From the time you view the intricate and artistic cover of this EP, you know you are in for a treat. This highly orchestrated album sounds as much like an opera as symphonic metal can without losing its edge. Simone Simons’ vocals are flawless and haunting. Mark Jansen, guitarist and growler, out does himself as chief composer and has ramped up his writing to the caliber of Nightwish and beyond. I enjoyed the heavy use of synth and piano rounding out the sound and fluffing it up a bit. It has been quite a while since keyboard talents have been accentuated, too long, if you ask me. Coen Jansson says it is “a work of dedication”, and it shows. The music leaps out, grabs you, and drags you into their world.
If you truly like symphonic metal this EP is a definite must have. I also appreciate the fact that Epica, rather than inundate us with some mediocre songs to fill an album, chose to keep it simple and release just the best of the best in an EP format. To quote Mark Jansen, “the songs were too good to be bonus tracks”. Every note is well done and leaves you wanting more. Buy the entire EP instead of a single song. You’ll end up buying it anyway once you hear it.