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Xandria


Moondance
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Wow I thought they were dead and buried -- for no reason other than they don't seem to be able to keep their singer. They're even worse than Nightwish. ๐Ÿ˜‹ So who will it be this time?

For you guys who don't know about Xandria, they're a German band who will be remembered for a record number of lead singers. Here's what Lisa Middelhauve (the second singer) had to say when Xandria parted ways with Dianne van Giersbergen (their fifth!):

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Aaaand here we go.

The statement. Of Lisa Middelhauve. Concerning the newest โ€žbadโ€œ band in the scene.

Where to begin with? First of all: I have never been an innocent victim. Yes, โ€žXandriaโ€œ for a while ruined my dreams and therefore made me really, REALLY angry. But honestly, I have been a pain in the ass for the band the other way round. I am simply not the type of woman that will use her right to remain silent. I didn't remain silent. I vented โ€“ for years! - and then I forgot about the band.

But wait, who or what IS this band? Is it a sexist monster that feeds from virgin operatic singers? Is it the nasty dragon that imprisons divas in distress? Sorry to disappoint you: no.

XANDRIA is a bunch of disposable guys (plus one disposable lady). It is a group of individuals. It is 4 or 5 musicians, which means we are talking about at least 4 personal histories, egos, personalities and opinions. We are not talking about one big monster against one helpless princess (at a time). We are talking about a clash of egos, which leads to an obviously catastrophal miscommunication.

Ha, I can imagine your faces now! Lisa fucking Middelhauve doesn't take the chance to simply bash XANDRIA! Surprise! Well, I have to admit it: I really enjoyed the shitstorm. I am only human. I felt so hurt by this โ€žmonsterโ€œ that it was pure amusement I felt when reading some of the more creative insults. Popcorn, please!

But now some time has passed, let's breathe and think. In the following I will try to explain some things to you that most of you simply can't know.

1.) Never blame the management for the band's miscommunication. The management is not the boss of the band. The band is the boss of the management. A manager gets paid to make the band as successful as possible โ€“ BY the band. It is the management's job to keep the band working and to generate as many possibilities as possible (for example open business contacts, generate new markets and so on). This also means that a good manager will always try to make the band take as many of the generated opportunities as possible, even if bandmembers don't feel well. No matter which bandmember.

Being mad at a management, because it only cares for the business aspect, is like being mad at a cook because he only cares for the food. They are simply doing their job.

2.) Of course, the pressure is high. I sang two of my worst shows when I was really ill and to proud to cancel. But also, my ex husband Nils Middelhauve entered the stage under very difficult circumstances several times, I know that the drummer (Gerit Lamm) suffered a bad BAD pain in the back for years โ€“ and entered the stage. Even Marco Heubaum (and I assure you, I totally don't like that little sausage) played on with bleeding fingers.

Maybe you can compare this with a kind of competition. Who is the toughest motherfucker? โ€žShe never cancelled a show!โ€œ is a compliment. โ€žShe cancelled a show!โ€œ a reason to call her diva. What would you do?

3.) A singer gets all the attention. Boohoo guys, too bad for the rest of the band. But really this means that a singer doesn't only have the pressure to please the fans no matter what โ€“ it also means that she constantly has to proove the band that she doesn't think she's something โ€žbetterโ€œ or โ€žmore importantโ€œ. This is true for both genders, male and female singers. Additionally a female singer has to proove she's everything: beautiful but Rock and Roll enough to not care about her outter appearance too much. Intelligent but not arrogant. Warm-hearted but mysterious. No little princess but also not manly. But those are general problems of society, not a XANDRIA-specific issue.

Of course, this story has two sides at least. How would you feel if you rehearsed until your finger bled, until your back felt like breaking for years and years and years and you carry around all that heavy stuff, you drive the band van, you contribute everything you can to the band โ€“ but you remain unnoticed? That singer bitch claps her hands only once and hundreds of fans bow just like that? Who does she think she is?

I understand this. But maybe it would be a good start to ask her who she thinks she is. Most of us singers would probably answer: I want to be one of you, but they won't let me and you won't let me either. The microphone is a cold friend.

4.) Do I still think XANDRIA is a monster? No. I don't like Marco, because I simply cannot respect his ways to deal with people in general. Also I don't think he is a very original songwriter, and he likes to hide those who helped him bring some soul into the music from the public.

I don't like the way that the other bandmembers always hated those ways, too, but never had the balls to really change anything. I don't like what this band turned me into. I didn't like myself anymore back then and it was a long way from Lisa, the XANDRIA-hating fury to Lisa, the who-the-fuck-is-XANDRIA mother of two.

XANDRIA never was the monster that I saw in it. But, and folks this is important, members of the band โ€“ like any of us โ€“ are able to hurt, to exclude, to belittle, to insult or to disappoint other members of this band. Male or female. (I can assure you that my dear ex husband Nils Middelhauve is the opposite of female, and he left the band, too, but nobody is talking about him.) It's not a sexist problem.

