Sacrificium next month on 5th May via Napalm Records. As such, the band have unveiled a taster for the new album, so fans can sample what it is to be expected from the new release. The album taster can be heard below.

Xandria will also be hitting the UK in May for two shows, which are as follow:

09.05.14 UK – London / Underworld
10.05.14 UK – Bilston / Dames of Darkness Festival

Xandria online:

http://www.xandria.de
http://www.facebook.com/xandriaofficial

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Valkyrian Festival announces two more bands

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 10th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Valkyrian Festival, which is in aid of Rape Crisis, has another three brilliant bands to this year’s bill. This year’s Valkyrian Festival already boasts a number of talented bands from both the UK and Europe, including Scottish black metal royalty Cnoc An Tursa, as well as Scarborough-based instrumental progressive death outfit Bharghest, as well as the more symphonic sounding Aonia, Azylya and Divided We Fall alongside the thrashtastic Reign of Fury and Dutch powerhouse Ex Libris, who boast Xandria’s new vocalist Dianne Van Giersbergen amongst their ranks.

Added to the final day of the festival are Spanish gothic metallers Tears Of Martyr. Having started as a doom metal band, the band’s sound soon developed in something darker featuring a lot of the key elements found in their music now. Tears Of Martyr have in the past opened for the likes of Epica, Draconian and Dark Tranquillity. Their next album, Tales, is set for release on 26th April 2014 through Massacre Records.

Announced alongside Tears Of Martyr are the festival’s special guests for this year Kent-based rabid thrash/death metallers Wretched Soul. Hailed as “a rising star in the underground thrash metal scene” by Musicosis, the quartet are a fine addition to the festival. The band comment:

Wretched Soul are very excited to be performing at Valkyrian Festival 2014 and to once again be sharing a festival stage with our good friends, Reign of Fury, alongside Bharghest and so many other great bands. Good cause, great crowd. It’s cool to be playing Bridlington again as well, which is one of the most metal towns we’ve played so far! See you there!

The full line-up for Valkyrian Festival 2014 is as follows:

Fri. 21st November
CNOC AN TURSA (Headliner) – Bharghest (Main Support) – Drekavac – Exile The Traitor – Crooked Lizard (Opener)

Sat. 22nd November
AZYLYA (Headliner) – Sakara (Main Support) – Sorronia – Northern Oak – Badge – Chemikill – Mørktår – Divided We Fall – Clunge Hammer

Sun. 23rd November
EX LIBRIS (Headliner) – Reign of Fury (Main Support) – Wretched Soul – Aonia – Alice In Thunderland – Tears of Martyr – Avalon – Synchronix

Valkyrian Festival 2014 is in aid of Rape Crisis and will take place at Basement (formerly Shades Nightclub) in Bridlington from 21st – 23rd November. Weekend tickets are priced at £15 and are available for pre-order from http://vmevents.bigcartel.com. Day tickets are also available at the follow prices: £7 (Friday) – £12.50 (Saturday/Sunday).

Valkyrian Festival is sponsored by The Crypt of Curiosities and Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums. For further details, head over to the official Valkyrian Festival Facebook page.

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Ex Libris, Drekavac, Mørktår and Reign of Fury announced for Valkyrian Festival 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21st January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Drekavac have been announced as support to fellow Scottish black metallers Cnoc an Tursa on Friday 21st November at Basement in Bridlington as part of Valkyrian Festival, which is in aid of Rape Crisis. Founded in 2011 by lead singer Hyperion, guitarist Mite, and drummer Mephistopheles, Drekavac made their debut onto the underground metal scene via a limited CD demo entitled The Litanies of the Dead in 2012. Inspired by black metal from its inception to its modern incarnations and inspired by folk, death metal and other musical elements, the band’s music was resplendent in its aggressive and melodic vocals, guitar work and relentless drums.

Less than a year later, the band’s fluid line up solidified with Xross on bass and Sceadugenga on Lead guitars. The band recently entered the studio to record their debut album Incipit Demonas Pandorum, which promises to be an impressive release.

