Time flies, we all know that, and we can have a good reference of it when the Dutch symphonic metal band that entered our favorite genre of music about a decade ago is about to release their seventh album. EPICA’S finally back with another release after crushing faces with their previous one. The Holographic Principle is out now (Nuclear Blast Records). This incredibly talented metal band again offers a great album that holds ups and downs in terms of melody and rhythm, and we recommend every minute of it! Before passing to the natural taste that each song offers, it’s remarkable to say that this record offers many darker sections in its content, which makes it great for fans that love some dark music as much as Simone Simons’ beautiful voice.
“Eidola”, the opening song, is ideal to get you in the mood for the symphonies. The right direction continues with “Edge of the Blade”, which is an excellent song, full of action and with a chorus that makes your soul rise. “A Phantasmic Parade” starts a bit slow with the chords, but also offers a roller coaster of emotions, without putting aside the high notes from our favorite vocalist and the heavy riffs from EPICA’S talented guitar players (Mark Jansen and Isaac Delahaye). “Universal Death Squad” is one of my favorite songs. Somehow, the piano at the beginning, in company of the strings gives me peaceful feelings, which fly away once the drums kick in and hold this rhythm in a surprising dynamism. “Divide and Conquer” is a long track that doesn’t lack heaviness. All you have to go is just give it some time to get your mind in the scene and enjoy Jansen’s heavy growls and screams.
“Beyond the Matrix” starts immediately with the high opera-sound notes and also keeps the motivation high. It’s a song that I would absolutely love to hear live in their upcoming tour. “Once Upon a Nightmare” envisions another story, expressed by deep notes from the violin in the main section and an orchestral background. This song is much more calm than the previous ones, but it doesn’t bring down the hype from the first half. “The Cosmic Algorithm” builds up this stamina again and brings even heavier material to headbang to. The guitar work on this one is very clear, simple, and the riffs will strengthen up your steps to glory. “Ascension – Dream State Armageddon” is a suspenseful track, full of mystery and curiosity. Instead of being background music for my everyday routine, it stole my attention to taste every note played for almost six minutes. This is not the conventional “intro-chorus-solo-outro” song, give it a try and see what I mean.
“Dancing in a Hurricane” goes back to the use of simpler drums. Simone’s voice invites you to dance in a wilder place to EPICA’S music, but with a bit of enjoyment. “Tear Down Your Walls” is another track that instantly grabbed me and told me to not let the music stop for any reason, and it’s damn right about this because it’s only a matter of seconds until this song melts your face and gives you another boost like the previous songs had already caused. “The Holographic Principle – A Profound Understanding of Reality” embodies what I absolutely love about symphonic metal bands: songs at the end that represent the conclusion of very tough months of hard work and inspirational sounds that have the power to stay there whenever they’re needed.
The Holographic Principle itself is a very dynamic album. If you’ve followed EPICA for a long time, you would notice by now that this band experiments within the style of music that they already play. The message that the album holds is about the near future, where virtual reality allows people to create and live in their own worlds without having a certain distinction from the one that they live in, and that’s how it’s turned into a hologram. This music enables you to build your own reality and to live in the holographic universe. And this music is precisely ideal to disconnect from the real world and transport yourself to the world that makes you happy, at least until the last seconds of your favorite songs.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Edge of the Blade”, “Universal Death Squad”, “Beyond the Matrix”, “Divide and Conquer”.