Released by: Nuclear Blast
Release date: Out Now!
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Mark Jansen – growled vocals/guitar
Coen Janssen – Keyboards/synth/piano
Simone Simons – Vocals
Ariën van Weesenbeek – drums
Isaac Delahaye – guitar
Rob van der Loo – bass
Crimson Bow and Arrow
Wings of Freedom
If Inside These Walls Was a House
Dedicate Your Heart!
Crimson Bow and Arrow (Instrumental)
Wings of Freedom (Instrumental)
If Inside These Walls Was a House (Instrumental)
Dedicate Your Heart! (Instrumental)
Dutch symphonic metal giants Epica have previously released Epica vs. Attack On Titan last December for Japan only. However, good things happen to those who wait as these titans have now made this EP available worldwide on July 20th via Nuclear Blast. Speculation could arise, wondering if this EP could reach a broader audience than narrowing it down to solely anime fans. However, there’s nothing wrong with anime lovers and/or haters. What you need to know is, the Japanese series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama, could be referred to as one of the most intense and graphic anime series around since its inception in 2009. Wikipedia describes the series as “a world where humanity lives in cities surrounded by enormous walls protecting the humans from gigantic humanoids that are referred to as titans.” Moving forward, Epica has taken the theme songs from this series, translated the lyrics from Japanese to English and gave it the essence of Epica within each tune.
The EP starts with “Crimson Bow and Arrow,” and just as one would expect, it’s very Epica. It incorporates their newer bold and cinematic orchestrations as the track holds a powerful energy similar to 2014’s The Quantum Enigma. The differentiated vocal ranges between Simone Simons and Mark Jansen as well as the dramatic instrumental combinations makes this song the perfect opening. The orchestrations continue with “Wings of Freedom,” as these operatic-esque chants move in a positive direction as though they have reached a victory of some sort. Of course, this gives the listener an optimistic assumption as the lyrics move in with lines such as “soon we will rise above it all.” Perhaps this positivity is giving the viewers a sense of false hope. However, the jazz-like instrumental mixed with metal showcases a different feeling as the lyrics continue with “to rise above monsters, we have to abandon our humanity.” Overall, it’s a battle-esque tune as they executed it to make all fans find this song enjoyable.
The mood changes with “If Inside These Walls Was a House,” with a slow introduction. It moves in a similar direction as “Immortal Melody” from their previous EP, The Solace System. While there are heavier movements within the track, overall it is one of their somber and slow-paced tunes as you barely hear Jansen’s harsh vocals. The EP concludes with the heavier track “Dedicate Your Heart.” Similar to the prior, Simons leads the song with her compelling vocals. However, the tune is a mix between light and heavy, but everything comes to play together towards the end with the enhancement of the keyboard thanks to Coen Janssen.
The rest of the EP gives the listener a chance to relive each track instrumentally. While we wait for an official follow-up to 2016’s Holographic Principle, it is safe to say; Epica vs. Attack On Titan will do. The group has toured excessively and are currently working on their new book, The Essence of Epica, and we must take this time to digest the greatness that they’ve provided us with.
Written By: Zenae D. Zukowski