Epica, Design Your Universe, 2009
A little confession is at order here. Despite playing with Epica on a festival, before they were propelled into international succes, I haven´t really followed them. But as I kept reading about their albums and so on, I figured I´d better give them a listen. Just to find out I am somewhat overwhelmed with the CD. It is hard to believe how good this is. If you like your music bigger than life, and have a knack for orchestrations, divine melodies, a lot of dynamics, angelic voice, big harmonies and still want your guitars loud and don´t mind the occasional grunt or scream, you just gotta hear this.
I am guessing the band are into film scores, Carl Orff, Therion, Nightwish, classical music and so on, as this is what all that cumulates into. I can´t believe the immense sound with all the choirs, orchestra and that heavy band kicking away when their time is due. And yes, I have heard Simone Simons before (on Kamelot albums mostly) but I would like to be so bold as to say she gives Tarja a run for her money. What a voice!
So after listening to this all day, and still getting chills all the time, all I can say that you better head out to your favourite dealer and buy this pronto (that is, if you were as ignorant as me, smart people probably own this already). Unbelievably immense!