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“The Divine Conpiracy” by Epica

Artist: Epica
Title: “The Divine Conspiracy”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 9/7/2007
Genre: Gothic Symphonic Metal
Rating: 5/5

I’ve been following the music of Epica for a couple of years now and have long been convinced of what they can do since their debut album “The Phantom Agony” was released on the now defunct Transmission Records back in 2003. They would follow the debut with a strong sophomore effort called “Consign To Oblivion” and if you are fortunate to own any of these then you are lucky since each are almost impossible to find in today’s Metal world without a lot of digging. From the ashes of Transmission the band would rise like the Phoenix and sign a deal with Nuclear Blast Records and give the world their magnum opus, the amazing Symphonic Gothic album “The Divine Conspiracy”. The album is without a doubt not only their strongest material to date but perhaps even the best album that they have ever done. Produced by Metal luminary Sascha Paeth and the band, Epica takes the elements that they introduced us to on their earlier albums and meld them together into one of the most mature and elegantly powerful Metal albums of 2007. Led by guitarist Mark Jansen, the compositions on the album are at times brooding and dark while at other time both passionate and bright. Their vocalist Simone Simons, who many might know as having worked with Melodic Metal masters Kamelot, truly shines as one of the most amazing singers that the genre has ever given us. With this album the classically trained Mezzo Soprano shows that she can not only handle some of the highest notes out there but also keep a more conventional voice as well if need be. Jansen is known to be quite fond of film score’s so it makes sense that the new Epica begins with one of its own and as it plays you envision sitting in some grand theatre as the cast of players is introduced.
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