(7/10) The new EP of Xandria is called "Fire & ashes" and follows the latest, very successful, release called "Scarificium". Like on the latest longplayer Dianne van Giersbergen is responsible for the vocals. She did already a good job on the last longplayer, but I would say that she is even better on the new EP. The feels like she 'arrived' in the band.
It's three new songs that Xandria put on this EP. "Voyage of the fallen" is a bombastic four minutes long tune with fast guitar solos and good melodylines. "Unembraced" follows. It's a track with a darker vibe. It has a dominant beat and reminds to Nightwish. The half-ballad "In rememberance" is the last of the new songs on "Fire & ashes". It is kept more melancholic and is five minutes masterpiece of symphonic rock.
Next to the new tracks it is two band highlights that have been newly recorded. "Ravenheart" and "Now or never" got a new expression with van Giersbergen performing them. They are a bit more bombastic than the originals and are a nice add-on for the EP.
There are two cover versions on the EP too that are very diverse. One cover is "I do anything for love" from Meat Loaf. Xandria does a good job hear even though I think that Meat Loaf's voice is so much connected to the song that it's more than a challenge to create a good cover version. Xandria partly managed it. Next to this new interpretation it's Sonata Artica's "Don't say a word" that was recorded and put on "Fire & ashes". Compared to the Meat Loaf cover this song works very well.
This EP with seven songs is a nice bridge till we can welcome the next studio album of the band. Fans and collectors will like it.
- Voyage of the fallen
- In rememberance
- I'd do anything for love (but I won't do that)
- Now & forever
- Don't say a word
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Release date EU: Jul 31st, 2015