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 Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)

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Oneofthepandies
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PostSubject: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:04 pm

Epica's performs a blend of progressive metal, gothic metal and symphonic metal. Another component of Epica's style is power metal with their former guitarist Ad Sluijter describing the band as "a bridge between power metal and gothic metal. Vocalist Simone Simons has expressed a preference for the group to be described as symphonic metal though the founder of the group Mark Jansen notes that they do not mind being called gothic metal.

The music of Epica is aggressive, bombastic and excessive with some songs being "epic, grand and majestic" and others "more subdued and introspective." The band is also known to have progressive tendencies while a gothic atmosphere and sentimentality is also present in their music.

Epica uses a "trademark of many symphonic and gothic metal bands" in contrasting "two extremes, death grunts and brutality on one side, airy female melodiousness on the other." Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic notes that the band's "attraction ultimately hinges on exploring the sonic contrasts of light and dark; the punishing intensity of those elephantine guitar riffs and hyperactive drumming cast against the soaring, layered sweetness of the orchestrated strings and keyboards." Simone Simons delivers operatic vocals in a mezzo-soprano range though she has also been known to sometimes sing "with a clear alto voice that has a flawless tone and a lot of emotion." Mark Jansen delivers death grunts "that are secondary to Simons' singing, but very important in terms of balance and variety." The group is also known to employ human choirs and orchestras with additional embellishments such as spoken word recitals and lyrics in Latin and Arabic.

(taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epica_(band) )


Last edited by Oneofthepandies on Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:02 am

I think Epica owe a lot to Amanda, seeming as they make so many English mistakes that need correcting Razz Also, she's Simone's vocal coach, and she's part of the choir... she seems to be more involved than the band members Razz

I'm not really a fan of Design Your Universe... I think it's a bit too polished, if that makes sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:20 am

I agree with you, I'm over epica now :p I really liked them up to DYU but it just sounds as if Simone is hurting herself rather than singing (sorry)
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:23 am

I think she's been trying too hard recently. But that's just my opinion, I prefer The Phantom Agony when she had her more classical vocals.
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:42 am

I prefer We Will Take You With Us (which is basically TPA redone) exactly because it's less polished and manipulated than their regular studio work
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:29 am

Myrn wrote:
I prefer We Will Take You With Us (which is basically TPA redone) exactly because it's less polished and manipulated than their regular studio work
+1

I guess that seeing as my fave Epica album was The Score, I can't say much Razz

From what I've heard of the album (Design Your Universe), I think it's good, mostly because Epica are cohese. They have their own "thing", and they do it. No big surprises, which some people thin is a bad thing, but I think it can also be a good thing. It's best to do the same thing well, than to try something so radically new that makes you fail, big time.
I won't say that I think it's an amazing album, because I don't (personal opinion, of course), but I do think that Unleashed and Our Destiny are really well accomplished. And that the choirs in both these songs, as well as in some others, are stronger than ever.
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:05 am

I totally disagree with you on DYU, they totally changed what they were doing to more male vocals (which is fine!) but also to a more poppy Simone (which is not fine imo) but meh
Tired of this discussion >.<
Epica - Simone + Amanda = PURE WIN


For those who haven't heard it yet, Unleashed ft. Amanda Somerville Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:22 am

I think they've changed. Mark's growls are a lot clearer, which is good, I guess. However, I prefer his messy growls because Epica is a female-fronted band, and therefore I think the female singer should be the one whose vocals we're focused on. Mark improving his growls sort of over-rides that idea in my opinion.

Also, the incorporation of solos is a big change - before DYU, the only guitar solo was in Beyond Belief and the music overall was focused more on the intricacies of the music rather than shredding. I'm not a big fan of shredding, but that's not the point.

The album's alright, but not their best. I think Martyr of the Free Word and Resign to Surrender (apart from the name) are the best songs on the album.
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:56 am

Myrn wrote:
I prefer We Will Take You With Us (which is basically TPA redone) exactly because it's less polished
I do think that Unleashed and Our Destiny are really well accomplished. And that the choirs in both these songs, as well as in some others, are stronger than ever.
+1

WTI wrote:
I think they've changed. Mark's growls are a lot clearer, which is good, I guess. However, I prefer his messy growls because Epica is a female-fronted band, and therefore I think the female singer should be the one whose vocals we're focused on. Mark improving his growls sort of over-rides that idea in my opinion.
Well they had to find some use for their second growler Wink

Anyway back to Amanda. I'm so disappointed I didn't see her live with Epica when Simone was ill. From what I found on youtube it was an impressive show. And the video above is nearly better than the original (I really love Simone in this song so no it's not a keying mistake that I wrote nearly Wink)
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:53 am

I think it depends on the songs, and the vocal style. Amanda is an alto, and Simone a mezzo, right?
Therefore, I think certain songs will sound "better" or "worse", depending.

Honestly, I prefer the original Unleashed, because I think the original is almost flawless (in Epica-context).
But, for example, Sensorium (which I remember Amanda did once in a concert when Simone was ill, and there's a video on Youtube) sounded much better and solid when Amanda sang it.
In my opinion, ofc Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:58 pm

šišmiš wrote:
Honestly, I prefer the original Unleashed, because I think the original is almost flawless (in Epica-context).
But, for example, Sensorium (which I remember Amanda did once in a concert when Simone was ill, and there's a video on Youtube) sounded much better and solid when Amanda sang it.
In my opinion, ofc Razz

Yes, that's true. And Fools of Damnation sounds much better when Simone sings it.
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:56 pm

I prefer the Amanda Unleashed (but then again, I'm a fangirl so I don't really count :p) and the same for sensorium but Em is definitely right about Fools of Damnation, no one can sing that like Simone (or no one I've heard anyway)
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:17 pm

I haven't heard anyone else sing FoD, but there you are - it's that sort of song that is made for a certain person; and the interpretation that person gives to the song, is just right. That's why some songs are impossible to cover.

