ALBUM REVIEW: The Holographic Principle – Epica

With symphonic metal achieving resurgence in recent years, with both WITHIN TEMPTATION and NIGHTWISH playing huge UK headline shows, there’s certainly demand for these bands but will everyone have the quality to keep up with these leaders of the scene? Veterans EPICA‘s seventh album The Holographic Principle certainly has enough quality to keep up with the leaders of the scene.

While retaining the trademark bombast intrinsic to the symphonic metal scene EPICA remain much more rooted around the riff than their peers with innovative and, more importantly, catchy guitar work peppered all over the album. Dream State Armageddon sees some black metal scales utilised while Tear Down Your Walls exhibits the sort of riffs that you can normally only write if you’re German and own very tight leather trousers.

The Holographic Principle distinguishes itself above its peers in a number of ways; the song-writing quality is superb with interesting, well-structured songs that both keep up the huge, bombastic and completely over-the-top vocal lines while still maintaining that grit essential to metal with some truly excellent riffing. Just take first single Universal Death Squad; led in by chunky guitar lines, before bringing in Simone Simmons to centre stage backed up with a choir. The skill of Holographic Principle’s song-writing is that it allows each aspect of the band to take the spotlight yet is blended together in a way that is completely natural.

The production on The Holographic Principle is also a large part of its appeal. In an era where some bands still insist on writing songs like they’re stuck in the 80’s (Looking at you, TRIVIUM) The Holographic Principle sounds like a truly contemporary metal record. Interesting songs with an excellent production job balance all the elements of Epica perfectly.

Unfortunately, The Holographic Principle does run on for far too long. Although the album as a whole does maintain an excellent standard it could certainly benefit from a more concise run time. With a hefty runtime of 72 minutes this is really pushing the upper limits of most attention spans. There’s certainly not a wasted moment but as an overall work The Holographic Principle does remain weighed down by this mammoth runtime.

Rating: 8/10

The Holographic Principle - Epica

The Holographic Principle is set for release on September 30th via Nuclear Blast Records.

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