Considering the proliferation of female-fronted symphonic metal bands, coming to another one for review can sometimes be problematic. We've reviewed two since the beginning of the year, Xandria and Voices of Destiny. The former pretty great, the latter about average.
Coincidentally, Epica and their new album, Requiem for the Indifferent also falls into the same style of the latter band, with the female vocalist pitted against the gruff death/black male vocals in the symphonic arrangements. As said before, on many occasions, this is not uncommon in this genre. But, the grunts and growls are still a significant, annoying, distraction. Deep Water Horizon, Stay the Course, or Monopoly on Truth are only two examples. Though Mark Jansen is quite proficient at the style, it's rather unappealing. Ultimately, the strongest and most beautiful piece on the album, Delirium, dismisses the harsh vocals.
So then, what causes Epica to stand above others, say the aforementioned VoD, within this field. Perhaps, it's simply the time in the profession and maturity. The better answer is likely the depth of their compositions. Epica is becoming increasingly adept at blending many metal elements, from traditional heavy metal to darker black metal, in their arrangements. Significant also are the choral arrangements, done in-house by classically trained pianist Coen Janssen. This profound depth of creativity can be found, as a few better examples, on Requiem for the Indifferent, Deter the Tyrant, or Serenade of Self-Destruction. Aside from this observation, Epica still has the penchant for pleasing accessibility as on Storm the Sorrow and, once more to mention, Delirium, a fantastic song.
Epica's Requiem for the Indifferent, once more, proves Epica's consistent, yet evolving, spin on symphonic metal. While not entirely that novel or groundbreaking, it is certainly bombastic and entertaining stuff. Recommended.
Epica's Requiem for the Indifferent, once more, proves Epica's consistent, yet evolving, spin on symphonic metal. While not entirely that novel or groundbreaking, it is certainly bombastic and entertaining stuff.