Keeping in the vein of black metal, London misanthropic black metal coven Mørktår have been announced for the second day of Valkyrian Festival on 22nd November, where they will be sharing the stage with Belgium’s Azylya as well as Hamerex, Sakara and Divided We Fall. This will be Mørktår’s second show in Bridlington, following their show on 22nd November 2013 where they supported Finnish death metal titans Re-Armed at an almost sold-out show.

Created in 2006 as a solo project, Mørktår had never released a demo until an anonymous drummer was hired in 2008. Cries from the Dungeon was originally self-released in just London and Bergen, Norway. After this release, the drummer parted from Mørktår due to personal and musical differences with Thrym Mørktår. Again Mørktår was a solo project. This time self-releasing Reaped by Death E.P. Mørktår signed onto Thorn Laceration Records in early 2009 and re-released Cries from the Dungeon and Reaped by Death. Fra dette Mørk… was another self-release, limited to just 9 copies with blood stained cassette covers. In 2011, Vordhr (ex-Salems Orchid) was hired and an instrumental demo was released, limited again to just 9 copies on cassette only. Later in 2011 Mørktår recorded another demo, Now Cold and Dead… this time with a new bassist, Morrigan. This demo caught the attention of Salute Records from Sweden, who re-released it on a professional CD-R format. In 2013, a new drummer in the name of Sinmara has been added to the roster, replacing Vordhr, who left in 2012, creating an even more stable line up than the previous.

Bringing with them a more 80s styled thrash and NWOBHM dominated sound to the final night of Valkyrian Festival 2014 with them are metal band Reign of Fury, who played their festival show at Bloodstock 2012. Since the release of their highly acclaimed debut album the band have made an impressive impact on the live scene, becoming well known for their shows. Reign of Fury are also currently working on their second album which is due for release later this. The band commented:

Reign of Fury are very excited to be part of a fantastic event in aid of such an important cause. As a band that’s highly motivated to use their music for positive effect, playing Valkyrian Festival has been an ambition since we first found out about it. The blend of bands planned for 2014 make this one to watch, and we can’t wait to hit the stage and play for the NE fans!

Dutch progressive powerhouse Ex Libris will also be making their return to the UK as the final headliner for Valkyrian Festival 2014, making this their first UK show since The Dames of Darkness Festival in 2013 where they support fellow Dutch metallers Delain. The band whom features the very talented soprano vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen, also the frontwoman for German symphonic metallers Xandria, released their new album Medea on 18th January. Ex Libris will also be playing a number of shows around Europe this year, including one with Azylya in Holland on 22nd February. Further Ex Libris news can be found at their official Facebook page.

Valkyrian Festival will take place at Basement in Bridlington from Friday 21st November to Sunday 23rd November. The event is all-ages but valid ID will be required for the bar. It will also be the first edition of the Valkyrian Festival to feature a European headliner. Tickets are available for £15 from this location. The line-up is as follows:

Fri. 21st November

CNOC AN TURSA
Drekavac
Pantheon

Sat. 22nd November

AZYLYA
Sakara
Mørktår
Divided We Fall

Sun. 23rd November

EX LIBRIS
Reign of Fury

Valkyrian Festival is sponsored by The Crypt of Curiosities and Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums. For further details, head over to the official Valkyrian Festival Facebook page. Other Valk-Fest news can be found on the official Valk-Fest Twitter.

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Sorronia announced as support to Tarja Turunen for six European dates

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 15th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Hungary’s up-and-coming symphonic metallers Sorronia have been confirmed as support for six European shows for Tarja Turunen later this month. Tour dates are as follow:

Jan. 28th – Aula Magna – Lisbon Portugal
Jan. 29th – Sala Arena – Madrid, Spain
Jan. 31st – Santana 27 – Bilbao, Spain
Feb. 1st – Salamandra 1 – Barcelona, Spain
Feb. 15th – Rocking Chair – Vevey, Switzerland
Feb. 16th – Theatro Giovanni Da Udine – Udine, Italy

Sorronia have released its first album, titled Words of Silence, on 28th October, 2013 via Bakerteam Records with world-wide distribution. The beautiful album artwork was handled by the talented artist Alexandra V Bach who also worked with acts like Kamelot and Adagio. The album was warmly welcomed by the audience and the press. The support role on Tarja’s upcoming European tour isn’t the first time that Sorronia have supported a well known act on the female-fronted scene as just recently they were on a shorter tour with the German symphonic metal powerhouse Xandria by visiting Spanish cities: Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Zaragoza.

