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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: March 4, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.54/5 (70.77%) (13 Votes)

When I first started spinning Epysode's Fantasmagoria, I was not sure what to make of it. Is it Progressive or is it Gothic? Both? It was hard to tell since the album gives up its treasures reluctantly. I'm glad I stuck with it because this it possesses a wealth of crunchy riffs, fantastic Progressive songwriting and wonderfully talented vocalists, including one of my favorite female singers, Triosphere's Ida Haukland.

If I had to find a reference point to describing the dark, Progressive Heavy Metal on Fantasmagoria it would be Symphony X's Iconoclast (maybe not so surprising with Symphony X bassist Mike LePond on board). Both albums make expert use of down-tuning the guitars to achieve a full, heavy sound that avoids sounding "modern." The keyboards round out the sound, giving the songs the Progressive feel without beating the listener over the head with a myriad of technicalities. Songs like "The Arch" and "The Black Parade" are massive and fill the room with wall-to-wall sound while tracks like "Now and Forever" and the title track give Haukland and fellow singers Tezzi Persson (Between the Silence) and Tom Englund (Evergrey) plenty of room to show off their respective vocal talents. The modern trend of recording parts separately and sharing files over the internet was eschewed by band leader Samuel Arkan. Instead, he brought all the musicians together in the studio to get more of a "band" feel and it paid off handsomely. The songwriting, while not the equal of that on Iconoclast, is excellent.

Fantasmagoria has so much going for it, from the impressive vocals to the excellent sound and performances, that any Progressive Metal fan should be happy to add this to their collections. It is immediately accessible yet continues to reveal secrets even after several listens and isn't that one of the true joys of Progressive Metal?

More about Epysode...
Review: Fantasmagoria (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
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