Epica - Consign To Oblivion

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Transmission Records
Catalog Number: TME-052
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:40:00

In 2003 the debut album of Epica raised nothing less than raving reviews and even got the band invited by the Dutch radio / TV host Jan-Douwe Kroeske for a prestigious performance in his "2 Meter Sessie" programme. This resulted in a beautiful semi-acoustic CD/DVD. Yet the band did not become arrogant after that and worked hard on their second studio album that is out now: Consign To Oblivion.

Of course the expectations for this album are tensed ? will Epica move in the same direction? Yes and no, which is the only answer. Yes, because Consign To Oblivion holds many elements that made The Phantom Agony such an amazing album: bombast, stunning vocals, choir and orchestra. Next to these also the unknown cultures are present.

Still, Consign To Oblivion is not a mere copy of their debut album. The album has more atmosphere and filmic influences and sounds even more mature, for as much that is possible, than The Phantom Agony. Simone Simons has never sounded better! I have had the opportunity to hear several songs of the album live and that is beyond words. On The Phantom Agony, her vocals sometimes were lost in the choirs, but here that doesn't happen much.

The first half of the album is fairly quiet, since "the beast," aka Mark Jansen, does not let himself be heard. Here you can enjoy great melodies and relaxed guitar riffs by Jansen and Sluyter. Halfway the album, starting with "Forces Of The Shore," the beast wakes up and the riffs go up a notch and the grunts enter. I have never been a real grunt fan, but when Mark Jansen starts, the volume goes up. Rock on!

Consign To Oblivion turns out to be a varied album, with melodic songs, where "The Last Crusade" is an absolute highlight, with sensitive ballads, "Solitary Ground," where the astonishingly beautiful voice of Simone Simons just gives you goose bumps, and great metal with the necessary grunts and heavy riffs, like in "Mother Of Light."

Of course Epica does not consist solely of Simone Simons and Mark Jansen, but a total of 6 excellent musicians, who once again perform at a high level of quality. The rhythm tandem Simons-Huts rocks like a train and knows everytime again to ride the right path. Whether it is heavy or more subdued, everything is played perfectly. Coen Jansen steals the show, especially with his piano play, where he brings moments of rest even in the heavy songs. Of course the guitar play by Mark Jansen and Ad Sluyter give the album that tasty metal sound. Still, one piece of advice: see Epica live, as they are definitely at their best on the stage!

Even Epica have heroes in music, given the fact the band owes their name to the title of a Kamelot album. So it must be very special for the band to have Kamelot singer Khan sing a duet with Simone Simons, that being "Trois Vierges." With the keys by Coen Janssen, this piece has a real medieval sound. On top of that, Simons is also present of the latest Kamelot album, The Black Halo, again in a duet with Kahn!

Good, as you can see, it is impossible to leave out the superlatives with Consign To Oblivion. Epica just is a band that from the start met with the greats in the "female fronted Gothic Metal" and here this is confirmed once again. Next to the music, also the choice of topics is of importance here. In the lyrics of Epica you won't easily find a tacky or empty topic. No, on Consign To Oblivion, the topics move from spirituality to the lost Maya culture, from religion to the artist's life.

Consign To Oblivion is an album that overwhelms, is bombastic, full of guitar and drum violence, full of emotion and atmosphere, filmic, filled with beautiful vocals and dark grunts, epic choirs and everything from the highest quality. The closing and title track sums all these elements up and the conclusion may be clear: this is a must have album!

Note: the album will be available in several formats and if you have the right equipment, the SACD is highly recommended, as you get to hear the album in a 5.1 mix.

Hunab K'u / Dance Of Fate / The Last Crusade / Solitary Ground / Blank Infinity / Forces Of The Shore / Quietus / Mother Of Light / Trois Vierges / Another Me

Simone Simons - Mezzo Soprano
Mark Jansen - guitars, grunts & screams
Ad Sluijter - guitars
Coen Janssen ? synths
Yves Huts - bass guitar
Jeroen Simons - drums & percussion

Guest appearances Sascha Paeth - acoustic guitars (2)
Roy Kahn - vocals on (9)

The Phantom Agony (2003)
We Will Take You With Us (2004)
Consign to Oblivion (2005)
The Score - An Epic Journey (2005)
The Road To Paradise (2006)
The Divine Conspiracy (2007)
Design Your Universe (2009)
The Classical Conspiracy (2009)
Requiem For The Indifferent (2012)
The Quantum Enigma (2014)
The Holographic Principle (2016)

We Will Take You With Us (DVD) (2004)
Retrospect - 10th Anniversary (DVD) (2013)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NL

Added: April 4th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.epica.nl
Hits: 1469
Language: english


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