The much awaited three-day cultural fest Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Hyderabad Campus, titled ‘Pearl’ which recently concluded had Vishal - Shekhar, Xandria, Advaita, VH1 Supersonic and Arushi Mudgal making students groove to their beats.
Pearl also saw the Indian debut of German symphonic metal giants Xandria. The band were welcomed to a loud cheer by the young student crowd and Xandria did not disappoint them. With the famous show opener ‘Nightfall’, Xandria warmed up the excited crowd for the thunder they were going to bestow. Commendable voice control of their Dutch front-woman Dianne van Giersbergen and symphonic powers and amazing guitar work of Philip Restemeier, new bassist Steven Wussow and founder of the band Marco Heubaum, with energetic drumming by Gerit Lamm were explicit.
The band performed popular songs, including their tribute to India with the song ‘India’. Dianne Van Giersbergen’s voice soared throughout the open ground, hitting every note within her soprano range. Undoubtedly, she commanded the stage from start to finish. Between hitting staggering high notes, dancing on stage, she captivated the audience throughout. High dose of energy coupled with Xandria’s power-packed performance certainly set the stage afire.
Just like Xandria enthralled the audience at the fest, the City of Pearls with its nawabi cuisine also bowled over the Germans. “We had kababs for starters which was really good and we had different kinds of curry for the main course and for the dessert it was a whole new experience,” Dianne said. While she found the people here friendly, traffic was something that appalled her.
Though the band has travelled to India for the first time there association with the country is deeper--Xandria has an album named ‘India’. “It’s interesting, back then we never thought we’ll play title song from that album in India ever. I was smiling when we did the sound check of that song here before the performance,” shares Marco.
The band recently launched it’s latest album ‘Sacrificium’. Revealing more about their newest baby Marco says, “I think ‘Sacrificium’ is a continuation of previous work ‘Neverworld’s End’. The production process was a little bit different with this album because we recorded in different studios and mixing was done by someone else.”
Quiz them on what the next chapter for Xandria looks like, pat comes the reply from Dianne, “We are releasing a new EP this summer. It has not been titled yet. We have three new songs, one or two covers and two remakes of Xandria classics.”