Album Review: Xandria – Theatre Of Dimensions

Artist: Xandria

Album: Theatre Of Dimensions

Genre: Symphonic Metal

Released: 27th January 2017

Track listing:

01. Where The Heart Is Home
02. Death To The Holy
03. Forsaken Love
04. Call Of Destiny
05. We Are Murderers (We All)
06. Dark Night Of The Soul
07. When The Walls Came Down (Heartache Was Born)
08. Ship Of Doom
09. Céilí
10. Song For Sorrow And Woe
11. Burn Me
12. Queen Of Hearts Reborn
13. Theatre Of Dimensions

Wow, where to even begin with this album? I recently became a Xandria fan so I had high expectations for this album after the release of the Fire & Ashes EP in 2015, and Dianne van Giersbergen certainly did not disappoint! This album is definitely their most experimental and magical album to date! I guess one way to describe the sound would be as a fusion of the orchestral sound of Epica and the theatrical elements of Nightwish. They really pushed their boundaries with this album, and it paid off! The album also features a strong lineup of guest artists from Soilwork, Firewind, Myrath and Van Canto appearing on a few tracks.

It’s difficult to choose a favourite track off the album because I was captivated from the first song. We Are Murderers (We All), features Bjorn Strid of Soilwork and might possibly be Xandria’s heaviest track to date! Not that that’s a bad thing though! This song is very angry, yet incredibly epic at the same time. Burn Me is another brilliant track that perfectly balances heavy and epic vibes! Another favourite of mine is Call of Destiny, which has a more stereotypical symphonic metal sound but still grabbed my attention. There’s something about the keyboard riffs that reminds me of Rhapsody of Fire (which is one of my favourite bands). The final track, Theatre of Dimensions, is a fantastic end to a brilliant album. It’s a much longer track than the others on the album, but it perfectly showcases the band’s diverse sound. This is probably the most theatrical track on the album, and I actually hope to hear more like this in the future!

The Theatre of Dimensions album is a masterpiece – there’s no doubt about that! I’d highly recommend this album to any symphonic metal fan!

J

xx

My Favourite Pictures and Memories from January

Hello everyone!

Here’s another post that’s part of the ESG: My favourite picture of the month January swap on Swap-Bot.

 

January was a relatively boring month, so I don’t have many photos to share this time. I promise February’s post will be a lot more interesting!

 

Firstly, I got this beautiful fan art portrait from Kariba Chalmers! She created me as an elf, which is my favourite thing in the whole world!

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I got these awesome patches from a member on Swap-Bot for the “I collect…send to the person above you” tag. This awesome package caught me completely off guard, as she had already sent me another package with spooky washi tape and cute cat sticky notes. She really spoiled me and brightened my day!

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This is my favourite photo for this month! It’s from a photoshoot I did with Silverwolf Photography at the end of December and I received the edits throughout January. In this photo I am wearing a circlet that I made, and the scale armour and earrings that she made!

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At the end of January, I went to Emalyth Arts Expo: Nine Lives, but I completely forgot to take photos! I had my jewellery stall, and had lots of fun chilling with friends and watching the bands! I even bought some cool things!

 

And that’s all from me for now! I hope you enjoyed hearing about my month. Sorry it wasn’t as exciting as other months!

 

 

J

xx

My Favourite Pictures and Memories from December

Hello everyone!

Here’s another post that’s part of the ESG: My favourite picture of the month December swap on Swap-Bot.

December was quite a busy month for me!

On 3rd December, I went to the CCHQ Reunion party with my best friend Juan. Here’s how we looked for the night.

The next week, I got a new piercing! It’s called a conch piercing – it’s the one with the grey diamanté.

I had a braai (barbecue for my international friends!) at my house on the 17th. I’ve been friends with Bree for many, many years and we realised that we have never taken a photo together! So of course we had to take one.

The next day, I was trying to pack for my holiday but Rits obviously wasn’t very happy. I went to Cape Town for 10 days with my parents.

While in Cape Town, I got to do an amazing shoot with a photographer whose work I have been admiring for years! Check out Silverwolf Photography.

