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I occasionally write about my favourite band Epica, although usually this is around the time that I go and see them live in London. And then, there was that time that I didn’t realise that my copy of their 5th album was missing vocals on the last track, despite me knowing about the problem, which led to me buying the CD again, and then ending up downloading that particular track from iTunes as I didn’t like how it was listed in my library otherwise.

On Monday 5th May, 2014 Epica released their 6th studio album, entitled “The Quantum Enigma”. Now, some of you will probably find this next sentence a bit cheesy, but, well, it’s well and truly their most EPIC album to date. I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the album from the moment they started the recording process last year.

What I love about Epica is that they are very aware of their fans, and the band as a whole, whether it is through their individual profile pages or their official Epica page, interact with their fans almost daily. For me this has certainly heightened the anticipation of the release of “TQE” with the release of little teaser trailers, the recording sessions and then “The Essense of Silence” lyric video that gave us the first taste of what the album was to be.

I love that no Epica album has the same sound. It has the same distinctions that *made* Epica – the choirs, the music, the orchestra – but this time it has been amped to even higher depths than before. There is more emphasis on the music, heavier guitars, drums, bass, yet it loses nothing from the vocals and the choirs. It’s interesting to see how far the musical talent of the whole band has come if you were to listen to the first album “The Phantom Agony” and then this one. [The song that I linked here to demonstrate this is “The Phantom Agony” in all it’s glory, and this video is the one that made me fall in the love with the band in the first place].

I like that every Epica album has distinct themes and messages through their songs. “The Quantum Enigma” questions our notions on reality, perceptions, life and death and the in-between. [Of course there is some overlap with other albums in this sense, but it works so, so well!]. I think there is less social commentary in “TQE” compared especially with the previous two albums, “Design Your Universe” and “Requiem for the Indifferent”, yet more emphasis on both human nature and natural processes.

This album has definitely made me fall even more in love with this band for sure. I pre-ordered the thee CD “Ear Book” version of the album, which has the main CD, an acoustic bonus track CD which gives me chills to listen to, and then an additional instrumental version of the main CD, which with Epica [unlike some other bands *coughNightwishcough*] is like listening to a completely different version of the song. They don’t just take out the vocals and the grunts, but the songs are stripped back and are genuinely different to the original – orchestral music with the choirs. It’s just beautiful, although for me the only downside is that I cannot add this CD to my iTunes library as it isn’t listed in the database as a separate album, so it makes the songs look like they are duplicated when they are not… and interrupts the flow of listening to either versions of the CD. [Of course, this has nothing to do with the band, but iTunes itself, and I can’t change the song names/CD names].

I pre-ordered from Record Store UK which was a store that I had never used before but I really wanted this version of the CD and it was exclusive to them, and for sure I would use them again as I was really impressed with their service. They dispatched on Thursday 1st May, and it arrived the next day – a whole three days before the official release date – and I am eternally grateful that someone was home to receive the package because of the sheer size of the actual 3 disc version. It’s about the size of an LP, and is so beautiful. The whole thing is seriously a work of art.

I am sure that there is much, much more that I could write about this album, and this band, but I will leave it there, and share a couple of YouTube clips with you all.

Have you listened to this album? A fan of Epica? What do you think?

Cheers,

Kialtho

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