feel sorry for all the other bands in the metal genre that are going to release
a new album in the month May. No matter what style or genre they play, this is
my and I'm almost sure, the powerofmetal.dk album of the month. The band spend
more time than ever in the studio, also due to the pregnancy of Simone, to
record this album. With 'Retrospect' they closed the first decade and this new
album 'The Quantum Enigma' shoots them to the stars.
first thing that strikes you is the production, it all sounds so very bombastic,
gigantic, perfectly balanced and mixed. After a bombastic intro, "The Second
Stone" opens fast and heavy, with gigantic orchestral elements, magnificant
choir singing, the angelic vocals of Simone Simmons in combination with the
choir and the hammering drums of Arien Weesenbeek. The guitar riffs of Mark
Jansen and Isaac Delahaye sound aggressive and Coen Janssen fills every gap with
his synths and piano. Halfway the grunts of Mark Jansen appear for the first
time and the song finishes with a nice guitarsolo.
next 2 songs have the same aggression and even sound heavier because of the
bigger role for the grunts. I hear you think not much has changed
musically and for a rather big part that is a fact, but somehow it all sounds
even better than on earlier albums. Take for example Simone, again she has improved
her singing and the melodies and harmonies in the several songs never sounded
more beautiful, listen for example to "Omen - The Ghoulish Malady". Also the
choir singing is perfect and sounds very authentic and last but not least the
arrangements of the songs, in my opinion, it leans towards perfection.
After "Sense Without Sanity" the music momentarily slows down and in these songs
Simone really takes the lead. Her voice sounds so nice and warm, you hear every
emotion. Again the choir singing is first class and the orchestral parts
sometimes make me think a bit of Within Tempatation. "The Fifth Guardian" is an
interlude that reminds me of background music in a Chinese Restaurant. After
this Eastern instrumental part, the successful journey continues. They have kept one
of the best tracks at the end and this almost twelve minutes long track is the
second part of "Kingdom of Heaven" from the 'Design Your Universe' album. They
use an almost identical intro and choir to underline the alliance with the first
part. In that track Epica takes you on the final trip to show what they stand
for and what they are capable of. If you are still not convinced, you better
visit the ear specialist.
the moment there isn't a band I know that combines symphonic metal with choirs,
orchestration, progressive elements, death, thrash and power metal in such a
perfect balanced way. If you already liked their earlier albums, you will run
away with this one, it all sounds even more bombastic, heavier and more progressive
then ever. How on earth will they top this with the next album??