My friend Kalyca and I went shopping on Long Street, and then she took me to The Royale Eatery, where I had the most incredible burger! It might actually be the best burger I’ve ever had.

I got to see Simi, who I haven’t seen in over a year! It was great to catch up!

I arranged to meet up with a bunch of friends who were also in Cape Town! We took this photo of all of us together.

The next day, we went to Boulders Beach to see the penguins!

My dad and I also went on a boat trip to see the seal island!

I took this beautiful photo of the sea turtle at Two Oceans Aquarium. It’s so beautiful and majestic.

My mother and I went to Polkadraai and picked strawberries! They were so sweet and delicious, but it was hard work and I don’t think I’d do it again.

On the way home from Polkadraai, we went to Butterfly World! My mother love it so much because she is obsessed with butterflies. There were so many different kinds of butterflies and many other interesting things to see.

And of course, no trip to Cape Town is complete without a photo of Table Mountain! I love this photo I took with the clouds hanging over the mountain.

 
I completely forgot to take photos on New Years Eve, but my boyfriend and I went to Wolmer Metal New Year’s Party and had lots of fun!
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my month!

 

J

xx

2016 in review and plans for 2017

Hi everyone!

Since 2016 is coming to an end, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on this year and everything that has happened and that I have achieved. This year was especially tough for me because of my health issues, but I still managed to achieve a lot. So here are some of the important things that happened to me in 2016, in more-or-less chronological order:

1. I finally studied something I am passionate about!
After finishing 3 years of hell studying something I no longer enjoyed with terrible classmates, I finally found what I want to do with my life and managed to (almost) complete my postgraduate studies in Strategic Brand Communication. I now only have one exam left and then I will have completed my course.

2. I started playing violin again after almost 10 years.
After contemplating starting again since I discovered my love for folk metal a few years ago, I finally bought myself a beautiful electric violin and started playing again. While I am nowhere near as good as I would have liked to be by now, I have still learned a lot and I am loving it.

3. I became a rat lady.
My boyfriend and I got our first rats, Merlin and Eddie, in January and since then we adopted another one, Dovahkiin! We love them to bits and they have brought so much joy to our lives.

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4. I quit my job at The Grind Radio.
While I loved doing my radio shows every week, I had to quit in order to focus on my studies. I still miss it, and hope to have a similar opportunity again one day! Being a radio host really helped to shape me as a person as it improved my confidence.

5. I got very ill.
One of the few negatives on this list. My health started declining around April, and we had no idea what was wrong. At the end of June, I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and put on DHEA supplements. I was so ill that I couldn’t get out of bed many days and almost dropped out of university because of it. I am still on my medication, and battling with my condition, but it is much better and I feel like myself again.

6. I made a new friend!
I met my beautiful friend Lauren, who lives in Clarens, and met up with her a couple of times since we met in April. I love finally having a female friend who understands me and who I can talk to about anything, even though we don’t see each other often.

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7. I started up Darklings Box.
Together with my friend Bree from Puff’s Handiwork, I started up South Africa’s only Goth subscription box. It has been lots of hard work, but also great fun coming up with themes and sourcing and creating items for each box.

8. I got published internationally (twice!).
This was a huge milestone for my modeling as I had felt like it was going downhill for a while. I got published in Cynical Fashion Magazine‘s July Into The Depths issue, and then in Gothesque Magazine‘s December Lights issue. I want to focus on producing more quality work and getting more publications next year.

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9. I had my first stall at rAge.
I have been making jewellery for many years now, but had never made the decision to have a stall at rAge before until this year. It was definitely a good move and I think it also shows that I have really grown passionate about my craft and reached a level of confidence in my creations.

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10. I got a well-earned break with a short holiday to Cape Town.

After this very busy year, I was fortunate enough to be able to go on holiday with my parents to Cape Town.

 

So what’s next?

 

Well, here are a few of my plans and goals for next year:

 

1. Find my first job in my field.

My last exam is on 16th January so I’m going to start job hunting after that. I hope to find a job soon.

 

2. Start saving to emigrate.

I want to save 1/4 of each month’s salary in order to be able to move to Denmark in a few years.
3. Play violin more. 

