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Epica - Consign To Oblivion CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.69 | 73 ratings

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4 stars ‘Consign to Oblivion’ is my introduction to Epica, and what a great experience it was! Their music is probably not the most original of all (even the band name was taken from Kamelot’s album), but that’s not a problem at all because they have their own style. Gothic metal isn’t really my cup of tea, but this band is not just another gothic metal band. They combine metal with some classical elements by using orchestration and in their works, which is the reason I like them. They include some growling vocals on some of their songs as well, and while it’s not the best growling vocals I’ve ever heard, it’s not horrible either. The main element of Epica’s music is the beautiful vocal of Simone Simons. She has an excellent voice and a great range too. Another thing is that her voice doesn’t sound like an opera singer, which one of the reason why I don’t like band such as Nightwish.

Anyway, let’s go through the tracks now. Actually this band has quite a style in making albums. They start with an orchestrated track which also incorporating some choir like what they’ve done here with ‘Hunab K’u’. Following the opening is ‘Dance of Fate’ which kicks out with some guitar riffs and keyboard works. This is track is a quite good example of Epica’s music as well as an introduction to their sound for me, symphonic metal which not all about heavy, but also features the beauty of classical music. ‘The Last Crusade’ has a great orchestration part in the opening, and this track also has some choir singing. Again, an example of good combination between classical music and metal. Next is ‘Solitary Ground’, the first soft and melodic song in this album. This track has a nice melody and vocal performance by Simone. ‘Blank Infinity’ has a nice opening section, with some piano melody and guitar and drumming followed up. The chorus of this track is quite cool, with the choir and bit of orchestration parts which make the track sounds a bit epic like their name.

‘Force of the Shore’ is the first track you’d hear growling vocals. This and the strong choir and singing combined with the orchestration really make the track sounds dark and very gothic. Cool track, even the growling won’t bother you that much, it’s not ruining the song in any way I could assure you. After that, you’ll hear another softer track, providing a bit of break after the last song. ‘Quietus’ has opening parts that resembles a bit of folk music. Although I did say softer track before, this song still features guitar riffs and drumming in relatively slow tempo. The orchestration parts in the background also give a nice feeling to the track overall. It’s getting heavy again now with ‘Mother of Light’. This track features a cool orchestral-metal opening, and there’s also a bit of growling voices here, but the great music, orchestration and Simone’s beautiful vocal would probably cover it for the whole track. Coming up next is the beautiful ballad ‘Trois Vierges’. The only thing that I could describe about this song, it’s a simply wonderful, sad track with quite haunting melody and vocal. There’s an appearance by Kamelot’s singer Roy Khan here as, uh the male vocal of course. Only two tracks left now, coming up is ‘Another Me ‘In Lack’ech’, a track with features some great orchestration, choirs and strong vocal. And now we’ve come to the top of the show. The title track is not only the last but also the most awesome and most epic track of the album! Listen to the great orchestration, choir, combined with the guitar riffs, the growl – uh, some of you might like to ignore this part; there’s only a few anyway, and the beautiful vocal, it’s really the highlight of the album! The keyboard solo in the middle part reminds me of Rhapsody, which is cool actually. Symphonic metal for life! Ahem, I better settle myself now.

Overall, this is an excellent album with great combination of classic elements and metal. The great thing about Epica is they don’t fill the whole album with lots of heavy riffs and solo, but rather focused on the classical elements such as the orchestration and choir. Lots of great compositions here and it’s clearly not just like another symphonic metal music in general, really. For you who like gothic or symphonic metal this is probably an album you’d want to have. Even if you’re not into those genre, this is still an album that worth to try. Highly recommended.

kazansky | 4/5 |


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