Xandria was started as a project band in 1997 by Marco Heubaum, the band's main composer and at the time vocalist, and a friend to play drums, but quickly disbanded after recording one demo.
The band was restarted with a different line-up in 1999. Marco stepped down from the role of vocals and was joined by local musician Roland Krueger on bass. In 2000, the band recorded one demo that was released to the internet, then was joined by current drummer Gerit Lamm. The female vocalist that recorded the demo left the band to follow other plans, and the band was joined by vocalist Lisa Schaphaus, and writing of the debut album started.
In 2002, the band signed to Drakkar Records and was joined by current lead guitarist Philip Restemeier. As work on the debut album progressed, shows in and around Bielefeld began. In the winter of 2002, the band entered the studio to record their debut album Kill the Sun. They released Kill the Sun in 2003, which reached No. 98 on the German music charts. To promote the album, the band played a few shows with Schandmaul and Subway to Sally. They then went on a three-week tour of Germany with Tanzwut.
After playing some festivals in support of Kill the Sun, the band went into writing their sophomore album. Recording of the album began in December 2003 at PLeasurepark Studios, with producer José Alvarez-Brill. Production on the album was finished in February 2004. Shortly after the recordings were completed, bassist Roland Krueger left the band and was replaced by Nils Middelhauve. Ravenheart was released on May 24, 2004, and it stayed on the charts for seven weeks, reaching No. 36.
In 2005 they released their third album, India, which reached No. 30 on the German charts. Xandria began recording their fourth album, Salomé – The Seventh Veil, on December 14, 2006. It was released on May 25, 2007 and reached No. 41 on the German charts.
Lisa Middelhauve resigned on April 30, 2008 citing personal reasons and discomfort in being the band's frontwoman. The band found a new singer in February 2009, Kerstin Bischof a.k.a. Lakonia, best known for her collaborations with the band Axxis. However, after just one year Kerstin Bischof decided to leave the band to concentrate on a different career, and Middelhauve replaced her for a series of concerts in Summer 2010. On December 19, 2010, Xandria announced the addition of 29-year-old female singer Manuela Kraller to the group's ranks. Manuela Kraller made her live debut at the "Classic Meets Pop" event on January 7, 2011 at the Seidensticker Halle in Bielefeld, Germany.
On 5 February the band announced on their website and Facebook page their new bass player Steven Wussow, along with the message that they will enter the studio again for their next studio album the same year.
Neverworld's End was released on February 24, 2012.
As of 25 October 2013, the band announced on their website that Manuela Kraller had left the band to pursue a different career and announced Dutch Ex Libris singer Dianne van Giersbergen as their new vocalist. Sacrificium was released in the following year.
Their seventh album, Theater of Dimensions was released on 27 January 2017. Following the release of the album, Xandria embarked on a few shows in Europe including their first headlining tour in North America with Kobra and the Lotus and Once Human in May 2017. Due to personal reasons, Xandria had cancelled their upcoming second half of the US tour as well as the Russian tour. Aeva Maurelle from the band Aeverium was the temporary vocalist for the European dates in the fall.
On September 13, 2017, Dianne posted on her Facebook page that she had left Xandria. This due to having received pressure to perform from Xandria's management and the band while being physically unable to, giving her stress confirmed by doctors. Two days later on September 15, 2017, ex-vocalist Manuela Kraller shared a message to the public on her Facebook page, revealing that her reason to leave four years earlier was exactly the same one. She praised Dianne for having the courage to be open about the situation to the public, which she didn't dare to at the time, but now finally did. Ex-vocalist Lisa Middelhauve also released a statement about Dianne's departure on the same day. She herein did not only speak about herself but also about ex-bassplayer Nils Middelhauve, whom she was married to at the time he was in the band but is now divorced from. It can be concluded that he too left Xandria under negative circumstances. Guitarist Phillip Restemeier spoke about the reason behind Dianne's departure in an interview during the European tour.
