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Review: Epysode - Fantasmagoria

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2013
Duration: 1:02:31
Tracks: 14
Genre: Progressive Power Metal


Review online: November 11, 2013
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
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Rated 3.54/5 (70.77%) (13 Votes)

Album number two from Samuel Arkan's Epysode is your average slab of dark, progressively tinged power metal; armed to the teeth with more singers than you can shake a stick at. The guest list this time around includes the likes of Evergrey's Tom Englund, Triosphere's Ida Haukland, Henning Basse who I'm sure we all remember from Metalium, and Symphony X bassist extraordinaire Mike LePond. Of course there are others to mention, but that would be a little indulgent.

It's good to see the singers are pretty well integrated to the music here, as a lot of these projects seem to rely on showcasing one singer per track (Empires Of Eden, I'm looking at you). Epysode is more akin to Ayreon or Avantasia in the utilization of guest talent, with each of the singers appearing particularly frequent across the album. Tom Englund and Ida Haukland seem to be the most prominent, which is great in my book, Tom sounds really good but I'd have to say that Ida completely steals the show whenever she appears. Much like she did on the latest Teodor Tuff release, she puts forth a passionate performance, further establishing herself as one of the finer female vocalists in the scene today – we need a new Triosphere album!

As with a lot of albums taking this approach, the music isn't quite as exciting as the personnel. This is a very modern brand of power metal with that aforementioned progressive tinge, very typical of the style although certainly well performed. Expect chugging riffs, and plenty of keyboards throughout, as well as the odd extreme metal touch, be it in the vocals or some of the music. The sound across the board is pristine here, thanks to the skills of Jacob Hansen who, as always, does an incredible job mixing and mastering.

Whilst I wouldn't say there was anything to really write home about with Fantasmagoria, I'd definitely say the album has its moments. Tracks such as "Raven's Curse", "T.H.O.R.N.S." and the ace prog power stomp of opener "The Arch" certainly boast a fair bit of appeal and are sure to please fans of the style. There's plenty of good performances across the board too, particularly in the lead guitars and of course the singers. Nothing that hasn't been done before (or better), but without a doubt solid enough; give this a listen if Beyond Twilight jamming with Avantasia sounds like your thing.

More about Epysode...
Review: Fantasmagoria (reviewed by MetalMike)
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