5.) So what IS the damn problem then? The answer is: all of this. Singers who are told to shine, instrumentalists who feel little in their shadows, bandmembers who have the power to decide things and other bandmembers that don't feel represented by those decisions, and so on and so on. Short: the problem is EGOS.

And when it comes to XANDRIA I think we're not talking about egos too big, but no, we are talking about many many many insecurities and hence wrong decisions and THE communicational problem of the century. Those guys are not evil. They are just not good at what they do (except for the musical part, which is, IMO nowadays pretty impressive). They were not good at dealing with the fury Lisa, the musical genius Kerstin, the heir of Tarja Manuela, the voice of reason Nils and now they failed dealing with the queen of hearts Dianne.

And now, what to make out of this? Has Lisa Middelhauve given you any interesting news? I bet not. None of this has ever been a secret. The information was there all the time. May I give you an advice?

Yes, in my eyes XANDRIA didn't act very wise in this actual situation. I am terribly sorry for Dianne and I think her decision to leave is the only right thing to do for her. I appreciate her statement and I have also read Manuelas very intelligent words on this topic. I have a different role to play in this. I have always โ€“ and will always โ€“ talk from my heart, as human as possible.

They made a mistake. Maybe many mistakes. We, the ones who left, aren't free from fault either. We're all human beings. You have to understand that what you are just watching is something like a public divorce and most have decided that if mommy cries, daddy is a bad man. Frankly, this โ€ždaddyโ€œ isn't the best husband on this planet, I can tell you. Nevertheless, you are the children in this image. You don't have to decide. You can follow Dianne AND the band. And Manuela and Kerstin and Nils if they decide to be active in music biz. I'm gonna raise my kids and I'm happy to listen to music and maybe to sing for my family.

I understand that you are disappointed โ€“ so am I โ€“ and I am not asking you to take back your insults on the XANDRIA page. Who knows, maybe they learn something out of it. But now, let's all just... breathe. They made some mistakes. And me? Didn't I? And how about you?

Give them a chance to explain this, give them a chance to fix this. I am waiting curiously for the official XANDRIA statement. Who knows, maybe it opens new perspectives. And I really hope that most of you will be able to enjoy the music of XANDRIA in the future nevertheless. After all it somehow still is my grown-up child that's not living with me any more. It may be difficult, but it deserves to live.

Make of this what you want โ€“ this is all I can contribute to this for now.

Lisa Middelhauve [15 Sept 2017]

(that will be Lisa Rodermund from next weeks Friday on, by the way)

ps: Oh and XANDRIA guys (I KNOW you're reading this!): I put my heavy weight in this to keep your show running. You're my dearest frienemies. BUT (!) don't make the same mistakes over and over again! If I'm asked again to write a statement about your next singer/bandmember leaving, I'll stay with the popcorn and let that ship sink, is that clear? Make the best out of it!

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100050451941657

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I did end up going to see Xandria twice back in 2017, four months before their vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen left. Saw them in both Montreal and Toronto, as it was the first show that I travelled to see them in concert as I hadn't seen them at the time, but knew about their music. The merch options were so small, but the VIP benefits that I got from the Meet and Greet tickets on both shows were, I was able to get one free shirt, as they only had two shirts available at merch, as well as two pieces of jewelry that Dianne made. I still have those shirts and got two sets of the jewelry - which came with a free card signed by Dianne.

When I was at the Meet and Greet in Toronto and approached the band for the picture, they said when they saw me that I must be a mega fan.

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Well, given that no European symphonic metal bands has ever had a huge success in North America, even including Nightwish, every fan here must be a bit special to them and a Canadian fan seeing them twice in separate cities must certainly not be that common!

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It looks like there is a new lineup for the band. Philip and Gerit have left the band, with new members Rob Klawonn, Tim Schwarz and Dimitros Gatsios on lead guitar, bass and drums. Also introduced is the new vocalist of Xandria: Ambre Vourvahis.

https://bravewords.com/news/xandria-return-with-new-single-and-music-video-reborn-new-band-lineup-announced

Also the new music video for "Reborn":

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Wow, this is a whole new band around Marco Heubaum the founder... ๐Ÿ‘€ It's a sort of Delain move to clean house.

This Ambre Vourvahis seems to be pretty new to the scene:

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Ambre has started singing early in musicals, especially in pop and jazz before discovering a passion for metal music and harsh vocals (Fry scream, False cord scream) as well as classical singing. Currently working on different projects in many different styles (Symphonic metal, progressive metal, 80's wave pop). Those projects will be announced very soon...

[...] These past years I was writing and singing/screaming for a Metal band from Texas called Haunt the Sleep.

https://themonster-factory.com/en/cb-profile/ambrevourvahis

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Former guitarist Philip Restemeier had this to say about the lineup change:

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A personal statement regarding Xandria

After roughly two decades of being a part of Xandria, it's time for a new chapter. A while ago, we have mutually agreed to dissolve our partnership to make room for new things.

