The quantum enigma
“How on earth will they top their last two records?” I was honestly not sure if they had it in them. And I was positively surprised to listen to the new sound of EPICA. Granted, it is still the established style of the Dutch band: sophisticated metal, orchestra, choirs and thought-provoking lyrics. But with the same ingredients, they baked quite a different cake.
From the first look at the record I not only cherish the artwork, I also love the fact that there’s only one song, which passes the ten minute mark; another one goes up to over seven minutes but the other eleven titles on the album aren’t longer than five and a half. This is, compared to other current releases in the genre, very good to hear.
I was really pondering if buying the new album would be worthwhile, but now I can’t stop listening to it.
The guitars have powerful riffing and dainty solos; the drums are strong and energetic; the bass is intense and heavy; the piano melodies are moving and the orchestration is flawless, as always. But what strikes me as most innovative are the lead vocals: operatic highs and emotional lows, power and drama, there’s a lot of expression in Simons’ voice, as she seems to be at her vocal peak. Certainly we have watched and heard her grow as a singer and in my opinion, she reached a milestone in her efforts for “Design Your Universe”, with clarity and range; then her voice grew an even wider vocal range with the last album. But now, for the first time, Simons sounds really comfortable with her own voice, trying out new things and putting much more feeling to the melodies.
Personal favorites: ‘Reverence – Living in the Heart’, ‘The Second Stone’ and of course ‘Canvas Of Life’.
02. The Second Stone
03. The Essence of Silence
04. Victims of Contingency
05. Sense Without Sanity – The Impervious Code
06. Unchain Utopia
07. The Fifth Guardian – Interlude
08. Chemical Insomnia
09. Reverence – Living in the Heart
10. Omen – The Ghoulish Malady
11. Canvas of Life
12. Natural Corruption
13. The Quantum Enigma – Kingdom of Heaven part II