Today marks the 10th anniversary release of Epica fourth album “Design Your Universe” on October 16th 2019. What can I tell about this album? Epic album from Epica, certainly the best album from their discography, it is standing on the pinnacle in my opinion. It is also hard to tell, as we are splitting hair with their discography, a constant quality-crafted work by Mark Jansen. like a Rembrandt paint every single time.
This is an album made of 14 tracks, totaling 79 minutes of bold and heavy symphonic metal. It starts with an overture named “Samadhi” which is here as a launching ramp for the second track “Resign To Surrender”. And I hope by that time you are all buckled up, becasue the rollercoaster ride of awesomeness is just starting. That brings us to the third track “Unleashed”. If you have to summarize the awesomeness of the band or resume Epica to a song, that would be it, give it a spin and listen:
Excited about Epica following “Unleashed”? Wait, there is more! If someone would have asked me, “Do Epica has a wall of death song?” I would have said nope, until listening to the fifth track “Martyrs of The Free World”. I remember it while attending their concert in Dallas in 2016. Mark splitting up the crowd for a big and beautiful wall……of death!
Heavy tunes, heavy-loaded lyrics on denouncing terrorism and indoctrination. Thats the signature stuff from Epica. My favorite of the album! We continue our musical rollercoaster ride with “Our Destiny” that is more mellow than our previous listening experience but only to allow us to enjoy the voice of Simone Simmons. The seventh track, “Kingdom of Heaven” continues where we left with “Martyrs…” but brings us to a brigther side.
To help us recover from this rollercoaster ride, the “Price of Freedom” is an interlude that allows to transition to the second half of the album that is as epic as the first half. Track 8 is “Burn To A Cinder”, good stuff. “Tides of Time”, the ninth track of the album is like the slow tide, calm and washing us ashore, a breeze of calm before the tempest. That comes us with the 10th track “Deconstruct”. My second favorite of the album, some level of awesomeness packed. “Semblance of Liberty” is another fast-paced one, and has the famous Georges H. Bush “read my lips!” quote at the end! “White Waters”, the 12th track album is the calm song, this one feature Tony Kaiko from Sonata Arctica! But Mark let the plat de resistance to us with “Design Your Universe”, the opus magnum of the album. Dichotomic, starting with a crescendo, and blowing our mind away. The track of the album!
“Incentive” is the last one of the album, quite good but felt a bit too soft and lacking flavor after coming out of “Design….”.
What can I say? If you dont have it yet, rush to your record store as Epica re-issued it for the 10th anniversary. Get this album!