EPICA – The Holographic Principle (Nuclear Blast)

EPICA – The Holographic Principle (Nuclear Blast)

Soaring symphonic metal with high end female vocals interspersed with low end grunts and screams, and some blistering guitars, it’s a full on sonic assault.

Formed in the early 00s in The Netherlands by guitarist / screamer Mark Jansen after leaving After Forever, The Holographic Principle is their seventh studio album. There have been a number of singles and a couple of live albums and compilations (and even a soundtrack) along the way too.

The same line-up as the previous album, 2014’s Quantum Enigma, the band’s sound and feel has settled, but the pace hasn’t. It’s solid from the outset.

‘Eidola’ is the introduction, big, bold, and an orchestral and operatic build. I nearly thought this was Rhapsody Of Fire. But then ‘Edge Of The Blade’ takes off, the operatic chants are there, but the guitars are crunchy, the sound is aggressive and bombastic, contrasted by Simone’s gentler operatic vocals. Likewise ‘A Phantom Parade’, big vocals and chants interspersed by ripping guitars and grunts.

‘Universal Death Squad’ opens with piano and violin, and transforms to something rougher and harsher edged. A good blend.

Lyrically the album is good too, some well written concepts (including the 11 minute title track, now THAT’s epic) – something you really have to explore yourselves.

The guitar work is excellent throughout, with classical influences.

Personally not so keen on the guttural side of the vocals, but a truly epic opus, musically, lyrically and vocally.  7.5/10

Joe Geesin

Line-up

Simone Simons – vocals

Isaac Delahaye – guitars

Mark Jansen – guitars, grunts, screams

Coen Janssen – synths, piano

Ariën van Weesenbeek – drums

Rob van der Loo – bass

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EPICA – The Holographic Principle (Nuclear Blast)