I still think Amanda has better vocal skills than Simone, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:57 pm

šišmiš wrote:

I still think Amanda has better vocal skills than Simone, though.

Obviously, she's Simone's vocal coach, would be weird if she didn't :p
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:23 am

I just love Epica. One of the best events of my life I can thank for them. Best concert experiences. Also I really really like them, extreamly friendly and kind and talented ppl!!
I love all songs and all CDs except for Quietus Rolling Eyes I also like DYU. They took teh chance to do what they want! And art is about freedom, the freedom of create. And I am happy they do different things, that they do what they want to do, being the same all the time is not just boring but also the death of creativity imo. Whatever, Rolling Eyes Epica rules cyclops
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:52 pm

The one reason I hate the duet version of "Unleashed" is because it sounds too much like Amanda is doing karaoke. I had gotten really excited for that version and I was really disappointed that they just recycled the vocals from the original. But I think it would be amazing if they performed the song live as a duet. I want to hear Amanda do "Tides of Time" in her style.

I like both of them for different reasons, Simone for technique and Amanda for emotion. I think in switching between either of them, we lose something and gain something (I'm a huge fan of operatic vocals in my metal stuff so that would be my opinion).
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:58 pm

Where are Epica from??!SmileSmile
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:28 pm

changeling wrote:
Where are Epica from??!SmileSmile
Epica is from the Netherlands Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:02 am

Have you guys heard any of the new songs yet? What do you think?
Personally, I'm deeply disappointed. it sounds like they asked a bunch of people (who have no clue what metal is) what a metal album should sound like and then recorded that with the addition of 24 billion layers. It's just not very good imo. Simone is doing seven types of vocals in one song, there's just too much going on at the same time. I don't like listening to music that requires me to figure out how it all fits together, it should just fit.

In other news, I have been listening to We Will Take You With Us again lately and I am still in love with that album. I think that was Epica at its best, live(ish) and without all the extra bells and whistles.

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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:24 am

Oneofthepandies wrote:
Have you guys heard any of the new songs yet? What do you think?
Personally, I'm deeply disappointed. it sounds like they asked a bunch of people (who have no clue what metal is) what a metal album should sound like and then recorded that with the addition of 24 billion layers. It's just not very good imo. Simone is doing seven types of vocals in one song, there's just too much going on at the same time. I don't like listening to music that requires me to figure out how it all fits together, it should just fit.

In other news, I have been listening to We Will Take You With Us again lately and I am still in love with that album. I think that was Epica at its best, live(ish) and without all the extra bells and whistles.
Amen.
When they tour here, I'll go see them and probably buy the new album there because I want to support them in hopes that they'll be awesome again. But because of how "Design Your Universe" and the "This Is The Time" single turned out, I've been having bad feelings for the album for a while and their new single just confirms it.
I've also been listening to their older stuff and watched some clips from WWTYWU and just ugh. I miss their old sound. I wish Ad Sluijter had never left. Oy.
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:47 am

Yeah, I definitely think with Isaac and his background, it might have made Mark and the others think they should try and be even more metal or something. It's over-the-top and they're trying too hard. I think that they got the mix right with The Divine Conspiracy, but I still think The Phantom Agony is their best album.

With Mayan, I think that is a massive waste of time. They're basically Epica (both musically and physically), and it's not like they haven't addressed themes surrounding the Mayans in every Epica album or anything...

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Last edited by WTI on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:40 pm

Probably it's also the combo of Isaac with Arien since they're both ex-members of the same band. That combination probably caused the "need to be more metal" thing you talked about.

I hate Mayan. To me, they're everything I don't like about Epica's current stuff on steroids. (As a graphic designer, I really enjoyed the album design but I can't stand listening to the music.)

I feel like Mark Jansen is just turning into a hot mess. Two After Forever albums, 5 Epica albums, and 1 Mayan album all on the same theme? Come on, now.
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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:20 pm

It's just so frustrating. I really cannot see why Mark thought Mayan was a good idea. It is hardly different from Epica - Simone still sings in it, the band members are practically all in Epica anyway, they sound the same as Epica (only with more of Mark's growls, which aren't that great to begin with), same producers, same everything. ARGH.

And he really needs to get over this thing he's got with the Mayans. I think we've all established that they were wrong, and I think people stopped caring about them for a reason Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:14 am

So, I've listened to the entire album now and I have to say: not worth it. Absolute waste of time. I can't help but feel that Simone's play a big part in that but maybe that's just me. I'm really sad now Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Epica (The Phantom Agony‚ Consign To Oblivion‚ The Divine Conspiracy‚ Design Your Universe, Requiem For The Indifferent)   Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:00 pm

Oneofthepandies wrote:
So, I've listened to the entire album now and I have to say: not worth it. Absolute waste of time. I can't help but feel that Simone's play a big part in that but maybe that's just me. I'm really sad now Sad
I don't know which members I shouldn't be mad/disappointed with. I feel like the band as a whole has contributed to this decline in quality. I tried listening to another song and I couldn't finish it. I was so bored and completely disinterested. WWTYWU and the Conspiracy albums were my favorites and now I feel like they've gone down some kind of slippery slope into crapitude.
Sigh.
*drowns feelings in the new Xandria album*
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