Epica is back with their fulfilled promise of delivering something a little more “out of the box” and their latest EP “Epica vs. Attack on Titan Songs” defines exactly that description. This EP comprises of four cover songs from the anime “Attack on Titan”. Oh, hence the name – an imaginative EP title on their part. The songs are originally performed by a band called Linked Horizon which is the side project of Japanese composer Revo.
The band’s decision to do cover songs is not paradoxical at all and actually made perfect sense after listening to the songs. The original songs are huge pieces on their own and are already symphonic by nature; multilayered with classical harmonies and a lot of rock elements. Attempting to do justice to the songs must have been a colossal job in its own right and I think Epica gave themselves a proper challenge embarking on this project.
The EP is initiated with “Crimson Bow & Arrow” – a detonating start that begins with a cinematic entrance akin to a film score that will grab you right from the get-go; something that is not at all atypical for the band. It builds and brews for some time to an inevitable concoction of a bombastic chorus that will have you moving your head around, senseless; the impact is nothing but memorable. They then progress to “Wings of Freedom” which, given the Epica treatment, feels more like a song written by the band themselves; that is, if we overlook the intro and the content of the lyrics for the moment as they confused my ears a bit; I’m just not used to hearing the band talk about “flying into victory” – a parochial idea, but it was an amusing thought. The opus is brought home with a hint of familiarity through Mark‘s intense growling over Ariën‘s blast beats and Isaac‘s leads on the guitar. Then the theatrics move on to “If Inside These Walls Was a House” which delivers a very musical and Disney-like sound, rendering the atmosphere and pace of the album to buffer and lead the tone for what is to come on the fourth track, “Dedicate Your Heart”. The song expresses a new wilderness that fans of the band have never heard of before. It is an ensemble packed with diversity and changing passages that makes one think of how talented and adaptable the band truly is, their potential to do other things. And if you have a passion for singing, then rejoice because the rest of the songs on the EP are the instrumental versions of the four songs. Having a run through them is worth it as they’ll give you a different perspective and experience of the songs. It’s a quick realization of the powerhouse of the band that is Simone and her vocal abilities to nail all those gigantic songs!
I can’t say that I’m a big fan of many covers, per se, but “Epica vs. Attack on Titan Songs” songs turned out to be superb renditions of great songs, there is nothing to complain about, really. It is nothing short of effort and has reminded me of my deep respect for this band as musicians as well as human beings – they are some of the most humble and happiest musicians I’ve ever met. Having met and interviewed a lot of musicians in metal, that is something I don’t often say.
Taking stock of their journey to this release, it’s obvious that Epica is still a brim-full of great ideas and continues to remain creative and dedicated musicians. Their skills and have not halted and only soared over the years. I for one can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
01. Crimson Bow And Arrow
02. Wings Of Freedom
03. If Inside These Walls Was A House
04. Dedicate Your Heart!
05. Crimson Bow And Arrow (Instrumental)
06. Wings Of Freedom (Instrumental)
07. If Inside These Walls Was A House (Instrumental)
08. Dedicate Your Heart! (Instrumental)
Playing Time: 41:17
Isaac Delahaye - Guitars (Lead), Vocals (harsh)
Mark Jansen - Guitars (rhythm), Vocals (harsh)
Coen Janssen - Keyboards
Simone Simons - Vocals (female)
Rob van der Loo - Bass
Ariën van Weesenbeek - Drums, Vocals (harsh)