Sorronia online:

http://facebook.com/SorroniaOfficial
http://twitter.com/SorroniaBand/
http://youtube.com/SorroniaOfficial

 

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Ex Libris – Medea

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Ex Libris
Medea
Released 18th January 2014
Progressive Metal/Symphonic Metal
Self-Released

Holland has become a country known for its female-fronted talent, such as Within Temptation, ReVamp, Epica and Delain, so it won’t come as a surprise to many when I say that’s the country that progressive powerhouse Ex Libris hail from. Having played as support to a few of the above mentioned bands, Ex Libris, who are fronted by the talented Dianne van Giersbergen, are slowly building a reputation for themselves on the international metal scene for their unique and bombastic sound sound. Whilst Medea is their second album, the band have achieved a lot more than most bands have.

Named after the Medea of Greek mythology, the album is kick started by the title track, Medea, which is a raging storm composed of swaying guitar passages and crashing waves of percussion, lined with vocals sharp enough the cut Mount Olympus in two. The lashings of orchestration help add to the tragic and dramatic character of the song. Sailing from the seas of the tragic Medea into the fearsome ocean that is Murderess In Me, the album’s atmosphere morphs into something more sinister, allowing for the music to become more cut-throat whilst retaining its classical and mythic vibe. The riffs have a sharper edge than the previous track, allowing for Dianne’s vocals to glide swiftly over the ocean of the music without hindrance.

On The Ocean’s Command begins with the soothing sound of the sea and the creaking wood abroad a ship as the climatic use of guitars, courtesy of Paul, make themselves heard before the vivid keyboards, as supplied by Koen, make their striking entrance. The song builds itself up into a tense masterpiece, tightly knitting each element of the song together. Dianne’s vocal work is particularly impressive during this track, changing like the winds, expectedly and unexpectedly. The following song, My Dream I Dream, focuses more on the emotion than the dramatics, allowing for a vast river of feeling to flow through each aspect of the track. Peter’s basswork sound more profound, making itself known from beginning to end, especially in sudden thrilling and heavy portion of the track, colliding smoothly with Eeclo’s clear-cut and strict drumming.

Song Of Discord marches in like a column of hoplites on their way to war. There is a powerful and harrowing atmosphere conjured up throughout the song, giving the music more punch than would be expected. The vocal duet of Dianne van Giersbergen and Damien Wilson opened up new possibilities for this song, not just vocally but throughout its performance in which the two vocalists play the parts of Medea and her husband, the hero Jason. It will be interesting to see how Ex Libris can pull this one off live. A Mother’s Lament begins straight away with a hook, grabbing attention from every angle and refusing to let go. The guitars and rhythm sections hammer away, fortifying the song whilst the vocals and keyboards add the glitz and the glam to the song, keeping it from becoming a dull affair.

Daughter Of Corinth sees another drastic change in the pace and sound of Medea, turning into a fearsome hydra of progressive riffs, eerie vocals and hypnotic drum passages while other aspects of the song are more shadowy, keeping withdrawn like a Gorgon hunting their victim. A Tale Told makes use of other elements but remains true to Ex Libris’ overall sound as well before the album moves onto the ten minute and fifty second long epic From Birth To Bloodshed which like some of the previous tracks paves way for a drastic change in the album. The riffs during this track are callous, leaving no room for mercy whilst the vocals are at their pinnacle, adding emphasis to the rest of the song. The instrumentation throughout the song take sup the spirit of the ocean, changing from the violent crashing of waves to gentler sailing.

Ex Libris have a knack for writing good music and Medea takes you down more twists and turns than the Labyrinth, keeping focus on the music as new life is breathed into Medea’s impressively tragic story by one talented band.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Ex Libris online:

http://exlibrismusic.com
http://facebook.com/exlibrismusic

 

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Xandria unveil album details and artwork

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 10th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

German symphonic metallers Xandria, who are now fronted by the talented Dianne van Giersbergen (Ex Libris), are set to release their sixth studio album Sacrificium via Napalm Records on 5th May, later this year. Five days after the release of the album, the band will headline the Dames of Darkness Festival in Bilston, near Wolverhampton.

