Once your previous studio "The Divine Conspiracy" in the top 10 being a Dutchman and an established star in his country, here is the new EPICA: "Design Your Universe". The album was recorded in the "Gate Studio in Wolfsburg, under the tutelage of Sasha Paeth, who was in charge of the mixes, mastering and production thereof.
Anecdotally, I must tell you that no label has been registered and financed by the band themselves. EPICA Transmission Records went bankrupt and decided to move ahead with the disk, so to have a product to show to other companies like Century Media or Nuclear Blast, being elected at the last minute by the second.
Even that is not a conceptual work, it is true that all letters have a certain relationship, which is a hymn to freedom, dreams and conservation of the planet, hence the title "Design Your Universe".
As one would expect, the round opens with an instrumental introduction, "Samadhi", based on orchestra and chorus to the epic style "Pirates of the Caribbean", which gives it a very theatrical air at startup. A start that blends with the rhythm guitars and double bass drum of "Resing To Surrender" terribly rhythmic theme that presents the guttural voice of Mark in its early stages, whose throat will merge later with the sweet voice of Simone.
The following is the single, "Unleashed", which you must now many of you have enjoyed, thanks to the video clip is presented. It's more melodic and calmer than its predecessor, yet not lacking the orchestra and choirs.
"Martyr Of The Free World" has an overwhelming home, until he ran into the sweet Simone, who shapes it into Arabic sounds, these oriental melodies contrast with some Gregorian Chant and the death-metalera fury of the topic, something worth listening to, a temazo bombastic and original as they come.
The fifth "Our Destiny" brings out the lyrical potential of Simone, who, accompanied by piano, demonstrating his operatic talents. With "Kingdom of Heaven" came to half the round and found the longest song of all, thanks to its thirteen and a half minutes long. A complex composition, looking much like to Therion, timidly approaching the progressive Opeth at times where we return to find a mix of everything she does EPICA, choirs, orchestras, death-metal and opera singing.
The interlude "The Price Of Freedom" seems to want to separate the disc into two acts, so the second part opens with "Burn To A Cinder," a topic that seems to lower the bar of aggression but that immerses you in a dream Thanks to female voice, where the orchestra returned to play its role to perfection. "Tides Of Time" relaxes again, a nice piece, the home piano, going from less to more and returns to make the best of Simone.
"Deconstruct" is more aggressive and rhythmic, but terribly melodic at once, no doubt another cut without waste. The strength of songs like "Resing To Surrender", was recovered in the penultimate "Semblance Of Liberty", where Mark picks up the reins of the microphone to trace his throaty voice.
"White Waters" wasted emotion, is the play "unplugged" and spiritual round, including percussion, violins and acoustic guitars (not forgetting the orchestra) we hear a great duet between Tony Kakko (SONATA ARCTICA) and Simone Simons.
Putting the icing, we find the plastic that gives its name to "Desing Your Universe", a court of nine and a half minutes, baroque as they come, with a proper principle of the paso doble in which we find even castanets, with very few female choirs Mark Janssen marked and a rampant giving the reply.
It seems that "The Cassical Conspiracy" their previous live album, has penetrated deep within EPICA, as more and are more symphonic and complicated. If you sum all that great sound that has managed Sasha Paeth, the mature voice that shows Simone and bringing new guitarist Isaac Delahaye, the thing is summed up in one word: sublime!