Dutch symphonic metallers Epica have released the second single from new album The Quantum Enigma, titled Unchain Utopia.
Beginning with some really excellent choirs and strings, Epica create a really epic sound, and with the full orchestra on excellent form throughout the track we have the framework for a great song. The band play their trademark galloping riffs, fast and powerful, and with the pounding drumming together with the dynamic symphonics, it’s a really epic sounding, triumphant piece of symphonic metal. The acoustic guitar running through the track is a really nice touch, playing exotic scales and giving the track that extra layer of depth. The sound here is really rich ,and could be perfect for a movie score, musically it’s a great song, but then we get to Epica’s real problem – Simone is a really overrated singer. She can be really on and off, on certain Epica tracks she sounds great, but here she sounds very flat. Trying to sing very high and powerfully to match the music, she struggles with her approach for the cleans, and ultimately it just sounds slightly fragile, and it grates somewhat. She is however great at the more operatic style she goes for, but her approach at powerful cleans isn’t good enough. She hit’s the notes, but it’s only just, and it doesn’t sound good when she does, she’s certainly no Floor Jansen or Tarja, and is continually overrated for this style. It’s not abjectly bad, but with such a powerful track, having a vocal performance which does grate on your nerves ruins it.
The Quantum Enigma will be released on May 2nd.