According to Xandria, the follow-up to 2012’s Neverworld’s End will continue the musical journey and direction of the last CD but will bring in even more of everything people liked about Neverworld’s End. The album artwork can be seen above.

Xandria online:

http://facebook.com/xandriaofficial

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Sorronia announced as support on Spanish leg of Xandria tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 29th October 2013 by Nico Davidson

Hungarian symphonic metallers Sorronia have been announced as support on the Spanish leg of Xandria‘s Neverworld’s End tour next month. Sorronia will also be introducing their new album Words Of Silence, which was released 28th October via Bakerteam Records, to the live scene, making the Spanish tour the first European shows where songs from the new album can be heard live for the first time.

Sorronia online:

http://www.facebook.com/SorroniaOfficial
http://twitter.com/SorroniaBand

Manuela Kraller departs from Xandria, new replacement announced

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 25th October 2013 by Nico Davidson

Classic soprano Manuela Kraller has departed from her duties as vocalist for German symphonic metal band Xandria, citing that she will be following her musical path without the band. While she is regretful of her decision she has also been full of gratitude, thanking both Xandria and the fans for the three years she spent fronting the band. Manuela also stated that this is not the end of her career, but a new beginning.

Dutch soprano and vocal coach Dianne van Giersbergen, who is pictured above, has been announced as the replacement vocalist for XandriaDianne is best known for her work with Dutch symphonic metallers Ex Libris, who appeared at The Dames of Darkness Festival in Bilston, near Wolverhampton, earlier this year. Dianne stated in her announcement that she will not be leaving Ex Libris and that fronting Xandria compeltes her as a soprano, frontwoman and vocal coach. Already, Dutch and German symphonic metallers Xandria have hit the studio to record the follow-up album to Neverworld’s End. As such, the new album will feature the talented Dianne van Giersbergen. The new album is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2014. More details to follow.

Xandria online:

http://www.facebook.com/xandriaofficial

 

Kamelot w/Support @ The HMV Forum, London

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 8th November 2012 by Nico Davidson

Kamelot, Xandria, Triosphere, Blackguard
HMV Forum, London
7th November

Usually when I go to gigs, the doors will open at 7pm and the first band will be on around 8pm – but not this gig. I walked in at 7:40pm after having been held up by the awful traffic through London (no surprise there, really), and I was shocked to find that I had actually missed Blackguard. Now, I’m not sure whose idea it was to put the first band on as soon as the doors opened, but it certainly was not a good one. I had heard good things about Blackguard, so I was actually looking forwards to seeing them. It would appear that I was not the only one to have missed the first band entirely as when asking members of the audience what they thought of them, most people said “I was in the pub”. However, the very few people who were lucky enough to have seen Blackguard said they were brilliant.

The second band on the bill was Triosphere, and it would appear that not too many people were bothered about them. The HMV Forum usually holds between 2,000 and 3,000 people. Tonight, there were maybe 200 people (and that isn’t a typo!). Never before in my life have I walked into a gig forty minutes after the doors opened and gone straight to the front row. I can promise you I am not exaggerating. Triosphere played well, but the emptiness of the room affected the sound drastically, causing too much reverb off of the walls. It sounded like we were in a cave. The crowd reaction wasn’t brilliant either, but that wasn’t the band’s fault as it’s hard to interact with an audience that’s barely there.

Next up was Xandria, who can only really be describes as diet-Nightwish. There were a few more people in the crowd by this point, but that didn’t mean the band played well. There was no definition in the guitar sound, which was incredibly disappointing. I would like to have blamed that on the emptiness of the room, but the previous band’s guitars had sounded superb, and there were less people then. The vocals were lacking too – some parts sounded like they were on a backing track and other parts were slightly out of key. Now, don’t get me wrong, I thought they tried very very hard, but they just weren’t that great. The crowd did, however, react fairly well to them.

