EPICA – The Solace System (2017)

EPICA - The Solace System (2017) full

EPICA is a clear example of a band that gets better and better with every new release. Their last year’s effort, the very good The Holographic Principle, originally was intended to be a double album. Now, nearly a year after, Epica decided to release the unused tracks as a standalone EP, titled “The Solace System“.

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 are ever-present in the whole EP, 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”.

EPICA - The Solace System (2017) back

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 very good follow-up /complement to The Holographic Principle, and simply a another great entry into Epica’s discography.

1. Fight Your Demons
2. Wheel of Destiny
3. Architect of Light
4. Immortal Melancholy
5. Decoded Poetry
6. The Solace System

Simone Simons (vocals)
Mark Jansen (guitars, vocals)
Coen Janssen (keyboards)
Isaac Delahaye (guitar)
Rob Van Der Loo (bass)
Arien Van Weesenbeek (drums, vocals)


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