As a fan of epic trilogies, let me just say it's been a blast to be a part of the first two episodes (meaning Xandria before and after 2011). Now, I will excitedly listen and watch from the outside as there will be a third chapter with more music by Marco and a new line-up. This wouldn't be a proper goodbye without saying: Marco, Gerit, Steven, Aeva, Dianne, Manuela, Kerstin, Lisa, Nils, Roland - my life would not be the same without you. Thanks for the wild ride. It's been a blast. Same goes for everyone who worked behind the scenes. Gerit and me also got a new thing cooking, it's called King Chaos & The Handsome Hellhounds and is a swingin' metal band with an awesome vocalist... I'd be happy, if you checked it out.

What's left after 20 years? A lot of pride about what we accomplished, some tiny scars from the emotional rollercoaster and a heart overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunities and the great people I got to play with, work with and meet on the road and online. Thank you! Love, Philip

https://www.facebook.com/philip.restemeier

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Another very good song by Xandria. Looks like another album is on its way, with the lineup heading for a bright future!

I've seen and heard of Ralf Scheepers. I saw him with his band Primal Fear back in 2016 when they and Luca Turilli's Rhapsody were touring in North America together. He also starred on an Ayreon song "Journey on the Waves of Time", from the albumย Flight of the Migrator.

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  • 1 month later...

A new single, Ghosts:

  • Music by Marco Heubaum, lyrics by Ambre Vourvahis
  • Produced by Marco Heubaum
  • Vocals recorded and co-produced by Julian Breucker at Sawdust Studios
  • Orchestral arrangements and sound design by Lukas Knoebl
  • Choir performed by Sofia Session
  • Orchestra & Choir Mixed & Mastered by Jacob Hansen
  • Video by AVA Studios, concept by Ambre Vourvahis, Anja Molendjik and Oliver Sommer
  • Makeup and hair by Dorothea Eisel

"Ghosts actually started as a reminiscence to good old Swedish meldodic death metal and with that archetypical guitar riff that you hear right in the beginning. And then we integrated it into our Xandria soundscape with lots of film score atmosphere and big choirs, because it was exciting to mix these elements and do our own thing with it (still we kept the working title "Swedish Fire" for a long time...).

It is a good example for how diverse the new album will be and how many different influences we were putting into it. We had a lot of things - little musical dreams - in our minds and hearts that we wanted to realize, and along with what you already heard in the first two new songs this is just one of them. There will be quite some more surprises coming..."

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But also an upcoming album:

We are proud to announce our upcoming album โ€œ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™’๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐˜ผ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œโ€
Out ๐™๐™š๐™—๐™ง๐™ช๐™–๐™ง๐™ฎ 3 via @napalmrecordsofficial

Pre-Orders have started, you can check the link in our bio!

This might be the biggest album we ever madeโ€ฆ
More epic, more filmscore, more powerful and heavy and more diverse than ever!
We wanted to combine everything that has made up the musical journey of Xandria so far and bringing some new elements as well.

TRACKLIST:

  1. ๐™๐™ฌ๐™ค ๐™’๐™ค๐™ง๐™ก๐™™๐™จ
  2. ๐™๐™š๐™—๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฃ
  3. ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช ๐™’๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™‰๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง ๐˜ฝ๐™š ๐™Š๐™ช๐™ง ๐™‚๐™ค๐™™
  4. ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™’๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐˜ผ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ
  5. ๐™‚๐™๐™ค๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™จ
  6. ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™จ ๐™„ยด๐™ก๐™ก ๐™๐™š๐™ข๐™š๐™ข๐™—๐™š๐™ง
  7. ๐™ˆ๐™ฎ ๐˜พ๐™ช๐™ง๐™จ๐™š ๐™„๐™จ ๐™ˆ๐™ฎ ๐™๐™š๐™™๐™š๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ
  8. ๐™„๐™ก๐™ก๐™ช๐™จ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™„๐™จ ๐™๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ง ๐™‰๐™–๐™ข๐™š
  9. ๐™‹๐™–๐™ง๐™–๐™™๐™ž๐™จ๐™š
  10. ๐™ˆ๐™ž๐™ง๐™ง๐™ค๐™ง ๐™Š๐™› ๐™๐™ž๐™ข๐™š
  11. ๐™Ž๐™˜๐™–๐™ง๐™จ
  12. ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™๐™๐™š ๐˜พ๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™
  13. ๐˜ผ๐™จ๐™ฉรฉ๐™ง๐™ž๐™–

https://www.xandria.de/

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  • 1 month later...
6 hours ago, Moondance said:

A new single and music video for the self-titled song on the new album, "The Wonders Still Awaiting", will be released tomorrow. Looking forward to hearing it. I've got my fingers crossed that Delain and Xandria will co-headline North America together next year.

I don't know how these guys already have the audio, but there you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyAZi5hlT_8

๐Ÿค˜

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