By ASHLEY WELFORD-COSTELLOE
Female-fronted Dutch symphonic metal band, Epica, has released its fifth studio album titled Requiem for the Indifferent. While the group’s third full-length album, The Divine Conspiracy, was heavier than the first two full-length releases, their fourth album, Design Your Universe took things to the next level. I felt the band achieved the perfect sound on that album. It was heavy and progressive, but had the symphonic element at the same time.
On Requiem for the Indifferent, the band is successful in carrying out the difficult task of creating a good followup to their previous album.
Like all other Epica albums, this one starts off with a short intro titled Karma. This symphonic piece leads into Monopoly On Truth, a brutal, all-guns-blazing song complemented by the vocal talents of Simone Simons. The occasional death growls add to the tune and fans will be surprised at how heavy this track is. Storm the Sorrow starts out in the typical musical style Epica has used on previous albums, but it gets heavier toward the end of the song, giving it an identity of its own.
Delirium is a slow, soft ballad which certainly sounds more peaceful than the previous two tracks. Next comes the title track which has a bit of everything. It starts out with the use of some interesting instrumentation that has not been heard on previous albums, then moves to a typical symphonic metal sound followed by a ballad-type section and a surge of death metal at the end. This was an enjoyable track to listen to as it was completely different.
The piano interlude Anima is followed by the dark and epic Guilty Demeanor. The next song, Deep Water Horizon, starts off as a slow ballad, but it eventually picks up the pace. Stay the Course is another fantastic song. At times, it’s heavy enough to be classified as straight-up death metal and that’s something I really enjoy, since that sub-genre of metal was what got me into the heavier music in the first place.
Next up, Deter The Tyrant, does everything the album has done so far with a little acoustic guitar segment thrown in. Avalanche is more progressive and similar to Deep Water Horizon in its gradual build-up. Finally, the last song on the album, Serenade Of Self-Destruction, takes some time to pick up the pace, but once it does, it’s nothing short of amazing.
Requiem for the Indifferent is an absolute must-have for all Epica fans. Even if you’re not an fan, try giving it a listen. You may change your mind.