For 20 years, Epica has been at the forefront of Progressive and Symphonic Power Metal and has been centered around Simone Simons and Mark Jansen for the previous eight albums whilst also touring the world and leaving those locations better than when they arrived.
On this latest release the band has been joined by a range of world-class guests including Fleshgod Apocalypse, Phil Lanzon from Uriah Heep & Tommy Karevik from Kamelot, Shining, Charlotte Wessels & Myrkur along with Frank Schiphorst from MaYaN & Björn “Speed” Strid from Soilwork. Don’t forget that also joining the party is Henri Sattler of God Dethroned and Sven de Caluwé from Aborted and also Asim Searah from Damnation Plan, Niilo Sevänen from Insomnium and Roel van Helden of Powerwolf.
However, you aren’t reading this to see a list of names, you are reading this for my opinion on what this impressive array of characters have managed to concoct.
The short answer to that question is one word – genius! If you want to know why, please read on.
From the start, the combination of soaring vocals and music packs enough power to keep a country going, alongside Fleshgod Apocalypse that adds some aggression creating a fireball of wonder.
Please don’t think that they peak at track one, this level of brilliance continues throughout the 7 tracks, and whilst it takes a different tone, the combinations of guests and Epica themselves is simply stunning. Whether you are singing along at the top of your lungs or have your air guitar out riffing along, this is top drawer.
The 36 minutes of The Alchemy Project is a sheer joy to listen to, with the saxophone of Shining or more Folk and atmospheric approach provided by Charlotte Wessels and Myrkur this album has everything. In fact, it has so much of everything that it makes you want more. Like an addict craving the fix, this will become an obsession and you won’t be able to shake it off.
If you hadn’t gathered, I’m a massive fan of this release, and whilst U have been aware of Epica for some time, I can now announce that I am a fan and will be delving into their back catalog for some serious listening!
Whether you are a fan of Symphonic Metal or just venturing into the wonderous world of this genre, please just give this a listen. Trust me if you don’t enjoy this, I would just give up on any kind of Rock or Metal.
The Alchemy Project is a potential for Album of the Year.
The Alchemy Project will be released on November 11th, 2022 via Atomic Fire Records.
The Great Tribulation: Fleshgod Apocalypse
Wake the World: Phil Lanzon (Uriah Heep) & Tommy Karevik (Kamelot)
The Final Lullaby: Shining
Sirens – Of Blood and Water: Charlotte Wessels & Myrkur
Death is not the End: Frank Schiphorst (MaYaN) & Björn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork)
Human Devastation: Henri Sattler (God Dethroned), Sven de Caluwé (Aborted)
The Miner: Asim Searah (Damnation Plan), Niilo Sevänen (Insomnium), Roel van Helden (Powerwolf)