Epica - Design Your Universe review
|Album:||Design Your Universe|
|Release date:||October 2009|
01. Samadhi (Prelude)
02. Resign To Surrender (A New Age Dawns - Part IV)
04. Martyr Of The Free Word
05. Our Destiny
06. Kingdom Of Heaven (A New Age Dawns - Part V)
07. The Price Of Freedom (Interlude)
08. Burn To A Cinder
09. Tides Of Time
11. Semblance Of Liberty
12. White Waters
13. Design Your Universe (A New Age Dawns - Part VI)
14. This Is The Time [bonus]
15. Incentive [bonus]
Dutch symphonic metallers Epica make their return in spectacular form with Design Your Universe, studio album number four. The band have grown over the years and Design Your Universe is the product of a confident and mature band. The album sees Epica at their most bombastic yet and also their most experimental.
Maybe not the most accessible album initially, weighing in at a hefty length but Design Your Universe is packed with quality content. As you would expect, Epica have once again produced an album with all their hallmarks. The music is inevitably built around Simone's ever growing sweet but powerful, theatrical, operatic style of singing backed up with more orchestral choirs and symphonies than ever before. The album is also the grittiest Epica have created. No longer is Epica a limp symphonic band for girls, but the harsh vocals also make their mark on Design Your Universe, especially with songs like the brilliant "Martyr Of The Free World" that in the chorus sounds exactly like what you'd imagine Amon Amarth to sound like if they played along a symphony orchestra. Not committing themselves to song templates or letting genre definitions define their music, Epica even show a glimpse of progressive flair with a nod towards Dream Theater during their fourteen-minute epic "Kingdom Of Heaven".
Still, the band take a lot of influence from other bands and incorporate them into Design Your Universe. Epica still don't have their own particular style or brand of music outside of the fascination with Simone. It might be nice to see the band really put their own stamp on a piece of metal, something to call their own style. Design Your Universe is a brilliant album of fantastic quality, but stylistically is just another symphonic metal album crying out for something innovative, something unique to just Epica.
Design Your Universe is largely a very varied album presenting both up-tempo, hard hitting numbers, but also soft, beautiful, charming ones such as "Tides Of Time", which must be one of the band's most magical pieces to date. The album has a lot of varied content with many parts sure to appeal to many people. The quality on the album makes an extremely long album feel as if it is a fraction of the length it actually is.
Although this is a pretty diverse piece of work, Design Your Universe has nothing groundbreaking to offer. However, what Epica offer with this album, is a symphonic metal album of the highest quality you'll hear all year. Design Your Universe is an extremely enjoyable glade of enchanting symphonic orchestration and operatic-lead heavy metal. This is Epica at their best yet, don't miss your chance with this one.
||Written on 16.10.2009 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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