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Album Reviews : Epica – The Solace System EP

By on September 22, 2017

It’s an interesting move for this band to release an EP at this stage of their career. They have released a full-lengther virtually every two years since 2003, and maybe they just wanted to break this cycle up a little.

These guys, and gal, are a prime example of a band that gives their fans exactly and precisely what they want. As stated, they release brand new music at a head-spinningly regular rate, and it’s not like it’s quantity over quality either, they have remained very strong and consistent across the seven albums they’ve released. And musically, it’s the same, fans know exactly what they’re going to get with each new release. They steadfastly stick to their set musical path, and their fans adore them for it. And The Solace System carries that torch forward.

I would count myself as a fan of this band, and while someone who is even more heavily into them, listening to everything they do inside and dissecting it to within an inch of its life, would probably find ways to disagree (and of course that’s absolutely fair enough), it’s always struck me that, production styles aside, just about any song from any of their albums could be swapped or transplanted out and into any song from any other album, without upsetting things too much.

This EP is signature Epica, lengthy, bombastic tunes, pounding metal juxtaposed with orchestral and choral majesty, blistering lead guitar work and that famous clean/dirty vocal tradeoff, with the stunning voice of the luminous Simone Simons steepling over the top and dominating proceedings. The quiet, string enhanced acoustic piece Immortal Melancholy breaks things up beautifully.

And, again, all of this is absolutely fine. Not every heavy band on the planet has to experiment, turn things upside and throw things around with every released. There is more than enough room for bands that simply stick to their guns in a songwriting and delivery sense.

If you love this band, and many do, The Solace System will absolutely get it done for you.

Band: Epica
Album: The Solace System EP
Year: 2017
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Label:  Nuclear Blast
Origin: Holland


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.