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EP Review: EPICA The Solace System

Posted by on August 31, 2017 at 3:03 pm

In my opinion, Epica is a clear example of a band that gets better and better with every new release. I had the pleasure of reviewing their most recent release, The Holographic Principle, which I thought was simply astounding. And perhaps the band felt similarly, which is why they decided to release unused tracks for the album as a standalone EP, nearly a year after The Holographic Principle’s release, titled The Solace System.

It’s going to be difficult to really go into much detail on the contents of this EP because, as stated before, it is simply a collection of songs from a previous LP that didn’t make the final press. But if you gave The Holographic Principle a listen, then you will literally know exactly what to expect on The Solace System. It’s symphonic metal at its most grand, and heaviest simultaneously. The regular suspects of an Epica album, meaning full orchestras and choirs alongside topnotch death metal elements are ever-present in the whole album, with Simone Simmons breathtaking vocals as the cherry on top.

There are actually quite a few songs that were pretty heavy that I would’ve definitely enjoyed on the LP, like “Wheel Of Destiny” which begins fairly quickly and energetic, and swiftly evolves into a half-time chugger that really forces you to bang your head. In fact, the thing that I love the most about this EP is that it still manages to run the gamut of the styles that the band represents. We do have the aforementioned heavier songs, but we also have “Immortal Melancholy” which presents a slower, folky, emotional state that really allows for Simmons to really stretch her pipes. This is of course followed immediately by a blazing fast drum fill into the closer of the EP that’s about as blockbuster as any other closer for an Epica album, “Decoded Poetry”.

If anything, The Solace System feels like an Epica sampler pack, or perhaps even a half-LP. There aren’t any songs that exceed the 7-minute mark, whereas songs on their LPs can break the 10-minute mark. Anyone who isn’t previously aware of Epica could easily step into the realm easily with The Solace System. It’s a great follow-up to The Holographic Princple, and simply a another great entry into Epica’s discography.

"The Solace System" (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)

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