Thursday, May 15, 2014

Epica - The Quantum Enigma (2014)
I never thought that Epica could deliver something that rivals the great "Design Your Universe," my favorite album of theirs, but lo and behold it's happened. "The Quantum Enigma" is not only better than the album that preceded it; it marks the culmination of the band's artistic endeavors as they strive to create catchier, more concise songs. And by shifting to such a style, I don't mean to imply that they've abandoned their identity for commercial gain. Rather, they've made their message all the more direct and powerful by trimming the fat and thus delivering a more memorable product, at least compared "Requiem for the Indifferent." On this album you'll find some of the best songs Epica have crafted so far including the lead single "Essence of Silence," the grandiose "Second Stone," and the soaring "Natural Corruption." Whereas "Requiem" felt a bit stale and not all that satisfying, this album sounds fresh, vibrant, and energetic every time you hear it. Every song has something about it that will stick with you. There are no fillers or duds here and you'll undoubtedly come back to it repeatedly. With less growls and catchier choruses than ever before, "The Quantum Enigma" is bar none their most accessible album so keep that in mind if you're thinking of introducing people to the band. If there's anything wrong with this album, I'd say it's the lyrics. The themes they chose to discuss are quite intriguing, but the way Epica discusses them leaves a lot to be desired. Another slight imperfection is the repetitiveness of "Kingdom of Heaven Part II." Were it to be either cut in half or simply made more interesting it could have been as good as its predecessor. All in all though, this is a stunning accomplishment and quite a pleasant surprise for me. I expected to find them running out of ideas and circling the wagons after "Requiem" but instead it seems like they went back to basics, reevaluated their sound, found their creativity once again, and hit it out of the park. The odds of this album ending up on my top 10 list in December are quite high.

No comments:

Post a Comment