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Requiem for the Indifferent

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Album Review

Requiem for the Indifferent, the fifth outing from the Dutch progressive metal outfit, is a typically elaborate and ambitious affair, incorporating copious amounts of choral work and classical arrangements into the band's neatly established blend of goth, progressive, power, and symphonic metal. Like fellow neo-classical rockers Leaves' Eyes and Lacuna Coil, Epica sport a frontwoman with an impressive set of pipes, and mezzo-soprano Simone Simons' operatic vocals ride front and center on standout cuts like "Delirium" and "Storm the Sorrow," while lengthy narratives like the title cut and "Serenade of Self-Destruction" dutifully showcase the band's technical mastery of the genre.

Customer Reviews

Concerning the "growls"

Guys, its a metal band. "Growls" are a typical feature in a metal album. Its another way for the band to express its emotion and feelings in the song. Learn to accept it and it won't be so bad. Overall, the album is descent.

The bar is now very high

Epica seems to always be trying to better themselves with each new release, and so far they have succeeded in this goal, and nowhere is this more apparent than on Requiem for the Indifferent.

Thier sound took a turn for the heavier when they brought in guitarist Isaac Delahaye on Design Your Universe, bringing the guitars much more to the forefront than they had been under Ad Sluijter. Now, I love ALL of Epica's music, but that change was, for this reviewer, for the better, and Delahaye's guitar sounds have been increased on Requiem to even include several soaring solos which should delight guitar afficianados. Likewise, Arien Van Weesenbeek's drumming grows a lot here, as he begins to push into the realm of prog-metal drumming. Here he plays with a deft touch that adds equal amounts of wonderful soiund to the heavy hitters and the ballads.

And Simone Simons's vocals -- oh my, where do I begin? She has shown perhaps the most growth since previous releases, including, to twist a popular phrase, new lows in her range which are just as beautiful as her mid-to-high range, where she seems to feel comfortable. In Requiem, she tackles an increased emotional range from song to song, bigger dynamic shifts and increased technical mastery. She is one to listen to, and has a very promising future, from the beauty of Delirium and the Broadway-ready Twin Flames to the fire and political storm of songs like Monopoly on Truth and Requiem for the Indifferent, which may be the next Consign to Oblivion, in this reviewer's opinion.

As for Mark Jansen, I'm in two minds -- Requiem probably has the least gruning from either Jansen or Van Weesenbeek, which I miss; I've always been a fan of that classic "beauty-and-the-beast" comparsion and contrast which Epica has always expertly showcased. On the other hand, what grunting either man does on this release, small as it is, has a huge enhancing effect on the songs, and the grunts are often exposing the most either emotionally or politically charged moments in the songs, and it's awesome to see Jansen seem to be so comfortable in his role as to let back and give Simons a chance to carry the album, and add his unique grunts to such perfect placement across the songs.

I don't mean to leave out Yves Huts's bass performance out of the review, as he is always fantastic, and is clearly the band's rock, but the other big growth here is that Coen Janssen's keyboards are allowed to really stretch out here, and becomes another integral addition to the sound.

The one and only song that didn't stand out for me was Deep Water Horizon, which sounds so much like Delirium in approach and execution, but not as instantly memorable as Delirium.

In short, the whole sound explores new depths and variety, while keeping the classic Epica sound that we have all come to adore and respect so much. Highly reccomended, especially for established fans of Epica's style, but there is certainly plenty to love for new listeners too.

Epica. Always the best.

Requiem for the Indifferent is all I hoped it would be and more. It is an incredible follow-up to Design Your Universe. The opening track Karma is the perfect interlude into the bombastic Monopoly on Truth; the title track is full of ups and downs, Simone and Mark leading you through each twist and turn masterfully. Bottom line? I'm in love with Epica and with Requiem for the Indifferent.


Formed: 2003 in Reuver, Netherlands

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Originally calling themselves Sahara Dust, Holland's Epica formed in early 2003 when After Forever guitarist Mark Jansen decided to break away from the group he had helped found in order to start an operatic metal project all his own. After drafting teenaged mezzo-soprano Simone Simons, guitarist Ad Sluijter, keyboardist Coen Janssen, bassist Yves Huts, and drummer Jeroen Simons, Epica entered Wolfsburg, Germany's Gate Studio with a classically trained choir and string section to lay down their ambitious...
Full Bio
Requiem for the Indifferent, Epica
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: Mar 13, 2012

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