I want to get into the habit of playing violin at least 3 days a week. I also want to record a cover of my favourite Korpiklaani song by September 2017.

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year! Feel free to share your 2016 highlights and 2017 goals with me!

 

 

J

xx

My Favourite Pictures and Memories from November

Hello everyone!

Here’s another post that’s part of the ESG: My favourite picture of the month November swap on Swap-Bot.

 

This first one is my beautiful puzzle that I got framed for my birthday. They only finished framing it at the beginning of November, so it was very late! But it looks so gorgeous against my purple walls. The next one in the series is currently in for framing. 

 

The second photo is my best friend Juan and I at the Gothic Invasion picnic at the botanical gardens.

Next is me shooting my dad’s shotgun for the first time! It was lots of fun but the kickback gave me a large bruise. 

Lastly, here’s a photo of me and my rat, Merlin, on his 1st birthday! He turned one on 29th November. It looks like he’s smiling! 

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my month!

 

J

xx

A fun trip to Cullinan

Hi everyone! 

I just wanted to share the lovely day I had this Saturday. My family competed in the mountain bike race in Cullinan on Saturday, and I decided to tag along to explore and shop. 

All ready to go! And my hair is back to the colour I like


First I had to have a cappuccino and breakfast at Harrie’s Pancakes of course! I had a hard time deciding what to eat because so many of the options sound delicious, but I went with the biltong and mozzarella pancake which was definitely a good choice! 


After my lovely breakfast, I headed towards the shops, taking in the scenery and looking at interesting thingies along the way, like this giant ring outside a jeweller:


I found the most unusual place called Jan Harmsgat se Agterplaas – it’s a little theatre that’s also used as a wedding venue and is open to the public to walk around and take a look at the strange decor.


After looking at all the shops at the bottom of the street, I headed back up to visit the secondhand book shop called Once Upon A Time that hadn’t opened yet when I walked past earlier. Inside I met the shop cat, who was such a sweetheart, and the lovely shop owner Naòmi, who shares my love for fantasy novels. 

The beautiful shop kitty!


I spent over 2 hours in the shop talking to Naòmi about books and our interests, and she fetched the books I was looking for from her house so I could buy them! She really went out of her way to make sure I got the books I wanted. 

The books Naòmi brought from her personal collection for me!


After I paid for the books, we sat down again and talked. That’s when I spotted this gem. I couldn’t believe my luck! Anyone who knows me knows that I love history, particularly medieval history. This book is beautifully illustrated and contains lots of information about time periods that I had never even heard of! 


I had such a great day and I hope you enjoyed reading about it! 

J

xx

My Favourite Pictures and Memories from October

Hello everyone!

Here’s another post that’s part of the ESG: My favourite picture of the month October swap on Swap-Bot.

 

This month has been very hectic due to events with my jewellery stall and projects for university. Luckily I have a few photos to share.

 

The first two photos are from rAge Expo, which is a gaming and geek convention. I had my jewellery stall there the whole weekend. It was awesome, but I got barely any sleep! These were my two cosplay looks for the weekend – the first being Megara the forest nymph (the tattoo on my arm – I will write a blog post about her sometime soon). The second was my Little Sister cosplay from Bioshock. I made the cosplay myself and I am so happy with it!

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The next one is an adorable photo of my three rats sleeping in their hammock! From left to right, they are: Dovahkiin, Eddie and Merlin! They don’t often sleep in the same spot at the moment because it’s so hot, so I just had to capture this moment.

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My university’s year end function theme was Rebels & Outlaws and a few people begged me to dress Goth so I did 🙂 Here I am with my research methodology lecturer Hawken and my Brand Challenge cheerleader (the lecturer that was assigned to my group for Brand Challenge to keep up our morale), Amelia. We made up a story that they were a couple and I was their lovechild because our outfits matched so perfectly!

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And lastly, here’s my boyfriend and I on Halloween. We decided to go as vampires, because he hates dressing up and it was the least amount of effort xD

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I hope you enjoyed hearing about my month!

 

J

xx