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honest, never I thought that they could make anything better than Karma, but this album showed me i was wrong. Epica, the 6th Piece of art from these power Metal veterans shows us the capacity of Khan´s voice reaching diferent high and Low tunes.
Track by track:
1- Prologue: The First song reminds me of an opening to an Epical Movie. nothing much to add, One minute of Orchestral work, the first of the six Short opening songs, to come.
2- Center of the Universe: Powerfull song filled with melody and a great union between the keys and the guitars. the drums show some impressive beats and the voice is well moderated. in the middle of the song (near the 3:00) the song calms down leaving only the Piano along with Khan´s calm voice followed by the beautifull background of female vocals. after that all instruments explode, breaking up solos and all voices reaching really high tunes. this is one typical power metal song, one of the best from the band
3- Farewell: Starts out very agressive and calms down when Khan sings. again the keyboard is rulling over the other instruments creating magnificent tunes and melodies. the guitar in this track is a disaster. the solo is too short and it suffers a great lack of imagination and work. it almost seems to be "ripped" of the guitar without will.
4- Interlude I (Opiate Soul): This is the second passage, using the closing tunes of the last song. its a nice song, sang by Orchestral Choirs. It is quite enjoyable and could last a little more than 1 minute.
5- The Edge of Paradise: Slower, if you compare it to the previous tracks. the melody makes you travel to the Arabic nights, very melodic and well built. Sadly the keyboard is weak and doesnt show anything great. somewhere in the middle the Chours from the previous song apears and the mini solo takes place.The Edge ends better than it started.
6- Wander: the ballad, magnificent. Other instrumentals like Pianos, Violines and other Orchestral stuff take place in this song. there are some passages in the music that, in my opinion, could be improved but, without beying too picky, this is a great song, one of the best from the album. Khan´s Voice impressed me as well as the guitars, probably they have the best note in this song
7-Interlude II (Omen): another interlude made with piano and violines, probably only made to follow the storyline.
8- Descent of the Archangel: I Confess the song first impressed me with that start but after the drumms it all fell. still the rest of the track paid off. lots of melody and a great guitar work...how! its Luca Turilli by the way, the guitarmaster from the Top Italian band Rhapsody, no doubt he´s good and he shows it in here. again the voice strikes and again the problem with the passages emerge. could been better
10- A Feast for the Vain - Nice guitars indeed, will the rest of the song be the same? yes, this is a great track, in my opinion, the best from the album. there isnt the same agression in the guitars/drums/voice we listen in the other tracks, they are all straight this time. The traditional "happy" riffs fill the song with melody and the solo amused me.
11- On the Coldest Winter night: when i heard the calm intro i thought "oh well, this is gonna speed up again" but it didnt. the violines apear again in some parts of the song and, along with the classic guitars, they leave the instrumental just magnificent. it is a calm song indeed and the keyboards doesnt show off that much, i doubt the track would be better if it did.
12- Lost and Damned: The starting is magnificent, you can almost see you in a battle hearing the wardrums, raising your swords for the combat, and its even better when that guitar solo appears bashing speed and powerfull riffs all over the song. about the keys...well..nice work again. Mini Solos all over the song makes this track just magical.
13- Helena´s Theme: another passage, this one is marked by piano, violine and a female voice (probably the Helena from the Storyline). the orchestral shows up in the end. again.
15- The Morning After: The Song starts out very quietly, then becomes agressive and calms down again with the voice... sincerally this is an intro style the band has a mark or maybe lack of imagination, and indeed the best way to describe this track: "A lack of imagination!" the riffs are repetitive, the drums are just too intense ruining the epical atmosphere the last tracks gave to it. it gave me an headache to listen to the all track, its just awefull.
16- After the last disapointment, this comes to finish the tale. with nice drums, the keyboards ressurects as well as the fabulous riffs i didnt heard since track 10. also fabulous is the female choir that follow the refrain. Only bad point i could find was the number of times the voice hitted high tunes, but thats a problem that lots of Power Metal singers have so i´ll leave this note behind.
Thumbs up: The Story/song scene; this is a must have for every power metal fan for it creates a feeling of epical adventure, quite pleasent indeed; The Orchestral and, most of all, not abusing from it (like Rhapsody, Dragonland and Fairyland for example).
Thumbs down: Some passages as i told before, could been better; some interludes like Helena´s Theme could be extended turning it into long or normal tracks.
as my last words i will say this is a good album, far from perfection, still it is a must have for every fantasy power metal fans