The room filled up a little more whilst the stage crew put away the small drum kit, revealing Kamelot’s rather expansive kit. By this point, the venue was maybe a quarter full. Due to the lack of hot bodies jumping around, it was rather chilly in the venue and I was struggling to keep warm. I definitely think Kamelot were being just a little ambitious when booking such a large venue; had they been at the O2 Academy in Islington, it would have been practically sold out. Eventually, Kamelot came onto the stage, one member at a time. They opened with Rule The World, which would have been okay had the sound actually been decent. The show of lights was wonderful, but that really isn’t the point of a gig, is it? A few songs in, the sound improved and the crowd (small as they were) were making a lot of noise and singing along. Despite the blinding halogen lights flashing in their faces every millisecond, they seemed to be enjoying it. Seven songs in, they slowed it right down with a ballad off of their newest album, which really sounded like it should be in a Disney movie. Song For Jolee was hardly bearable, and to make it even worse, Tommy Karevik said (and I quote directly) “Let me see your lighters. I want to see all the screens from your mobile phones!”. Really? REALLY? After this catastrophe came the drum solo. Now, I do like watching a talented drummer show off his skills, but this was just taking the piss. This drum solo was more of a “watch how fast I can play my kick drums” than anything else, and to top it all off, Casey Grillo finished by bashing his cymbals with his fists. I was half hoping one of the cymbals would split and cut his hand open, as that would have been far more entertaining than what he was actually playing. The next few songs were okay, not to my personal taste, but the crowd enjoyed it. The penultimate ‘song’ was in fact a keyboard solo. This baffled me slightly as it really did not fit the mood. They finished with Forever, which was played well, and at the end the band just walked off. Chants of “KAMELOT” coaxed the band back on stage for their encore, which included a bass solo. This truly was a gig of firsts for me, because I have never seen anyone include a bass solo in a set, never mind an encore, and I had never seen anyone try to play a bass as if they were soloing on a guitar. The final song of the night was March of Mephisto, with a guest singer. I am still not sure who he was, but he seemed to add loads of energy to the band for their final song.

I had gone into this gig with a completely open mind, with no prejudice or bias towards any of the bands, but I was highly disappointed. The venue was too big for how many tickets had been sold, the sound was awful and the lights were, frankly, too bright. The last time I was at the HMV Forum, I was there to see Cannibal Corpse and Triptykon, and I could barely move.

2/5

Sophiey Cherry

Interview: Paul Ablaze [Blackguard]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , on 8th November 2012 by hammersmashedlauren

After gaining popularity in not only their homeland of Canada but in America as well, Canadian power metal band Blackguard have been the supporting acts of many tours and never cease to blow away their fans with their live performances and epic albums. I got the chance to interview front man Paul Ablaze where he discusses touring life, Blackguard’s progression in their music, and the possibility of a headlining tour.

Blackguard is currently doing a European tour with Kamelot, Xandria, and Triosphere, and will be working on a new album sometime next year.

 

Xandria and bassist Nils part ways

Posted in News with tags , on 17th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Symphonic metal titans Xandria announced earlier that they’ve parted ways with long term bassist Nils Middlehauve.

The band announced the new via Facebook: We sadly have to announce the departure of our yearlong bass guitar player Nils Middelhauve today. It was mainly due to personal reasons why Nils took the decision to split ways in the future. It gradually became obvious to him that some points of view vastly grew apart, concluding in Nils’ determination to not continue in XANDRIA anymore. Especially since all members are friends first and foremost, any more compromises had been even more hurtful. The band regrets Nils’ decision, yet is respecting it at the same time, even though everyone is really sad about it.

Us, the remaining members in XANDRIA, are still a bit shocked and paralyzed and we can hardly imagine to continue without our yearlong fellow. We went through so many good and rough times together – Nils always gave everything for the band and we all have to be very grateful for his work! Nils – we will never forget the times we had together and we wish you all the best for the future! Thanx for everything!

At this stage no replacement has been determined. We will carefully look for an adequate successor.

Nils kindly will play any show confirmed so far, if no replacement will be found by the time of these very shows.

Following the news, Nils stated the following on his personal Facebook: My dearest friends, knowing a decision to be right does not necessarily make it less painful. To cut it short, I decided to leave XANDRIA. I want to express my dearest thanks to every single band member (and also to everybody involved) for incredible and unforgettable years and memories, and for everything we had and experienced together. And also I thank all of you for your fantastic support and friendship. Keep the dream alive! Up the Xandrians!
Nils