Minnesota's Epicurean unleash their brand of symphonic metal-core to the world with A Consequence of Design, their debut for Metal Blade Records and a re-recording of their initial effort from 2005. Taking a similar stance like Bleeding Through or Burn In Silence, but upping the symphonic element even more, Epicurean have put a healthy progressive flavor into a stale metal-core genre here, in what should be a much talked about release in 2008. Featuring 11 tracks, most of which fall into the 5-7 minute range, Epicurean mix brutal growls with catchy clean vocals, twin guitar harmonies and bone crunching riffs, manic drum work, and heaping amounts of orchestral keyboards. It's a formula that works really well, tracks like "Lithograph" and "Behind the Chapel Walls" pummeling from a metal standpoint, but brimming with grand & majestic keyboard passages that give each song an ultimately classy and epic feel. You can't help but get pulled in by the dual Thin Lizzy/Iron Maiden styled tasty leads on "The Burden of Eternity", or the intense & intricate guitar/drum/keyboard arrangements of "Illumination"-clearly, this is a band that is not content to just deliver generic modern metal. If you are like me and simply can't resist symphonic death metal with some melodic vocals thrown into the mix, then dig into "Of Malice and Majesty" (which also has some ripping guitar solos), or take a ride through some dark and atmospheric progressive metal with " Anathema: The Gatekeeper", featuring some truly haunting keyboard tapestries and blood curdling vocals from John Laramy. "Darkest of Days" and "To Cast The Mourning Shadow" both have a slight Dream Theater meets Children of Bodom feel to them as far as the arrangements go, but with a brutal growls flying about the mix.
Metal Blade should have plenty to be excited about here with Epicurean's A Consequence of Design, a really addicting and fresh sounding extreme metal CD that should also appeal to symphonic metal fans as well.
1. The Author And The Architect
2. Behind The Chapel Walls
4. The Burden Of Eternity
6. Dividing The Distance
7. Of Malice And Majesty
8. Anathema: The Gatekeeper
9. Darkest Days
10. To Cast The Mourning Shadow
11. The Departure