Going big, bombastic and, well, epic, once more, as their name suggests, is Netherlands' Epica with their sixth studio album The Quantum Enigma. Despite press material to the contrary, little has changed for Epica.
Excepting a change of producers, Sascha Paeth is out, Joost van den Broek is in, Epica still delivers symphonic power metal with large orchestrated arrangements with Simone Simons operatic vocals. Oh yeah, there's still one fellow in the band who gets to swallow a box of roof nails, slug down some ipecac, and vomit some death and dirty vocals. Yet, musically speaking it's all rather grand and overwhelming.
Perhaps something has changed: everything about this album seems even more larger than life than before, especially in the vocal arrangements and synth orchestration, possibly from the input of the new producer. Chemical Insomonia and Unchain Utopia are perfect examples of both these elements being extravagent. It makes you wonder if they can actually pull this off live. Sometimes these elements are combined with both heaviness and speed as with Second Stone and Victims of Contingency (death vocals within), making Epica sounding like a power metal bullet train. All these things get wrapped up in the massive title track which strikes with symphonic fury and doesn't let go. But Epica can lighten up a little as with moderate Canvas of Life, moved mostly by acoustic guitar, lighter synths, and Simon's voice, at least until the end, which gets a bit more bombastic. The band can also get their groove on as with Omen, which has a real toe-tapping beat mixed with power metal. All in all, The Quantum Enigma is simply Epica being Epica, just larger, louder, and more bombastic than ever. Recommended.
All in all, The Quantum Enigma is simply Epica being Epica, just larger, louder, and more bombastic than ever.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]