This is grand, orchestral, operatic metal with lofty ambitions and high aims. It’s been a while since I’ve caught up with Xandria, and it seems they’re hungrier than ever for big things.
And Theater of Dimensions is big, in pretty much every definition of the word when applied to music.
Featuring a plethora of guest vocalists, (from Firewind and Soilwork, to name a couple), the main focus is, of course, the luscious vocals of their charismatic and emotive singer. Her performance is first-rate, handling all of the material with ease. She has a very good range too, with all manner of different types of singing being performed skilfully.
The album lasts 75 minutes, and as you can imagine it covers a lot of ground during this time, culminating in the 14 minute epic title track. Not content with flogging one symphonic horse for the entire time, Theater of Dimensions takes in many different types of epic metal as it unfolds, giving the impression of a well-rounded, sumptuous feast. Alternatively, think of a classical, orchestral, operatic film soundtrack, only one played by a metal band.
The variety is needed for something as long as this and it’s to Xandria’s credit that they mix things up, injecting power metal, heavy metal, thrash metal, folk, classical, balladry and instrumental aspects into the album’s bombastic core.
It’s all very good.
The songs are well-written and memorable. The band are obviously accomplished songwriters by this point in their career and Theater of Dimensions is clearly a very professional and polished release.
If you’re a fan of the style then it’s is pretty much a given that you’ll find a lot to enjoy on Xandria’s latest opus.