Comparing this to the previous Epica effort is like comparing diamonds and stones. Everything seems to have improved, even the growling (which is still pretty meh). The best part (for me at least) is that I Finally can remember something after listening through an Epica album. Which is quite something
Before listening to this album, I was not a big fan of Epica. But after hearing this, they made me believe that they are capible of making a very stellar album. This honestly blew me away: musically, lyrically, vocally, everything you would want to eventually hear from a band like this. Now that After Forever broke up, this is a chance for Epica to step it up a notch, and that is exactly what they did with this release. This is easily, by far, their best album, and I'd say this is the best album I heard this year so far too, and it shows how symphonic metal should sound while putting itself as one of the best albums in the genre. 4.5/5
Probably their best, they are a bit more technical now, the songs structures are less chaotic and Simone's voice has improved much. And they have become catchy as hell. Other than that the same 'ol Epica, which is not a bad thing, this band blows out all other simillar pop/metal gothic bands (Xandrya, Within Temptation... you get the picture).