…The Holographic Principle is a valuable piece that rises high above recent albums like The Quantum Enigma or Design Your Universe, and Epica fans definitely won’t have a single reason to be disappointed. I’m already looking forward to hearing all this new material live.
Dutch symphonic metallers Epica are releasing their seventh studio album, The Holographic Principle, and expectations are pretty high with this one – Epica is, after all, one of the leading bands of their genre. So let’s take a closer look at the twelve brand new songs these guys and girl have come up with. [columns] [column size=”1/3″]
Album Title: The Holographic Principle
Release Date: 30 September 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast
First song is an epic intro to the whole album, and the very beginning has a Mad Max atmosphere to it – anybody who has ever heard the soundtrack to this post-apocalypse movie would probably think of it while listening to the first notes of “Eidola.”
“Edge of the Blade” starts strong and powerful. Although it’s a pity Simone’s voice is not just as strong, her vocals are quite undistinguished and she is mostly heard only during the chorus, but they still get lost a bit in the music and choir. What stands out a lot more is definitely Marc’s growl, which is perfect.
Next song sounds less rough and heavy, and you can finally appreciate the glory of Simone’s voice to the fullest. “A Phantasmic Parade” is really a parade of her amazing singing skills.
“Universal Death Squad” starts of as a ballad with a slower tempo and somewhat romantic sound to it. You can hear very beautiful piano and violin at the beginning, but the song graduates with fast and heavy entry of guitars. Still, Simone’s vocals sound delicate and very gentle during the song.
“Divide and Conquer” is up next and personally, this one is one of my most favourite on the album. It starts with shooting and shouting, and the music is very dramatic.
Simone‘s vocals are truly charming and special on “Beyond the Matrix.” What also stands out is a breathtaking solo that stands out among many excellent melodies on The Holographic Principle.
Number seven is my personal top. Beautiful melancholic instrumental melody straight out of an epic fantasy saga. I instantly thought of scenes from beautiful New Zealand in Lord of the Rings during “Once Upon A Nightmare.” Delicate are Simone’s vocals, yet soring to beautiful heights; you can truly enjoy her singing in this song so much, it shows the extents of what she is capable of as a singer, and once again proves her excellent qualities and that she is an exceptional singer – she is not holding back at all. The violin melodies sometimes reminded me a bit of Lindsey Stirling’s music and style, and it fits in perfectly. I literally have goosebumps; this song is absolutely epic.
In “The Cosmic Algorithm,” we are thrown back to the Quantum Enigma, this song has that type of sound to it that could be heard on the last Epica album. As the title of next songs hints – “Ascension – Dream State Armageddon” – this song sounds dreamlike, and also a bit haunting. “Dancing in a Hurricane” can be best described as an oriental and exotic-sounding piece. We are returning to a faster pace and heavier sound, and the next one sounds like it could really tear down the walls.
The Holographic Principle is coming to an end with “The Holographic Principle – A Profound Understanding of Reality.” It starts with a choir that is absolutely prominent on the album. It’s definitely not one of the fastest pieces, the tempo is a bit slower and makes the vocals, growls, and guitar riffs stand out even more.
From the beginning it’s quite clear there is clear shift and a lot of new elements to Epica in the whole album. Overall this album is way above average. The sound is new and innovative in many aspects, but still maintains that distinctive Epica feel – you know basically from the very first note of the very first song that this is Epica, even though the band plays with different and new sounds. The choirs that can be heard on the record add a breath of epicness. However, they are quite frequent, so by the end of album it gets a bit repetitive sometimes. Simone’s vocals and Marc’s growling create amazing contrast.
For me, The Holographic Principle is a valuable piece that rises high above recent albums like The Quantum Enigma or Design Your Universe, and Epica fans definitely won’t have a single reason to be disappointed. I’m already looking forward to hearing all this new material live.