Xandria / New lineup debuts dynamic set at Islington Academy

German band Xandria have been through a difficult time with band changes and a lack of activity over recent years. Tonight, unlike Delain, their set was built around their latest album, The Wonders Still Awaiting, their first album since 2017’s Theater Of Dimensions. With six of the seven songs played tonight from the new album, the only old piece was crowd favourite Nightfall from the 2014 album Sacrificium. 

Xandria

Islington Academy – 22 April 2023

Words: Adrian Stonley

Photography: Robert Sutton

Xandria - Islington Academy – 22 April 2023
Xandria – Islington Academy – 22 April 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Like Delain, there were some issues within the band which saw a number of departures from the ranks, and it was not until last year that the band reinvented themselves with the arrivals of Ambre Vourvahis as the new vocalist, Tim Schwarz on Bass, drummer Dimitrios Gatsios and guitarist Rob Klawonn replacing departing long time members Gerit Lamm and Philip Restemeier.

Xandria - Islington Academy – 22 April 2023
Xandria – Islington Academy – 22 April 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

So, to the set, Xandria only had a short forty-minute set, and this was clearly built around the new material, which will have no doubt sat more comfortably with the new musicians. It is fair to say that the band were well received, with the venue already nearly full when they took to the stage. Clearly, there was as much interest in Xandria as there was in Delain. 

Xandria - Islington Academy – 22 April 2023
Xandria – Islington Academy – 22 April 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

The set, though relatively unknown, was well received. Ambre is a more than competent vocalist who has the ability to change from high operatic scales to death growls and back in the blink of an eye.

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Xandria - Islington Academy – 22 April 2023
Xandria – Islington Academy – 22 April 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Stand-out material from the new album was Ghosts which was a multi-layered and well-textured piece enabling the band to show their individual abilities, and Two Worlds, with its mid-piece breakdown. Nightfall with its operatic vocal introduction, took us into old Nightwish territory and was unsurprisingly well received.

Xandria - Islington Academy – 22 April 2023
Xandria – Islington Academy – 22 April 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

It needs to be said that the material from the new album is very strong and was received with great appreciation. However, it would have been interesting to hear a few older pieces, which would have enabled us to gauge how they would be interpreted in the new band format.

Xandria - Islington Academy – 22 April 2023
Xandria – Islington Academy – 22 April 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Xandria – Set List

• You Will Never Be Our God [From The Wonders Still Awaiting]

• Reborn [From The Wonders Still Awaiting]

• Ghosts [From The Wonders Still Awaiting]

• Nightfall [From Sacrificium]

• Two Worlds [From The Wonders Still Awaiting]

• The Wonders Still Awaiting [From The Wonders Still Awaiting]

• My Curse Is My Redemption [From The Wonders Still Awaiting]

Xandria - Islington Academy – 22 April 2023
Xandria – Islington Academy – 22 April 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Lineup

• Marco Heubaum – rhythm guitar 

• Ambre Vourvahis – vocals 

• Rob Klawonn – lead guitar 

• Tim Schwarz – bass 

• Dimitrios Gatsios – drums 

Xandria - Islington Academy – 22 April 2023
Xandria – Islington Academy – 22 April 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk
Xandria - Islington Academy – 22 April 2023
Xandria – Islington Academy – 22 April 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk
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