First hearing Xandria in 2014 with their release of Sacrificium I was able to catch them open for Delain and Sonata Arctica. That was a tease with Xandria only playing 5 tracks as the opening band. This time around Toronto was able to see a full set and over an hour of Xandria.
First up on this tour is the powerhouse band from Los Angeles California, Once Human. Vocalist Lauren Hart with her harsh vocals made sure the crowd was awake. Not sure how anyone can sing like that and make it last for years but in the end a great opening band to get the crowd pumped!! Supporting their 2nd release Evolution, I would place my bet that this melodic death metal band will be around for many years touring the metal circuit all over.
Next up from Calgary Alberta, Kobra And The Lotus. Formed in 2009 Kobra And The Lotus released their 4th studio album on May 12th, 2017 with Napalm Records, Prevail 1. In 2013 the band was the opener for the Def Leppard/Kiss tour awarding them many new fans around North America.
With this being the first time seeing Kobra And The Lotus, I was familiar with their music and have been looking forward to seeing them live. They did not disappoint. The new material sounded fantastic so I purchased their new CD. As all there could see, lead singer Kobra Paige is no stranger to the stage as her stage presence had the crowd screaming, wanting more. After 8 tracks it was time to say good-bye. We can only hope that Kobra And The Lotus will be back soon and give us a longer show.
Have a listen to Decibel Geek Rachel Leigh‘s recent interview with Kobra Paige and check out the album review too (Kobra Paige Interview / Prevail I Album Review). Here’s my photos from the show: Kobra And The Lotus Photo Gallery
Losing a handful of fans who came to see Kobra And The Lotus, it was time for Xandria to hit the stage at 10:50. You cannot get much more Symphonic then Xandria. They have toured all over Europe and The Americas, and it was a huge announcement to the North American fans when we found out they were doing a headlining tour.
Xandria was founded in 1997 by Marco Heubaum – guitar. With many changes in the band over the years, 2 other band members have been together since their first release in 2003 with Marco. Gerit Lamm – drums, Philip Restemeier -guitar and Joost Van den Broek – keys. In 2013 the newest members Steven Wussow – bass and the beautiful Dianne Van Giersbergen on vocals who hails from The Netherlands were added to the collaboration.
They opened with a couple of new tracks in “Where The Heart Is Home” and “Call Of Destiny”. The crowd was singing along with fists pumped high, enjoying the new material. Throughout the night we were treated to 6 tracks from the new album and classics like “Ravenheart” and the night’s closer, “Valentine“. With Dianne not being the original singer of “Valentine“, she has really proven to be the best fit as the vocalist for this band. Dianne‘s unbelievable beautiful operatic vocal range had the crowd amazed throughout the night. The sound was great this night as my first time at The Garrison.
If you read my review you will see I am a big fan of the new album. Possible Top 10 material for 2017. Hearing the slower track “Forsaken Love” gave me goosebumps as it sounded like we were listening to the record version. When I first heard the first single off Theater Of Dimensions, I wasn’t sure what to think – but it grew on me. Hearing “We Are Murderers (We All)” live really sealed it as an amazing song. Getting a good taste of the harsh vocals of Xandria before Dianne came back on stage to hear the total completion of this superb track.
We cannot forget the song that got me into Xandria and a song that I cannot see ever leaving their setlist for years to come. From their Sacrificium album, “Nightfall”. The crowd went crazy hearing this song. One of the best Symphonic Metal songs ever created in my opinion.
After 14 songs the night came to an end for us all only to hope that it won’t be another 3 years to pass before we see Xandria again.
The North American tour ends May 30th. If you have not seen the show, get your tickets as you don’t want to miss this line-up.
Thanks to Inertia Entertainment for hosting another amazing show here in Toronto.
Shawn “Animalize” Irwin
Kobra And The Lotus
Specimen X (Mortal Chamber)
Hell On Earth
You Don’t Know
50 Shades of Evil
Call of Destiny
Voyage of the Fallen
We Are Murderers (We All)
The Undiscovered Land
Death to the Holy