As of 2019, the band had only performed one show, with Steven Wussow later confirmed to have become the new bass player for the German power metal band Orden Ogan on October 16, 2019, thus signalling his departure from Xandria. There is speculation that the band has become inactive, are looking for a new vocalist or have disbanded with no confirmation from the remaining members as of yet.
Dianne van Giersbergen
She is not related to Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen.
Early life and education
Dianne received her first singing lessons as a birthday present from her parents at the age of just four years old. In the following years, the classes were taught by several professors of music and she sang in several choirs. In 2005, she began her studies in classical music at the ArtEZ School of Music where she was taught classical singing by several teachers. She took lessons in classical singing and received, among other things a tuition in musical theater. On May 19, 2009, she received her degree with honors, after which it was decided to continue their studies and work on more materials.
Meanwhile, she expanded her vocal technique and began to combine her classical training with heavy metal music; thesis also addresses this issue. She also worked on the theory of composition, wrote poetry and was president of a group of master students to classical music concerts were organized.
Ex Libris (2004–present)
After graduating with a Bachelor's and master's degree at the ArtEZ school, and perfecting the combination of classical techniques and progressive metal sounds, Dianne van Giersbergen along with drummer Joost van de Pas.
In 2008, their debut album "Amygdala" (meaning) was released independently. The album was well received, and supported shows with other Dutch symphonic metal bands like Epica, Delain, Stream of Passion and ReVamp. They also played more and more shows abroad, in countries like Germany, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom., in which the band started to get more attention.
Dianne van Giersbergen's vocal and performing delivery can pull in the audience, according to a review in Mindbreed. Reviewer Tim Blevins in 2014 noted that Giersbergen seemed to be a "good fit" for the band Xandria. Reviewer Eric May in 2013 in New Noise magazinedescribed her as a "sultry siren" and wrote that there was "something majestically powerful in her mesmerizing vocal harmonies." Another reviewer described her vocals as "breathtaking" with great personality, charisma and charm.
On 13 September 2017 Dianne posted on her Facebook page that she had left Xandria. This due to having received pressure to perform from Xandria's management and the band while being physically unable to, giving her stress confirmed by doctors. Two days later, on 15 September 2017, ex-vocalist Manuela Kraller shared a message to the public on her Facebook page, revealing that her reason to leave four years earlier was exactly the same one. She praised Dianne for having the courage to be open about the situation to the public, which she didn't dare to at the time, but now finally did. Ex-vocalist Lisa Middelhauve also released a statement about Dianne's departure on the same day. She herein did not only speak about herself but also about ex-bassplayer Nils Middelhauve, whom she was married to at the time he was in the band but is now divorced from. It can be concluded that he too left Xandria under negative circumstances. Guitarist Phillip Restemeier spoke about the reason behind Dianne's departure in an interview during the European tour.
Kill the Sun (2003)
Salomé – The Seventh Veil (2007)
Neverworld's End (2012)
Fire & Ashes (2015) ep
Theater of Dimensions (2017)
Marco Heubaum – guitars (1994–present), keyboards (1997–present), vocals (1994–2001)
Gerit Lamm – drums (1997–present)
Philip Restemeier – guitar (2001–present)
Aeva Maurelle - vocals (2017–present)
Niki Weltz – drums (1997)
Manuel Vinke – guitar (1997)
Andreas Litschel – keyboards (1997)
Nicole Tobien – vocals (1997)
Holger Vester – bass (1997)
Jens Becker – guitar (1999–2000)
Andreas Maske – guitar (2000–2001)
Roland Krueger – bass (1999–2004)
Kerstin Bischof – vocals (2009–2010)
Lisa Middelhauve – vocals, piano (2000–2008, 2010)
Nils Middelhauve – bass (2004–2012)
Manuela Kraller – vocals (2010–2013)
Dianne van Giersbergen - vocals (2013–2017)
Steven Wussow – bass (2013–2019)