Epica - Consign To Oblivion
Epica release their follow up to the highly acclaimed debut The Phantom Agony (2003), a band that follows in the gothic/power metal trace with a female fronting in the metal tradition of Nightwish and with a more mainstream approach like Within Temptation. And I did foresee greatness from this band when they released their debut if they would be able to develop certain aspects of their sound and release another album of equal greatness and with a needed touch of progression. The music can be described as gothic operatic metal with a female fronting with occasional growls which still sounds like shit. I could, and I also will, do this very easy for me and also pitch in a good environmental deed by recycling my last review of the band that I wrote for their debut, since the band themselves seems to have been recycling their music.
The number of bands within this genre is constantly
rising and now we can add another Dutch band besides Within Temptation
to the list, and instead of just ripping of Nightwish, Epica actually
manages to push the development further on with this kind of music.
As beautiful as the female voice is, as terrible are
the grunts from Mark Jansen. He may be the founder of the band but his
growling techniques need to be practiced on a bit more. There is no
wrong with growls in the part of the music where it is now, its simply
that it sounds more like a barking dog rather than good grunts, and
it sounds like he is singing from too far at the back of his throat.
Consign To Oblivion is very much done with orchestrated
parts just like the previous album where I wrote: The sound of the
orchestra doesn't take over the music or becomes too much, as it is
now it helps to enhance the might of the music being perfectly balanced.
The influences are many to find but as far as the opera
go, Nightwish is a close comparison added with the mighty parts of Rhapsody,
but where are the guitars? The thing that I miss the most is guitar
solos, there are many places on the album where it could easily fit
in, but it does not appear, but on the other hand, I find the drumming
being most excellent. Jeroen Simons has a way of playing that really
appeals to me.
Nightwish has set a high standard for this type of
metal and Epica is the one band that is closest and perhaps even already
alongside with them with this great debut, but they will probably need
to make at least one more album as good as this before they will get
credits for their originality, and I'm already looking forward to the
follow-up because I want more of this quality.
If you liked the first album you are sure to like this
one as well, it is just that I can hear the potential in this band but
they don't bring it out enough.
also review of The Phantom