|Review: Epica - The Solace System|
|The Solace System|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2017
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: November 3, 2017
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:The Solace System
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)
I'm not sure why I didn't review Epica's most recent album, 2016's The Holographic Principle, considering I reviewed the two previous albums. Oh well, on to the band's most recent release, 2017's The Solace System, a 6-song EP made of up material composed during the sessions for The Holographic Principle but left off as the band wasn't interested in releasing a double album. I've been saying this for years, but bands need to stop putting out albums that run more than an hour. If you have the material, split it up and give the fans two albums a year apart. And Epica have done it, thank you very much.
Having not reviewed The Holographic Principle, I can't speak to the quality of the songs chosen for that release but if the six on The Solace System were somehow considered inferior, that album must be goddamn masterpiece because this kicks all kinds of ass. Epica's Symphonic/Power Metal sound has never sounded more bombastic and aggressive. The speed and power of "Fight Your Demons" is balanced with the majesty and infectious chorus of "Architect of Light". Keyboards and guitars work in unison to sweep the listener up into the chorus of voices led by Simone Simons, who has never sounded better, backed by multi-tracked choirs. The lone ballad is the beautiful "Immortal Melancholy" which gives Simons the opportunity to showcase her lovely voice. There isn't one bad track here, not one.
If you like female-fronted Symphonic Metal but have been getting bored with the glut of bands that are all starting to sound the same, grab a copy of The Solace System. Epica shows the field what it sounds like when this style is written and performed to perfection.
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