Epica
Consign to Oblivion


3.5
great

Review

by Trajan Paul Murphy USER (18 Reviews)
February 12th, 2014 | 4 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Consign to Oblivion proves itself to be a very well-crafted symphonic album that shows a huge leap in songwriting, arrangement, and overall strength.

There is a popular saying that goes something like "first impressions are the most lasting ones". This saying is particularly relevant in the world of music, with many a band being best remembered among the masses only for their debut album, with subsequent material not getting nearly as much recognition. Epica is a fortunate aversion of this, with their debut album The Phantom Agony not getting nearly as much recognition as their later, better-liked material. This is a fortunate occurrence because The Phantom Agony had several notable issues. The overall songwriting quality was rather sub-par, and it sounded a little too close to rhythm guitarist Mark Jansen's former band After Forever for its own good. In contrast, Consign to Oblivion, Epica's second album, represents a huge step forward for the band in terms of quality of songwriting.

While The Phantom Agony had little that stood out, Consign to Oblivion has several stand-out tracks. "Dance of Fate" begins on an energetic note, making prominent use of the Latin choir, and demonstrating that Simone Simons has grown greatly as a vocalist. "Force of the Shore" has Jansen giving one of the most challenging performances of his career, contrasting with Simons and the choir, as well as proving that he is quite a vocalist himself. "Quietus" is the most engaging song on the album, allowing the band to come to the forefront, and demonstrating their improved skill as composers. Finally, "Trois Vierges" is a very effective ballad, based around a beautiful-sounding harpsichord, and featuring none other than Kamelot's Roy Khan performing a duet with Simons.

The title of the album is a synonym for failing to remember, and this plays greatly into the album's overall theme. The lyrics are very well-thought out, and are by far the most engaging aspect of Consign. From "Dance of Fate":

"We cannot tell when morning comes
Is there a choice to live another day?
It's hard to find a new direction in your fragile life
The precious time of your existence is now to come
Don't throw your life away by cheating time
Sugared placebos only fool your mind"

All the lyrics are equally as engaging and meaningful, whether they be about the collapse of Mayan civilization, realizing one's importance as an individual, or being punished for one's sins.

Consign is notably much more classically influenced than The Phantom Agony, with the symphony frequently being more prominent than the band itself. It is good that they are trying out a new sound, but it makes the album less musically interesting. The band as a whole does little to stand out throughout Consign, mostly blending into the background. In addition, metal fans may be disappointed to find that most of the metal elements have been moved out of the spotlight. And while the songwriting quality is good overall, there are still several lackluster tracks to be found, with "Solitary Ground" and "Another Me" slowing down the band's momentum greatly.

However, weaknesses aside, Consign to Oblivion proves itself to be a very well-crafted symphonic album that shows a huge leap in songwriting, arrangement, and overall strength. If anyone has doubts that Epica can handle themselves after The Phantom Agony, Consign should quell those doubts very quickly.



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Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (3)
Playing it safe with some of the weakest songs in their discography, Epica save 'Consign to Oblivion...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TPM731
February 11th 2014


238 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As always, constructive criticism is welcome.

VermTheImpaler
February 11th 2014


1360 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not bad but is the least interesting album of this band. They have better stuff, design your universe, the divine conspiracy and requiem for the indifferent are the best ones

dannyboy89
February 12th 2014


12031 Comments


There is a popular saying that goes something like "first impressions are the most lasting ones". This saying is particularly relevant in the world of music, with many a band being best remembered among the masses only for their debut album, with subsequent material not getting nearly as much recognition. Epica is a fortunate aversion of this, with their debut album The Phantom Agony not getting nearly as much recognition as their later, better-liked material. This is a fortunate occurrence because The Phantom Agony had several notable issues. The overall songwriting quality was rather sub-par, and it sounded a little too close to rhythm guitarist Mark Jansen's former band After Forever for its own good. In contrast, Consign to Oblivion, Epica's second album, represents a huge step forward for the band in terms of quality of songwriting.


This paragraph is just too confusing: be more straightforward in your arguments. What's your point?: that this album is underrated in regards to the band's debut? Or is it the other way around?

Toondude10
February 12th 2014


4127 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was actually about to say the same thing. You don't really give out your point that clearly.

"While The Phantom Agony had little that stood out, Consign to Oblivion has several stand-out tracks"

Kind of a poor sentence here, consider rewriting to something like "While Phantom Agony never really had interesting or ground-breaking, Consign to Oblivion is has much more interesting pieces that are certainly more memorable."

You could also expand more on your weaknesses paragraph, not to mention you kind of contradict yourself on "While this can be viewed as either positive or negative depending on the listener, it makes the album less musically interesting" when you clearly stated that this album had more stand-out tracks.

One more thing, you talk a little too much about "The Phantom Agony" early on.

Other than that, pretty decent write-up nonetheless. I pos'd, but jut keep in mind of those things.

Digging: Heaven Shall Burn - Veto



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