Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Review: The Divine Conspiracy by Epica

Simone Simons

I got three CDs from my awesome daughter for my birthday and although I intended to listen to them all I've gotten stuck on the first one because it is so good! The Divine Conspiracy by Epica.

I'm not sure whether to say this is a metal album that uses an orchestra or that it is an orchestral album that uses a metal band. The orchestra and keyboards that sound like an orchestra are a major part of this album and all of the musical themes are either carried by the orchestra (and I include the keyboards in that) or the vocals.

I was half way through my first listen of the CD when I realized there hadn't been a single guitar solo, and that's how it continued. I've never heard a metal album that didn't have a single guitar solo, but strangely enough the album does not suffer because of it. The way the orchestra, operatic chorus, solo vocals and metal band are blended together is masterful.

Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of guitar and plenty of metal band in the album. Any mere mortal who isn't into metal would probably find the album way too loud and blasting for their tastes but the guitar is rhythm guitar not lead guitar.

Now to the music itself: I would categorize it as operatic orchestral metal. The "metal" can get very metal at times with grunt vocals, pounding rhythms and amazing speed. The "orchestral" can get very orchestral too, with entire sections of the album containing no band. And the "operatic" can get ... you guessed it ... very operatic with beautiful harmonies and solos.

The vocals of Simone Simons are absolutely beautiful. This girl has an incredible voice.

So, get the album and enjoy!

12 April 2008 - I did hear one guitar solo! Thought I'd better put that in :)

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