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Review: Epica - The Alchemy Project
The Alchemy Project

Label: Atomic Fire Records
Year released: 2022
Duration: 35:51
Tracks: 7
Genre: Symphonic Metal


Review online: November 11, 2022
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (4 Votes)

Nearing 20 years of operating under the Epica name, this band from The Netherlands has been a stalwart of the symphonic metal genre and has, in almost black metal fashion, released a dizzying number of singles, splits, compilations, EPs, and live albums in addition to ten full-length studio efforts. The Alchemy Project is their latest EP, a format they've embraced over the past five years. For these seven new tracks, Epica have invited a host of guest musicians to share writing and vocal duties for a sort of Avantasia-like release. We get harsh singers like Francesco Paoli (Fleshgod Apocalypse) and Björn Strid (Soilwork) sharing "beauty and the beast" back and forth with Epica's Simone Simons on "The Great Tribulation" and "Death Is Not the End" respectively. There are also clean singing partnerships with Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) and Charlotte Wessels (ex-Delain) on "Wake the World" and "Sirens – Of Blood and Water." All the songs are typical Epica with lush arrangements and beautiful, often haunting vocal lines with hooks aplenty. There's very little to dislike on The Alchemy Project and Epica even try out a little death metal on "Human Devastation" with its speed and uniformly harsh vocals. This might turn some fans off a bit, but I like the fact they are taking a few chances here and there. Why, they even add a saxophone to "The Final Lullaby" and it works quite well. If you enjoy female-fronted, symphonic metal, Epica is as much a lock to produce quality releases at this stage of their career as any band out there today, so you can grab The Alchemy Project and slot it right into heavy rotation.

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Review: The Divine Conspiracy (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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Review: The Quantum Enigma (reviewed by MetalMike)
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