DRAKKAR, BMG RELEASE: MAY
25, 2004 REVIEW: JULY 5,
know it's going to be a bad album
when the singer has a key line which
he/she follows for each song. Such
is the case with the German band Xandria.
Being as this is their second album
our review of the debut album which
got a seven), there are some truly
unforgivable and entirely forgettable
tracks which make up "Ravenheart".
be clear about one thing: metal is
metal. No matter how you try to disguise
it with other genres. It sticks out
wherever it goes and I feel a band
should not attempt to hide what they
are. Xandria are doing just that.
Their so-called "innovative"
usage of classical and medieval elements
might be impressive if it hadn't been
done to death by so many other gothic
metal acts out there. True to goth
form, however, they didn't even bother
to use actual classical instrumentation.
No, they opted for cheap keyboard
presets. The combination of this nauseatingly
cliched sound with a female vocalist
whose voice goes flat several times
(check out track four "Eversleeping"
for the worst example of this) serves
as a prime example of how gone all
the life is from anything which bears
the name goth in its description.
after wave of stabbing guitar riffs
pummel the listener in a valiant attempt
to cover the numerous flaws of "Ravenheart".
But to no avail. Once one looks beyond
the shimmering surface, they are left
with poorly constructed melodies and
bland, lifeless intent. I really wish
these sorts of bands would stop. They
may love you on the festival circuit,
but you'd not rate a raised eyebrow