When a new Epic album is announced you can't help but get extremely eager to hear their latest creation, especially as Epica's track record for quality albums is one of the best. The Quantum Enigma is an album that will delight the fans of Epica's heavy side though it's no surprise given the nature of main man Mark Jansen's other group the potent MaYan. With that top notch musicianship, Simone Simon's amazing vocals and Jansen's growls they have always delivered and this time is no exception. Drummer Arien van Weesenbeek's explosive input is once again outstanding and Arien also adds in the darkers vocal department. Epica are moving forward as they try some different things including a new producer for this album calling on the services of Joost van den Broek (producer, keyboardist ex. After Forever, Sun Caged etc.) who has done a great job. There was also a different mixer brought onboard helping to give their latest recording the modern sound they wanted to achieve, this new Epica album was also said to be a "group effort".
Don't expect a dramatic change this time around, this is classic Epica who are still performing that symphonic metal which they excel at while staying up to date, The Quantum Enigma is a truly epic release. There is so much on offer here that is fourteen tracks of some of Epica's best work to date.
The Quantum Enigma has a heavy and striking orchestral input plus a strong performance from the splendid choir and that combination introduces this album on "Originem". Epica have given some of the most addictive heavy riffs over the years and "The Second Stone" is no exception, while that guitar sound on the start of "The Essence Of Silence" is just awesome and as it progresses their intense music is just so spellbinding I can't stop smiling every time it comes on. That sweeping epic music of instrumental "The Fifth Guardian (Interlude)" is a great inclusion leading into the metal of "Chemical Insomnia". Epica fans will recognise the title of track eleven "The Quantum Enigma (Kingdom Of Heaven, Part II)" from their excellent Design Your Universe album though I do prefer that earlier also somewhat long running effort.
The Quantan Enigam is another outstanding metal album that's up there not quite matching Design Your Universe not yet anyway, it's so damn impressive. The Quantum Enigma is the kind of album that to truly appreciate you need to put on a good set of headphones, shut your eyes and let Epica take you away on a momentous musical voyage and that's exactly what I'm off to do now.
2. The Second Stone
3. The Essence Of Silence
4. Victims Of Contingency
5. Sense Without Sanity (The Impervious Code)
6. Unchain Utopia
7. The Fifth Guardian (Interlude)
8. Chemical Insomnia
9. Reverence (Living In The Heart)
10. Omen (The Ghoulish Malady)
11. Canvas Of Life
12. Natural Corruption
13. The Quantum Enigma (Kingdom Of Heaven, Part II)