Release DetailsLABEL The End
RELEASED ON 10/11/2005
Consign To Oblivion
posted on 10/2005 By:
With the recent news that Tarja B has been unceremoniously dumped from Nightwish, the door seems open for another band to take over the mantle of gloriously pompous, female fronted Goth metal. Mark it down-that band is Holland’s Epica.
While most female fronted Goth metal leaves me more flaccid than an under the table hand job from Anna Nicole Smith while she eats crab legs, Epica actually had me rather impressed and at least at half mast for the genre. While my sexist, chauvinist side wants to prattle on about delectable, flame haired beauty Simone Simons, I should at least address the band that is Epica. The song writing is solid, the heavy Carl Orff (composer of the famous Carmina Burana opera) like orchestration and choirs are dramatic and typically gregarious, but when backed by some stout mid paced metal and even some death/black metal vocals, the extraneous elements become easier to swallow.
Obviously, this is high end operatic Goth metal, so if you not into the likes of Nightwish, After Forever, Elis, Visions of Atlantis and to some extent, Therion, I’m not here to convince you Epica is for you, but if you enjoy those grandiose, operatic bands, Epica’s conceptual sophomore album (not including their movie score album) has to be considered one of the pinnacles of the genre.
After the few opening bars of “Hunab K’u (A New Age Dawns-Prologue)” which sounds like Bal-Sagoth mixed with the Superman soundtrack, Epica launch into the expected theatrical Broadway metal of “Dance of Fate” with all the bells and whistles (and choirs and brass/horn orchestration and synths and Latin lyrics and galloping guitars and soaring chorus). “The Last Crusade (A New Age Dawns)” continues the overt classical and operatic take on boisterous Goth metal frolicking with ample soaring results that show why Epica were also involved in penning a movie score this year also.
Now, I’m not trying to be immodest here but I’m a pretty solid ‘man’ by all meanings of the word, I’m comfortable with my masculinity and chauvinism. That being said, the nut shrinking, uber feminine ballad “Solitary Ground” had me subconsciously singing in a soprano voice around the house with candles and a lighter waving in the air. My god it’s embarrassingly catchy and addictive. Put it this way; my wife likes the song. A lot. Castrate me now. Heck, and this is the ‘metal’ version, the acoustic/piano version on the bands Solitary Ground CD might actually give me reconstructive genital surgery just by listening to it. The band’s well done mix of catchy, epic metal continues for “Blank Infinity” and “Force of the Shore” introduces some deep death metal vocals that play well with Simons angelic crooning, but the bouncy, folky canter of “Quietus” again had me checking my pants for involuntary penis inversion as I try to convince myself I should not be enjoying this album as much as I do.
“Mother of Light (A New Age Dawns II)” has some black metal screams during the awkward chorus, but there is enough heavy handed, dramatic prose to make up for it. “Trois Vierges” is a little too Phantom of the Opera /Michael Crawford vs. Sarah Brightman for me but “Another Me” and the amazing nine minute closer “Consign to Oblivion (A New Age Dawns III)” end the album with a far more, suitably epic atmosphere that cements Epica are the band to beat in the genre right now.
Now, please feed me steak, porn and football to reverse this album's effect on me.
Register to post comments.
The Divine Conspiracy
We Will Take You With Us
The Phantom Agony