Epica - The Solace System album review

Symphonic Dutch masters go with the overflow

Cover art for Epica - The Solace System album

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Unable to accommodate all the creative bombast amassed during the recording of 2016’s The Holographic Principle, the Dutch symphonic pioneers have unveiled six more tracks from the session via this new EP. With its incomparable composition and ornate passages of melodic complexity, The Solace System stuns. Backed by Gregorian-like choral arrangements, the lead title track swoons rather than tears out of the gate, but the rampaging riffs and multi-textured harmonies offset the histrionics, making it instantly accessible. Excursions into lowend territory with chugging drums are matched by ominous growls (Fight Your Demons), while Immortal Melancholy sees Simone Simons leading the charge, showcasing her ability to weave seamlessly between operatic belting and serene emotion. Fifteen years into a career brimming with highs and unfathomable artistry, Epica continue to shine.