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From the majestic horns that open CONSIGN TO OBLIVION, the Holland-based sextet Epica set a regal tone that carries over throughout the entire 11-track disc. Melding the cinematic feel of film scoring with opera, Goth rock, and metal, this multi-layered, overblown, and grandiose offering is laden with strings, a choral section separate from the band, and a slew of catchy songs that sound as much at home on a Broadway stage as they do in a metal club’s PA system. Tracks like the calming beauty of “Solitary Ground” make Evanescence sound like The Spice Girls, while songs like “Force of the Shore” join melodic death metal with traces of “Bohemian Rhapsody”-era Queen, ushering in a whole new movement in metal. Equipped with a symphony that rivals any city’s in the world and unafraid to take Stratovarius-like breaks to rage, Epica’s latest release is triumphant, but at times falls far off the metal radar into show tune land, but as long as you’re properly prepared for the drop off, you’ll be able to marvel in the mystique of this disc.
- Mike SOS