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Epica - Design Your Universe CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.91 | 123 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Ultimate Symphonic Goth Metal Ear Candy

There are plenty of albums that qualify as pure pleasure listening, without alot of depth. Few are quite as exceptionally crafted as Epica's "Design Your Universe." Of the many albums I've gotten on a whim, this is one I return to over and over. The combination of Carmina Burana vocals, heavy riffing, blast beats, and orchestration satisfies the same part of me the likes visually intense science fiction. It really is just entertainment folks.

I've been tempted to give this album 5 stars as it satisfies a certain taste so perfectly. However, two problems arise. First, the album shows all its cards early. The overall sounds that make it so good are heard in the opening overtures, and the best song "Martyr of the Free World," is song 5 out of 13. Unlike Pain of Salvation, whose classic albums all seem to climax at the conclusion appropriately, on this album Epica starts running out of gas. There are some great sounds and interesting ideas as the album progresses, but they get fewer and farther between. The second related is the lack of variability in the sound once it is established. Tempo remains much the same, the 5 or 6 sound types are used and reused.

That all said, those sounds are extremely well put togther. The female vocals are superb, the choral vocals even better. The male growls are average. The drumming and guitars are very well done, though there's not alot of suprises. The defining characteristic is the goth orchestal elements and the composition, which is very well done.

This would be the perfect soundtrack to a fantasy film. Pure pleasure. 8.5 / 10

Negoba | 4/5 |


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