Epica – “The Quantum Enigma” (2014)

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Review by Luisa Mercier

First of all, let me start confessing a secret: I really liked Epica‘s previous record “Requiem for The Indifferent”, but along the years it showed that it was far from from being perfect. I must say that I was not satisfied production wise, which to me sounded a bit dull and not very warm. In addition to this, the record was quite difficult to listen start to finish because of the intricate song structure. The tracks are very good if you listen to them individually, but it is quite hard to get to the end of the whole album without taking a break. Well, forget all of this in “The Quantum Enigma”. As promised by the band, a new age started after the ten year celebration show last year in the Netherlands, which was released as “Retrospect”, their first true live DVD.They chose a new musical path, without denying their past, of course. All their albums ’til now were produced by Sascha Paeth and his staff, while for “The Quantum Enigma”, Epica chose former After Forever keyboard player Joost Van den Broek. He did an astounding work: the sound is clean, pure and tridimensional, one of the best I ever heard. “The Quantum Enigma” is opened by “Originem”, the intro that has become sort of a tradition for Epica; orchestral as always, but a bit more modern.  The intro brings us into a varied world, twelve tracks that include every possible influence and will satisfy your taste for good music. If you look for brutality the single “The Essence of Silence” , “Reverence – Living in The Heart”, “Victims of Contingency” will do for you with their black and death metal influences mixed with cathedral worthy choirs, melody and the magnificient vocals courtesy of Simone Simons. I have observed her professional growth along the years, blooming like a flower and now she shows us her full potential switching easily from a style to another and leaving me speechless on “Reverence” final notes. If you look for melody, second single “Unchain Utopia” will be perfect together with “Canvas of Life”, a sweet piano based ballad with orchestral crescendo. The songs are generally shorter than in the past, but the usual long closing track is not missing. “The Quantum Enigma (Kingdom of Heaven II)” gathers all that we have listened to in the previous songs with Simone again giving a wonderful performance. I will not forget mentioning the folk influences in the interlude “The Fifth Guardian” (clearly inspired by Chinese traditional music) and in the beginning of “Natural Corruption” (acoustic track in the special earbook version is completely folk). Summing up, “The Quantum Enigma” is much more enjoyable and catchy than the previous one and it never results dull or dull. I have left out something for sure, being the elements so many, so please listen to this great work of art, you will not regret it.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Originem
  2. The Second Stone
  3. The Essence of Silence
  4. Victims of Contingency
  5. Sense Without Sanity . The Impervious Code
  6. Unchain Utopia
  7. The Fifth Guardian
  8. Chemical Insomnia
  9. Reverence – Living in The Heart
  10. Omen – The Ghoulish Malady
  11. Canvas of Life
  12. Natural Corruption
  13. The Quantum Enigma – Kingdom of Heaven Part II

 

Line Up

  • Simone Simons – Vocals
  • Mark Jansen – Guitar & vocals
  • Isaac Delahaye – Guitar
  • Rob van der Loo – Bass
  • Coen Janssen – Keyboards & synth
  • Ariën van Weesenbeek – Drums

 

Links

Facebook * Twitter * Site