Epica
The Quantum Enigma


4.5
superb

Review

by Mythodea USER (6 Reviews)
May 1st, 2014 | 248 replies


Release Date: 05/13/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Total Epicness, Anyone?

Let's imagine that each discography is a city. The band, song by song, record by record is constructing a town, with good buildings and minor ones. The more talented the band is, the greater the city.

Now, what about Epica's buildings? They have a decent discography, consisted by six albums, and from album to album, they are trying to make a progress, to evolve their sound and leave their mark on music. Have they used their space and bricks with wisdom, or do they hastily build ramshackle buildings, no one wants to live in?

The answer would be the first one, of course. Step by step, Epica build both their personality and their city, creating only buildings with beauty equal to a Library, a Museum, a City Hall and so on.

Commenting on their more popular albums, ''The Divine Conspiracy'' would be the Library, where they would search for their identity, the basis of the songs' construction and their final lyrical approach. Then, ''Design Your Universe'' would be the City Hall, where they became dominant upon their ideas and managed to craft music with exceptional musical skills, thus making it the most precious and marvelous of their premises. ''Requiem for the Indifferent'' seems unable to enrich the city, becoming a part of it that many would ignore, as it seems pompous and arrogant, but in the end its just empty building with no architectural innovations.

Both builders and architects now have to rethink before moving on. What does their city need to become more attractive? As they brainstorm upon this matter, each and every one of them leaves their imagination go wild. Architects design neither a palace, nor a library. What they have in mind is a structure for the sake of art itself, a bombastic edifice, a giant among the other premises, a big ***ing goliath.

Enormous towers, breath-taking gardens, gigantic arches and complex corridors, bridges and stairs, halls and chambers. Marbles, statues, paintings and silk, wealth in vast amounts and golden rooftops. Glass domes that diffract light, streams and fountains.

Indeed, Epica have released one of their greatest- if not their best yet - albums. Last year, with their singer, Simone Simons being pregnant, touring was not an option, so they grasped the opportunity to compose material carefully, choosing and rejecting ideas. New elements find their place in this album, as if they came along with their new bassist, Rob Van der Loo - who replaced Ad Sluijter - such as more metal solos, bigger interludes, unusual - for their standards - guitar parts and less grunts, reminding us the ''Consign to Oblivion'' era.

Choir and orchestra cooperate with the band excellently, melody is far more apparent here than in their predecessor, arousing a bigger variety of emotions, from esoteric and relaxing moments (The Fifth Guardian), to sadness and nostalgia(The Canvas of Life). Aggressiveness couldn't be absent of course, so Epica provide us with freakishly bad ass songs like The Second Stone, Chemical Insomnia and Reverence (Living in the Heart).

Songs are shorter than usual, as is the total album's length, but there seems to be more substance in it. The album is so full of sounds, that the first listen would be nothing more than just an outlook to its real depth. Lyrically, someone will find the most expected Epica themes, such as expanding our mind boundaries, life coexisting with death and rising against oppression.

''The Quantum Enigma'' seems to be the record they owed to the fans after their previous slip. Balanced yet complex, refreshed though faithful to their character, with superb production and a group of musicians eager to surpass their standards despite their ten year old career. Is it a must have? You don't have to master Quantum physics to understand it!



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user ratings (166)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
BloodRaven55 (4.5)
Epica finally completely live up to their name...

Christopher Geriak (4.5)
A surprisingly unexpected album from Epica...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mythodea
May 1st 2014


1504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I had a crazy comparison in mind and thought I should give it a try with this review. Also, I found the album accidentally on Youtube two days before its release and I couldn't resist, though I would propose anyone who likes the album buys it.

ExplosiveOranges
May 1st 2014


3904 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haven't checked this one out yet. Will do so. Nice review.

Digging: Millicent Waffles - Under Dark Blue Blanket

Mythodea
May 1st 2014


1504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks a lot. Hilarious pic, by the way.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2014


16148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well, the review makes me want to play sim city again I'll give it that

Digging: Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega

Confucius
May 1st 2014


217 Comments


So this is good?

Mythodea
May 1st 2014


1504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No, this is excellent!

ExplosiveOranges
May 1st 2014


3904 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gotta love Mikey from Opeth.

CaptainDooRight
May 1st 2014


30338 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I was gonna listen to this yesterday but never got around to it. Def will tomm.

zaruyache
May 1st 2014


7419 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounding good one track in. Will jam tomorrow.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

manosg
May 2nd 2014


6736 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Interesting review man. I've listened some of their songs and I think The Phantom Agony in
full. I'll give this one a listen also.

Oh, have pos too.

Digging: Whitesnake - Slide It In

Mythodea
May 2nd 2014


1504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh, thanks man! The Phantom Agony is a great album for a debut one!

ScuroFantasma
May 2nd 2014


2538 Comments


I enjoyed the review and the metaphor for the album too, so I will pos you. Just make sure to proof-read next time. There are some easily rectifiable mistakes throughout the review that distract from the concept.
For example:

"You don't have to master at Quantum physics to understand it!"

Missing 'be a' between 'to' and 'master'. Ending on that gives the illusion of a bad review when it was actually quite interesting and well written. I would definitely consider editing this and fixing these small mistakes because I think it would definitely lift this to the next level.

Digging: Kyuss - Blues for the Red Sun

aggelosm
May 2nd 2014


471 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The album is f#cking insane!

CalculatingInfinity
May 2nd 2014


1772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I doubt Epica have made a 4.5 record, especally at this point in their career.

Mythodea
May 2nd 2014


1504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ScuroFantasma, ''master'' has been used as a verb here, but I understand why you confused it...
Anyway, thanks a lot for your positive words!

Also,Aggelosm, yes it is!.

CalculatingInfinity, I don't understand your statement, Epica's career at the moment seems fine to
me... And the album is terrific!

TzarChasm
May 2nd 2014


168 Comments


I hated Requiem for the Indifferent and was really nervous about this one. I streamed half of The Quantum Enigma on Youtube last night and was really impressed. This is exactly what it needs to be. Epica actually pulled it off.

It's too early to say whether I think it's their best or among their top three, or whatever, but it's definitely going to be worth the money.

CalculatingInfinity
May 2nd 2014


1772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"CalculatingInfinity, I don't understand your statement, Epica's career at the moment seems fine to
me... And the album is terrific!"

Because Requiem was pretty bad, they're too safe and have nothing new to offer us really.

CalculatingInfinity
May 2nd 2014


1772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Decided to give the album the chance, DAMN they stepped up their game. This is already better then all of their other albums, finally the symphony and the bass pedals are the leaders rather then the average guitarists, Simone or Mark (ugh Mark). Sounds far catcher than their previous efforts as well.

EvoHavok
May 2nd 2014


1500 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This... this is really good.

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche

ScuroFantasma
May 2nd 2014


2538 Comments


"''master'' has been used as a verb here, but I understand why you confused it...
Anyway, thanks a lot for your positive words!

fair enough, in that case you just have to get rid of the 'at'

"You don't have to master at Quantum physics to understand it!"
"You don't have to master Quantum Physics to understand it!"



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