Following an impressive wave of worldwide successes, Epica returns with a brand new album entitled “The Holographic Principle” which has a scientific/intellectual lyrical concept concerning multiple realities and, in terms of songwriting, consistently stays true to the band’s notorious symphonic metal style rather than delivering some unpredictable innovation.
The classically triumphant intro “Eidola” creates an enigmatic sense of expectancy that prepares the listeners for the rich musical tapestry of “Edge Of The Blade”. This track features the beloved Epica’s symphonic triumphant soundscape full of cracking guitar riffs and shimmering arrangements. As expected, the musical recipe includes a soft dreamy breakdown and a short heavy blast of growls.
“Universal Death Squad” starts with a charming slow orchestration that gives way to a crescendo of metallic tight guitar riffs and catchy choruses. An explosive heavy rhythm is carefully embellished by somber operatic choirs and atmospheric, at times gloomy, keyboards with sumptuous symphonic accents.
“Beyond The Matrix” focuses greatly on memorably majestic operatic choirs on detailed layers of symphonic orchestrations. While Simone Simons delivers elegant operatic vocals Mark Jansen channels the heaviest side of Epica’s music style with his strong signature growls and thunderous guitar riffing.
“Once Upon A Nightmare” almost sounds like a traditional emotional ballad with classical piano and strings. The song’s structure focuses mainly on the fascinating clarity of Simone Simons vocals but there is still space for polished guitar melodies and grandiose symphonic layers.
“Ascension – Dream State Armageddon” features a darkened post apocalyptic atmosphere with super heavy drumming and blackened guitar riffs. Mark Jansen delivers highly charismatic brutal growls in the midst of a gothic style atmospheric orchestration and creepy spoken passages.
The rather lengthy title track offers plenty of opulent theatrical choruses and classical soprano vocals adorned by triumphant orchestrations that acquire an ominous aura due to the exceptionally heavy guitar riffs and ravenous growls. This song certainly has an elaborate structure with various style and mood changes but as a whole it keeps a cohesive symphonic metal theme.
With “The Holographic Principle” Epica reconfirm their shiny status in the contemporary metal scene and delivers, once again, a piece of music that will easily please their devoted fans.