Live at The Wiltern Theater
Los Angeles, CA
September 4th, 2023
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
German symphonic metal veterans, Xandria, return to North America as special guests of the equally-veteran scene favorites, Kamelot. Their tour comes on the tails of the release of their most resent creation, "The Wonders Still Awaiting".
Band founder, Marco Heubaum is the last man standing from the early incarnations of the group, but has done an astounding job as helms-master to keep them steadily on the course.
True to its foundations, Xandria has maintained a strong female voice front and center, supporting her with massive orchestrations, intricate woven melodies, moving guitar work, and a dramatic scale of lyrical intent and delivery.
The vocal newcomer, Ambre Vourvahis, can put Xandria on the stage with Nightwish, Epica, Lacuna Coil, Delain, and Unleash the Archers. I was impressed that she also handled the growled vocals so well, they not only sounded good, but really punctuated the songs at the right moments. I was totally horns-up!
On stage, Marco and Ambre were accompanied by Rob Klawonn on lead guitar, Time Schwarz on bass, and Dimitrios Gatsios on drums. These musicians, as well as Ambre, joined forces with Marco in 2022 - so it is for the most part an entirely new band. They did an excellent job the material from previous albums as well as the latest album that they were a part of.
Set-closer and crowd-favorite, "Valentine" had the front rows moving the security barriers, they were thrashing and headbanging up against them so hard. They had fans who were legit opera singers in the crowd joining her for the most intense moments of the song, it was pretty great to see.
\I have been a fan of the band for twenty-plus years - from their first incarnation and on. Every time I have seen them it has been a different vocalist and quite a few rotating members as well. That being said, they have always been amazing live, and a truly great symphonic metal band. I hope the current lineup holds for a while, as I really think Ambre is amazing and the entire band sounded great live.
You Will Never Be Our God
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