Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Review: Epica – Omega Alive

Label: Nuclear Blast

Date: December 3rd, 2021

Nine years ago searching through a big list for some music that is not Iron Maiden, Slayer, Metallica etc., I discovered an institution called symphonic metal. Bands like Nightwish, Xandria, Therion were regular on my DVD player (okay, I am young but I didn’t have access to everything like kids nowadays; special thanks to people who invented DVD player, mp3 player and Winamp). One chain was missing in that big four of symphonic metal. That was Epica.

That kind of symphony this amazing band is making is close to opera and it’s musically so complex that even some big musical critics can’t explain it. Epica is exactly what it says. It’s epic, dramatic and pompous. This band will never be out of style, old or anything similar. In the years of everything we are daring to call music, Epica is something a lot of other bands should learn.

Everybody knows the song “Cry for the Moon”. Simone’s beautiful soprano voice and her beautiful outfits. Every girl in some part of her life wants to be Mrs. Simone Simons, trust me. A history of nineteen years of blasting is going on after ten full lengths, three live albums and I can’t even count how many singles are there, we are giving warm welcome to fourth live album called “Omega Alive”.

My impressions about this are maybe a little bit out of order but I will give effort to say something to reveal this beautiful live album with fifteen songs.

All fifteen of them are not new. They are combined from previous albums like “Omega”, “The Quantum Enigma” and many others. We can see that publishing albums and singles in symphonic metal is not rough like in other genres of metal. It looks more like classical editions. If we listen to everything all at once, one thing that I noticed is that they are not changing. Nothing is more progressive or different from their sound on albums and singles before.

In this case it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We all have those bands who sound live exactly the same as on studio versions. Okay, I know, good production, equipment, that’s more than true, but it’s not easy to play Epica’s songs live. I don’t know any Epica tribute band on Earth. Maybe I didn’t search enough, but I think such a band doesn’t exist.

The thing I love about them in concerts is that they are not just simply copying the album versions. Adding some special effects or some further arranged riffs is their middle name. Also, virtuosity of theirs, as musicians on stage, is beyond good. I am admiring them the most.

Enough about that. Searching about them in the old fashioned way, I went on YouTube to see also comments of fans below their album and I saw that Epica has a DVD filmed for “Omega Alive”. Some random guy ran before the band and gave us free show of it. Big thanks, bro!

So, concert video is also epic! From the stage to musical performance, you can’t just stop watching it. Something I liked the most are the dancers and choreographies behind them. With very symbolic order they even added a children’s choir in song “Skeleton Key”. That’s a really nice gesture. It looks very cute!

Production of the concert is a masterpiece. It’s one of those concerts that you should watch, not just listen. Some of these songs that I already mentioned are even made in few versions in previous years. There was no such need for that, we as fans are ready for something new. Is that lack of creativity or what? But besides that nothing even a little bit is bad in this. I understand that it’s plague time, so big bands like them can make good money by selling DVDs with beautiful performance… I can’t wait for the new Epica songs. Especially videos and of course Mrs. Simons’ tutorials about hair and make-up that I follow for years. She is an amazing woman, for sure!

P.S. This is my first time making a review about a live album. My honest and deep excuses if I made some mistakes but I couldn’t resist not to tell a few words.