Epica

Album Review: Epica – Requiem for the Indifferent

No one can accuse Epica of not living up to their name. Their previous two albums pushed past the 70 minute mark, and this one is no different. Everything from thrash metal riffs combined with swooping strings to choral choirs combined with Imperial March-esque drums are here, and that’s just within the first couple of tracks.

While it’s not uncommon for bands to use the word “requiem” in lyrics and titles, Epica actually understand what a requiem is. Therefore throughout the album there are mass-like harmonies and church-like chord progressions. They sit comfortably alongside metal solos and death metal grows. Business as usual, but ‘Requiem for the Indifferent’ takes everything about Epica and fine tunes it just that little bit more.Epica Requiem For The Indifferent Artwork

‘Monopoly On Truth’ prepares you for the album, but only in the way that you will be prepared to have no idea what to expect. One minute, Simone Simmons’ angelic voice is soaring over static riffs when all of a sudden tech-metal drums take the lead with Mark Jansen’s growls replacing the heavenly female vocals. It’s not exactly a departure from their trademark sound, but it is done with such perfection that it can definitely be considered an improvement.

Lead single ‘Storm the Sorrow‘ follows the same type of formula, while ‘Delirium’ focuses on Epica’s knack for writing some damn fine melodies. Combined with the religious-sounding backing, ‘Delirium’ is a highlight because of just how truly ethereal it sounds. Being followed by a track entitled ‘Internal Warfare’ drags you straight back into the metal side of “symphonic metal” with an 80s style keyboard solo duelling it out with Isaac Delahaye’s out of control soloing guitar. It all makes for an album that keeps you on your toes and is not afraid to throw whatever it wants to at you.

The title track combines everything heard on the album so far to create a massive half-way point, from clean guitars with complex rhythms to a call-and-response choir chorus, with lyrics centred very much on the real world and all its problems.

The most striking part of this release, and indeed any Epica album, is the diversity on offer. Fans of symphonic metal bands such as Sirenia and Leaves’ Eyes will be kept more than happy, but metalheads will be just as equally pleased thanks to the amount of thrash elements displayed throughout the album.

Epica have never compromised their sound, yet their continuing success is inevitable. With ‘Requiem for the Indifferent’ they will further increase their fanbase and satisfy longterm fans. It’s an album that requires multiple listens to digest, as all of the greatest albums are, but the rewards are endless. A song for all moods, an album for a generation, Epica have set the bar high. Again.

8/10

     

About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

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