Metal Review – Epica: The Divine Conspiracy

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Metal Review – Epica: The Divine Conspiracy
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Epica: The Divine Conspiracy
Gothic Metal, Symphonic Power Metal
Nuclear Blast Records
August 28th, 2007
Release length: 1:15:29
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Epica is proving to be one very important bands in the whole female fronted Gothic Metal field, especially after releasing three stellar albums that show the band continuing to mature. The Divine Conspiracy finds the band growing once more to bring another conceptual album, really hammering home the symphonic and, at times, orchestral Power Metal sound.

Much of the music on this release seems to boarder on the side of “epic”, utilizing sweeping orchestral elements, but really focusing on pushing the drums and guitars, as well as the abilities of their female vocalist. But, one thing you will grow to notice on this release is that the longer songs at the start just seem to be over-extended and repetative towards the end. Granted the added orchestral elements during “The Obsessive Devotion” add to the astounding climax of the track, but at the same time the song will become a little tiring about four, maybe five minutes in as the guitars just seem to become redundant. This is made up for by the ballad-esque track “Chasing The Dragon” that is beautifully done, and really focuses on the talents found in the vocals while incorporating what seems like random gutteral male vocals. This is also found throughout much of the album, such as during the chorus of “The Obsessive Devotion”. Clearly these tracks will set the tone for the rest of the album, and it s a good one, even if it feels a bit too much at times.

The shorter songs on here that aren’t interludes or instrumentals are perhaps the most enjoyable ones, mostly because they are not quite as overdone with the Symphonic music, and not so drawn out. While the album is very enjoyable as a whole, it’s the shorter songs that will really be more entertaining if you were to just listen to a random song here and there. “Safeguard To Paradise” is perhaps the most standout track on the album, being a very well performed track that some might consider worthy of being in some sort of fantastical opera, and the cluster of tracks from “La’petach Chatat Rovetz” onto “Fools Of Damnation” are all tracks that finish up a conceptual story that has already been in progress, making this album a sort of closure for fans of this and one member’s alternate band, After Forever. It’s after the first four songs, making up one chapter on this release, that the album really just comes together and has a tighter sound that doesn’t feel drawn out. Even the closing track, “The Divine Conspiracy”, which clocks in at almost fourteen minutes, is entertaining and the perfect closing track for this release.

The Divine Conspiracy is definitely one hell of a killer CD, and definitely something for people who enjoy either of the styles that this band performs. This conceptual album has a few faults in the first two longer tracks, but that’s about it. This effort simply gets better as you listen, and really shows that, early track repetition aside, this band has the potential to create an epic masterpiece, and hopefully the next full-length will take things further. But for now, The Divine Conspiracy is a must have for any fan of Metal.

01. Indigo (Prologue) – 2:05
02. The Obsessive Devotion – 7:13
03. Menace Of Vanity – 4:13
04. Chasing The Dragon – 7:40
05. Never Enough – 4:47
06. La’petach Chatat Rovetz (The Final Embrace) – 1:46
07. Death Of A Dream (The Embrace That Smothers Part VII) – 6:03
08. Living A Lie (The Embrace That Smothers Part VIII) – 4:56
09. Fools Of Damnation (The Embrace That Smothers Part IX) – 8:42
10. Beyond Belief – 5:25
11. Safeguard To Paradise – 3:46
12. Sancta Terra – 4:57
13. The Divine Conspiracy – 13:56
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Epica
Epica

Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.