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A WELL-ROUNDED ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION - 97%

Gornot, July 11th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2013, 3CD, Hellion Records (Brazilian edition (digipak))

It's always nice when a band acknowledges a milestone and decides to do something extra special for fans; this is the case with Epica's Retrospect, an amazing three hour journey of the ten years of evolution this band has gone through, considering their roots and similarities to After Forever in the very beginning.

With a full-blown show consisting of their greatest achievements in music, accompanied by members of the Miskolc National Theatre as well as a chamber orchestra (and let's not forget the video aspect), there is plenty of enjoyable material here and it's very obvious the band went all out to make this experience as amazing as possible, which is really not something I can say for some of their peers (looking at you, Nightwish) - even going as far as performing a brand new song during the show. That is what I call commitment to music, career and their fans.

The music itself should be very familiar to anyone who has ever considered themselves a fan of this band before, and if in some case you missed The Classical Conspiracy back in 2009, you should definitely give this a listen. While the aforementioned live release had a more separated setlist, Retrospect does a much better job at combining all the elements at the band's disposal, but by the end of the concert it also works to this album's detriment - although the production is solid and everything sounds well balanced out (unlike, let's say, Within Temptation's Black Symphony), by the end of the show Simone is very audibly tired, most obiously heard on her performance of "Storm the Sorrow" (which is a shame because it is a great song and definitely deserved to be higher up in the setlist), but she still delivers a great performance and it's perfectly understandable that after three hours of singing one gets a fatigued.

Regardless, there is very little I can say about Retrospect that is not positive, as it does not lack anything a fan would expect from a release celebrating a ten year anniversary of music. Epica exerted great effort to leave their mark upon the symphonic metal scene and this album is the best possible result.