EPICA - The Holographic Principle

October 26, 2016, a year ago

(Nuclear Blast)

Nick Balazs

Rating: 8.0

review heavy metal epica

EPICA - The Holographic Principle

Epica is back with some more sci-fi symphonic goodness with The Holographic Principle, songs thematically flowing into one another with a stern warning of problems of technological advancement.

The band has done a great job blending the classical elements with metal and they don’t forget about the power of the guitar as it features a distinct, crunchy sound. Just check out the thrash break in “A Phantasmic Parade” and the walloping “Universal Death Squad” (which I’m almost sure is about The Terminator and the album’s the best song). Just check out the robotic delivery of the verses and it makes me want to do what I can to fight with The Resistance and defeat Skynet.

While vocalist Simone Simons handles the vocals with class and finesse, there is also a strong utilization of harsh vocals provided by Mark Jansen. They are pretty prominent on this album and adds some bite to the tracks. Dare I describe The Holographic Principle as “symphonic death metal?” I won’t go that far, but I’m tempted to say so.

Epica impresses with the amount of different sounds used like the tribal beginning of “Dancing In A Hurricane”, the epic bombast of “Universal Death Squad”, the grand melancholic sounds of “Once Upon A Nightmare”, and the beautiful choirs of “Beyond The Matrix”. However, the long ten minute title track fails to live up to expectations and I feel they were struggling to makes this song so grand. It would have better edited.

What separates Epica from the pack is they remember first and foremost that they are a metal band and they don’t drown out the guitar and rhythm instruments with symphonic nonsense. Both are melded beautifully and the way they can construct calming passages and aggressive fronts is impressive. 

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