“We Will Take You With Us” by Epica

Artist: Epica
Title: “We Will Take You With Us”
Label: The End/Transmission Records
Release Date: 8/9/2005
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Rating: 8/10

Dutch Symphonic Metal sensation Epica bring us a very special recording as a follow-up to their debut album “The Phantom Agony”. On “We Will Take You With Us (2 Meter Sessies) the group presents to the listener a “live-in the studio” recording of their entire debut album with strings and full choir. To make sure that this is not taken as a clone of the first album the group also offers a couple of these numbers performed acoustically and features one unreleased song. This was a band that I found quite by accident when I was looking into After Forever. When I read that Epica (formerly called Sahara Dust) was formed by the guitarist who had left After Forever I knew this would be in the vein of music that I was appreciating. Mark Jansen’s discovery of Simone Simons allowed him to being a different level of player to the Operatic Fronted Metal band and this is surely not a secondary version of his former group either. A singer like Simone Simons brings the Mezzo Soprano as band superstar a possibility and showcasing an album where they perform live in a closed setting shows you that this group can indeed play and does so with very little difference from the fully recorded and produced release “The Phantom Agony”. Those that already own the debut might find this interesting more for the variations and the bonus tracks.

One of the surprises was the inclusion of the song “Memory” from the Broadway musical “Cats”. Simone does a great rendition on this song that was once performed by Barbara Steisand and I think Andrew Lloyd Webber would approve of it. They also feature a German rendition of the track “Run For A Fall” which fans of alternate versions would appreciate the band giving them. My favorites on the CD are “Façade Of Reality” and “Seif Al Din”. Overall this is an impressive piece and falls in line with the type of music fans of Nightwish and Therion tend to follow. There is a companion DVD available and on this you are able to watch this same performance and enjoy some extras. I recommend this primarily for those that really enjoy the debut CD for its added difference and perhaps for those that find this level of music of interest.

Track List:
1. Façade Of Reality
2. Sensorium
3. Illusive Consensus
4. Cry For The Moon
5. The Phantom Agony
6. Seif Al Din
7. Feint
8. Run For A Fall
9. Memory – bonus
10. Falsches Spiel –bonus unreleased

Official Web site: http://www.Epica.nl

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