Epica album review – The Holographic Principle

Symphonic Dutch Epica crew turn up the bombast with new album

Epica album cover 'The Holographic Principle'

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Normally when a band claims that their latest album is their “heaviest yet” it’s best to take it with a pinch of salt, but Epica might be right.

They’ve always had a harder edge than their symphonic contemporaries but their seventh album goes at it hammer and tongs. Combining the visceral edge of melodic death metal with typical bombast The Holographic Principle puts the guitar at the forefront instead of resting solely on the histrionic impact of choirs and orchestras.

The result is full-pelt metal and maximum symphonic drama. Divide And Conquer is one-part melody two parts caffeinated Dimmu Borgir meets latter-day Nightwish, Beyond The Matrix sounds like something Sabaton would do if they had a bigger budget and The Cosmic Algorithm is a headbangers’ anthem, attacking with choral urgency and Gojira-heavy riffs. In a moment of respite, Once Upon A Nightmare makes the most of the real-deal strings and brass but overall this album sounds like someone has let a rocket off in the Albert Hall.

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.