As one of the band’s most elaborate and grandiose albums, today we have Epica’s highly awaited “Requiem for the Indifferent”. Packing in around 71 minutes of music in 13 tracks, this release is by far the band’s most musically ambitious release to date. While marinating their traditional Gothic/Symphonic Metal approach, Epica manages to incorporate Progressive elements into their already excellent sound, and end up with a release that is as complex as it is long.
In a similar fashion to MaYaN’s “Quarterpast”, this release requires more than a few spins before it really starts to sink in and you will start to enjoy it. While we think it is great that a band is making an effort in growing as musicians and making their sound a bit more complex, this might also alienate some fans that just like plain bombastic songs they can cheer/headbang to. “Requiem for the Indifferent” is not all very complex, but it feels like much more of an effort has to be put to it to be really enjoyed.
Immediately after the typical opening intro, “Monopoly of Truth” delivers the quintessential Epica sound with power riffs, tight drums and keyboard atmospheres surrounding Simone’s vocals. This song is exactly what we all expect from Epica and delivers a very solid opening for this release. “Storm the Sorrow” pushes Simone’s vocals to different directions and with the choir sections, it sounds very dynamic and well crafted. You might start noticing by know that some of the drum/guitar patterns are a bit different and more progressive sounding that before.
If you like emotional ‘power ballads’, “Delirium” is THE song for you. Simone’s vocals are angelic, the backing vocal tracks are just outstanding and the overall mood of the song is very beautiful. The first song that feels weird and it took more than a few listens to sink in was the title-track “Requiem for the Indifferent”. In this song the weird ethnic sounds and stop-and-go approach made it hard to follow (as an Epica song) at first but after a while its contrasting aggression grows on you.
After the interlude “Anima”, “Guilty Demeanor” gives another solid ‘traditional Epica’ song with lush choir arrangements and warm vocals. The next ‘ballad-esque’ track is “Deep Water Horizon” and its very dramatic approach. The pounding bass guitar line is a nice touch and the way the song progress is very nicely achieved. The band dabbles with many atmospheric elements in this song, and this nicely adds a bit more of emotions to this track, especially when paired with Mark’s growls.
“Deter the Tyrant” and “Stay the Course” are other tracks that feature some nice progressive elements thrown into the mix with the signature Epica sound. We particularly like the clean guitars and elaborate drum patterns of “Deter the Tyrant”. Fully exploiting Simone’s vocals, the band delivers the very somber “Avalanche”. This song nicely shifts from a full-on ballad to a stop-and-go track with lush choir arrangements. On the closer “Serenade of Self-Destruction” the band very effectively delivers an almost 10 minute track with lush vocals and excellent progressive elements. The instrumentation of this song is excellent and shows the band really having fun with what they are doing.
In general “Requiem for the Indifferent” is without a doubt an EXCELLENT Epica album. This release shows that the band is not conforming to their already successful sound and they are still pushing the envelope. We give props to the band for trying to expand their own sound and not releasing a bunch of albums that all sound the same. All instruments are perfectly designed to make this release near perfect, and with its very rich production everything sounds just magically. If you are a fan of the band, this release will be fully enjoyed by you after a few listens, and once it sinks, you will discover plenty of little details that will make you enjoy it even more.
|Band: Epica||Album: Requiem for the Indifferent|
|Label: Nuclear Blast Records||
Release: March 9th (Europe) / March 13th (North America), 2012
|Genre: Gothic/Symphonic Metal||