By Carl Begai
Get past the sexist slant of the title and take a serious listen to Epica’s new album, The Quantum Enigma; particularly if you’re one of those people (like yours truly) that’s fed up with the female-fronted symphonic metal trend. Coming down from the buzz of celebrating their 10th anniversary, the Dutch sextet abandoned the business-as-usual approach that made them famous – and an inspiration to far too many bands around the world – and coughed up an album that, if it doesn’t win you over outright, will at least earn Epica some respect. Yes, their orchestral backbone is still very much intact, but it now belongs to a guitar-heavy drum pounding monster that tears the band free of those lingering comparisons to Nightwish and Lacuna Coil.
“There was one guy I did an interview with today and he said, ‘Before, Epica was a band just for my girlfriend. This new album, I love it too…’ laughs guitarist/founder Mark Jansen. “We wanted to refresh the sound of the band and judging by all the positive reactions, we’ve succeeded.”
“After Retrospect (the concert) we decided that since we had celebrated our first 10 years as a band, we should do something to refresh the sound for the next 10 years,” he explains. “The more we thought about it, the more we realized we had to make some drastic changes. The first one was looking for another producer. Sascha Paeth (Kamelot, Avantasia, Rhapsody Of Fire) has always done a great job in the 10 years we worked with him, but we needed someone to take us out of our comfort zone. We knew exactly what we were going to get from Sascha and he knew what he’d get from us, so we wanted someone who would make us see a different side of ourselves. We chose Joost van der Broek (ex-After Forever) because he’s still quite new to the production world but he’s done a lot. He’s gained a lot of experience but he still has this youthful energy around him, which makes you happy to work with him. That was the kind of energy we were looking for.”
The Quantum Enigma isn’t nearly as musically dense as some of Epica’s previous albums, which sometimes seemed to choke on the layered choir/symphonic bombast shoe-horned into the songs. There’s a whole lot of space in the music this time out, making Epica seem almost naked but most definitely stronger. Continue reading BraveWords Interview: EPICA – Not Just Your Girlfriend’s Band Anymore
By Carl Begai
In a show of diva-esque conceit, I can lay claim to having locked on Lacuna Coil long before they were a big deal in Europe and less than a footnote on the North American metal scene. We go back to 1998 and the release of their self-titled EP, a venture that attracted the attention of anyone in tune with the likes of The Gathering and Theatre Of Tragedy, both of whom were in their heyday. The band did their Italian heritage proud, displaying the characteristic energy of a traditionally passionate people, excited at the prospect of being able to chase their dreams at a professional level. The band is older and wiser now, but there’s no lack of enthusiasm when discussing their newest work, Dark Adrenaline. Sure, it may be tempered somewhat by a sense of responsibility for the career they’ve created, but there’s still a sense of “I can’t believe this is my life…” in the air as vocalist Cristina Scabbia delves into the new record.
“That’s very true,” she says. “That was true especially in the very beginning, when things are happening and you don’t really know how it works. That’s when every little thing gets you excited. The things that get us excited now are different. We’ve grown up, we have a lot more experience; we’re not virgins in the music business anymore (laughs).” Continue reading BW&BK Interview: LACUNA COIL – Chemical Elements
Fasten your seatbealts for another year. And with it comes more noise to piss off the neighbours, annoy the kids, and make your significant think very seriously about soundproofing his or her personal space…
As most people know, Woods Of Ypres frontman and founder David Gold was killed in a car accident on December 21st, 2011. It’s a tragic loss for his family, friends, any anyone that was a fan of his music.
I’ve posted a tribute to David, who was a good friend. It can be found here.
David’s family is selling the remaining Woods merchandise on hand, with all proceeds going directly to fund his funeral costs. Items remaining are as follows:
– Woods 1
– Woods 2
– Woods 3
– Independent Nature (Best Of Woods 1-3)
– signed Allure vinyl
– signed Home vinyl
Send your order along with your shipping address to David’s PayPal address at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that his sister Marie is in charge of all orders, so this is 100% legitimate. Continue reading Only In Canada, Eh! – January 2012: WOODS OF YPRES, ANVIL, MODIFIED, And Back To The Vinyl Old School With STRAPPING YOUNG LAD