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I used to be an intense Epica fan awhile ago, but had gotten bored of them after I started expanding my tastes in music to more extreme forms of metal. When they announced the name of this album, I was expecting some stereotypical "make love, not war" album, and was expecting to be disappointed. However, when I bought the album after the release, I was very surprised at how much an already great band had improved their sound!
As you probably already know, Epica is mostly known for its symphonic elements and operatic clean vocals. Most people automatically label them as a power metal band because of this, because they hear mezzo-soprano singing and think Nightwish. Epica is not just a power metal band, however, and this album proves it. You can hear all sorts of elements in this album, from Beethoven to Bach, Opeth to Death, Sonata Arctica to Blind Guardian. It's not often that you find a band that successfully forges its own style out of many styles, and even less often that you hear it done right. Epica's mix of mainly progressive metal with some death, power, and classical music thrown in is a combination that works a lot better that it sounds like it would.
The album starts off with a symphonic track called "Karma", which opens to "Monopoly on Truth". When the end of Karma faded into Monopoly on Truth, my ears almost exploded. The song (and entire album) takes Epica's sound and turns it into something more. This album at this point is already pushing Epica in a more aggressive direction than ever before while keeping the complex songwriting that Epica is known for. My favorite part of this album is the crisp guitar tone. In their previous albums, which were still great, the guitars were sometimes completely drowned out by synths and drums. They finally improved this in Design Your Universe and perfected it in Requiem for the Indifferent.
Heaviness aside, Requiem for the Indifferent has a lot of beautiful symphonic elements to it. The song "Delirium" is one of the most beautiful pieces I've ever heard from any musician, showing that Epica is much more than just a metal band. "Anima" reminds me of the Dimmu Borgir song "Det nye riket" with its dark sounding piano.
Of course, I can't tell you how great this album is through a review, so you're just going to have to go buy it! I highly recommend it!