(8/10) Dutch symphonic metallers Epica entered partly unknown territory in 2017 when the band released a Japan-only EP with four songs that stretched the band’s frame of reference. The four tracks that have been released on an EP entitled ‘Epica vs. Attack on Titan’ featured metal versions of songs of the ‘Attack on Titan’ Manga series. The hugely successful series sold appr. 70 million magazines, which is a breath-taking figure.
The original songs have been written by Revo, who is part of a famous Japanese band called Linked Horizon. The musician mentioned Epica and their sound as a source of inspiration to him and it feels like a no-brainer that the source of inspiration takes the songs and arranges their own version. That is what Epica did and as a result ‘Epica vs. Attack on Titan’ was published in Japan at the end of 2017. Half a year later Nuclear Blast releases this disc also outside Europe.
‘Crimson Bow and Arrow’ is the first track on this EP and starts things in a dramatic fashion. The supporting orchestration adds additional sound volume to the mix, benefiting this melodic metal tracks a lot and it’s Simone Simons who does a fantastic job too, not only for this tune, but for the entire EP.
After such a bombastic start into this 4-track disc it’s the ‘Wings of Freedom’ that combines guitar power, uptempo sections and choral parts to a melodic masterpiece that perfectly fits into the Epica context. The soulful moment on this release is entitled ‘If Inside These Walls was a House’. It’s the most cinematic moment on ‘Epica vs. Attack on Titan’ and shows Epica’s ability for calmer tones in a very good way. Things regain power with the closer ‘Dedicate Your Heart!’. The song puts melody and a catchy chorus into focus while keeping the level of power high. It’s again singer Simone Simons who adds some extra to this tune, showing the entire width of her vocals range. In some sections she adds so much feel into her vocals that it feels almost like storytelling. Awesome. What’s a bit of distraction though is the keyboard solo that normally would have turned this song a bit too much into sweetness. However, considering the background and context of this release it works very well and shows another aspect of Epica and their ability of arranging songs in a great fashion.
If you’re an Epica fans you will love this release and maybe you decided already to go for the Japanese version. However, this EP is a matter of heart to the band and they succeeded with stepping out of the usual, trying out something new in new territory.
- Crimson Bow and Arrow
- Wings of Freedom
- If Inside These Walls Was a House
- Dedicate Your Heart
- Crimson Bow and Arrow (Instrumental)
- Wings of Freedom (Instrumental)
- If Inside These Walls Was a House (Instrumental)
- Dedicate Your Heart (Instrumental)
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Release Date EU: July 20th, 2018