If you were to search the internet for Symphonic Metal, Epica would be top of the list for perfect examples of how this genre should sound and as the band decide to take a step back from the world, it is time to re-issue the album that is considered by many, to be the one that really set them aside.
Having released three albums prior to the release of Design Your Universe in 2009, it was this watershed moment that led to the worldwide treks playing live along with very impressive subsequent albums, building a phenomenal back catalogue and now the 10year anniversary has arrived for this masterpiece and although they did not wish to mess around much with re-mixing the album due to its incredible sound the first time around, the improvement in technology allowed for some tweaking here and there.
The sound is as near to perfect as it can be like the introduction plays in its theatrical and sublime glory, full of strings and choral vocals, before ‘Resign to Surrender ~ A New Age Dawns – part IV’ enters the fold, with its choppy guitars and a deep and brutal vocal that is at the other end of the spectrum of the glorious, Opera style vocal provided by the incredible Simone Simons.
The music takes you on a magical journey as you are whisked away on the waves of sound created by the combination of the guitars, keyboards, synthesizer, piano and string section, before being caught by the powerful gruffness provided by Mark Jansen as the more classic Metal sound blends perfectly with this wondrously beautiful score.
This combination is the story of the album, as the Metal gets heavier, the Symphonics gets more beautiful creating collisions, but also the opportunity for them to work fantastically together, creating the perfect balance of beauty and power.
Design Your Universe was a truly spectacular album the first time around and now with a few manipulations it is as close to perfection as you are likely to find in the Power Metal / Symphonic Metal arenas and will blow your mind for the entire 108 minutes of its run time, as on this edition we have acoustics renditions for some of the offerings, again truly displaying the beauty of the tracks. It is dramatic and hard-hitting whilst taking advantage of the softer sounds to provide us with an epic masterpiece that has to be heard to be believed.
Design Your Universe was released on October 4th on Nuclear Blast.
1. Samadhi – prelude 1:27
2. Resign to Surrender ~ A New Age Dawns – prt IV ~ 6:19
3. Unleashed 5:47
4. Martyr of the Free Word 5:03
5. Our Destiny 6:00
6. Kingdom of Heaven ~ A New Age Dawns – prt V ~ 13:36
7. The Price of Freedom – interlude 1:13
8. Burn to a Cinder 5:40
9. Tides of Time 5:33
10. Deconstruct 4:14
11. Semblance of Liberty 5:42
12. White Waters 4:44
13. Design Your Universe ~ A New Age Dawns – prt VI ~ 9:32
14. Incentive 4:13
15. Burn to a Cinder – acoustic version 5:32
16. Our Destiny – acoustic version 5:13
17. Unleashed – acoustic version 5:06
18. Martyr of the Free Word – acoustic version 3:56
19. Design Your Universe – acoustic version