Music and Bands

Theater of Dimensions – Power of the Orchestra

There are times when I just feel like doing another album review from my collection. This time, I thought it should be this one since Xandria is finally breaking the silence this month of where they’ve been.

I discovered them through a friend who was going to see them in two cities so I decided to listen to their latest album to hear what they were like. It’s the only album I have so far, but it’s really good. The last thing I heard was that their singer Dianne was leaving and they have had numerous changes in vocalists.

Now it’s time to dive into the last album they made.

Where The Heart Is Home

This is probably one of the most powerful intros I’ve ever heard in any symphonic metal album and band in general. It’s the whole buildup that lures you in. It makes me think of myself as a female Arishok standing before all of those who follow the Qun, chanting in the language the oath and whatnot.

Then it takes you into the main event of the song and holds a tight grip on you that doesn’t let go from start to finish. That’s my best way of describing it, it’s simply amazing.

Death To The Holy

When I first heard this song on YouTube it was in a different key, but then when I got the album itself, its key was even better!

I will admit when I first listened to this album, I was playing Dragon Age for the first time so prepare yourself for a lot of references as you read this. This song made me think of my Inquisitor meeting the Iron Bull and his Chargers for the first time at the shores of the Storm Coast. This is simply, another beautiful and powerful song all the way through. It’s like an epic battle between the Chargers and demons from the Fade until I intervene, I love it.

It is the start of something between my Inquisitor and Bull and how it ultimately grew into love.

Forsaken Love

This is a pretty song that took a little time to grow on me, but the more I listened, the more I loved it. I really enjoy the melody the most and this is where I began to really love Dianne’s voice, it’s a shame she’s not in the band anymore.

I don’t know why this song makes me think of the Iron Bull when I romance him in the game, it’s probably because the relationship is relinquished towards the game’s final ending, based on a critical choice you have to make, during his personal mission. That is something I could never bring myself to do!

Call of Destiny

I’m not totally in love with this song, but it is still a great tune regardless. The music video features a female warrior who traverses through the woods and confronts another woman and they duel. The younger one from the beginning prevails.

I never figured out the story behind it, maybe it’s just there to add to something to the video. Or it could be that those two women are related? There I go again searching for the logic! Anyway, decent song, I don’t listen to it very often.

We Are Murderers (We All)

No matter how hard I tried, (okay maybe I didn’t really), I just couldn’t like this song. I felt like it didn’t fit with the tone of the album. It was like it stood out, but not in a way that I liked. I suppose I can see what other people like about it but it’s just not for me.

Dark Night Of The Soul

This is definitely the darkest song in the entire album, it makes me think of the darkspawn, mainly the Architect and Corypheus and their stories. How Corypheus became the monster that he was and his imprisonment and the Architect’s rise in power starting from The Calling novel. It’s just a situation where the song makes me think of something based on its sound you know?

Oh God, the guitar solo is one of my favourites in symphonic metal of all time, it sounds powerful with a tone of despair. The overall melody is so dark and beautiful and it’s also my favourite Xandria song to sing too!

When The Walls Came Down (Heartache Was Born)

This eerie song brings back the opera vocals while still maintaining that dark tone like its predecessor, although it is considerably more fast-paced.

It doesn’t make me think of anything in particular but I still enjoy listening to it from time to time.

Ship Of Doom

We’re now halfway into this album and the first half was absolutely fantastic but here, it feels like it doesn’t continue to uphold that, at least for me that is.

This is a pretty cool song but I’m not really into these pirate-themed songs, no matter what band it comes from. You could say that’s why I just couldn’t get into Alestorm. Oh well, more for the rest of you.

Ceili

Most of the songs on this album are 4 – 6 minutes long but this one is the shortest. It has a cool riff for sure. It almost sounds like an instrumental continuation of the last song since I’m picturing a sailing ship when I hear it.

One thing that could make it epic as hell would be to make the image like the ships in Treasure Planet. I don’t particularly love this instrumental but it is still powerful enough to not bore me.

Song For Sorrow And Woe

We’re back to the dark theme, this one isn’t as great as Dark Night of the Soul but I still enjoy it to a certain degree. I sure can’t sing this one because I don’t have that vocal range like Dianne does!

It’s a pretty song, nothing else I can really point out other than that.

Burn Me

Another miss for me, I just couldn’t get into this song. It seems I prefer certain keys for me to really love a song. It definitely has an appeal to it, but yeah, not exactly my cup of tea. It does have a great riff though.

Queen Of Hearts Reborn

The very first Xandria song I heard and it has a lovely melody and solo. Once again I am thinking of myself as Arishok when I hear this even if it is not actually about it. It also makes me think of the Red Queen herself, I mean, how could I not?

It’s a beautiful song that is like a game that ultimately leads to an ascension to the throne once more, it’s like the Queen of Hearts in Alice: Madness Returns where she is presumably defeated but in reality, she still rules in her castle with her forces but in a different form.

The spoken parts by Dianne are also epic too and it’s the sprinkles on the ice cream that make me love this song and what makes it unique.

A Theater of Dimensions

Yep, can’t have a symphonic album without a finishing track that is longer than ten minutes! It takes a good level of an attention span to listen to tracks as progressive as these. There are some that I like and love, and others, not so much.

What about this one? It has a lovely start that makes you want to sing along before it plunges you into the heart of the sound that increases the speed slightly. These songs can be difficult for me to share my thoughts on because they have so many parts to them that are ever-changing every few minutes!

After a while, once reaching the halfway mark, it didn’t really grab me as much as the other two long progressive tracks that I like by Nightwish. It’s okay but amazing.

So, what do I think overall, it’s a great album, more than half of the songs are fantastic and there are just a few oddballs that I didn’t really enjoy so I’d say it deserves, at least, a good grade, even if it isn’t five stars.

My favourite tracks:

Where the Heart is Home

Death to the Holy

Forsaken Love

Call of Destiny

Dark Night of the Soul

When The Walls Came Down (Heartache Was Born)

Song For Sorrow And Woe

Queen Of Hearts Reborn

So yeah, well done in my books. I thought I’d put this review out since now I know that this band still exists and in two days they will have an announcement to share.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

👽Emily

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