Epica - Design Your Universe: Gold Edition (Nuclear Blast)

  Van Muylem    2 oktober 2019

This album is 10 years old and as it marks their breakthrough they decided to adapt it to the digital era and uncropped some, make the sound go deeper, add some acoustic versions … It’s a must have for the fans of female fronted symphonic metal!

The album starts with a prelude called Shamadi : a typical symphonic track with lots of vocals and fitted for a bombastic movie entrance! Resign to Surrender – A New Age Dawns Part IV: heavy guitars, grunts, a symphonic sound and a choir at full power! When Simone starts to sing it’s almost as if a ray of light wipes away the darkness. It’s a cool song with lots of twists, lots of different angles and hooks and all fired up. Unleashed is by now a classic track for lovers of epic symphonic metal. I approve it and confirm that it’s indeed a masterpiece! Listen to the music, the vocals, how the guitars sound, the symphonic part, the choir: it all sets the standard very high (sky high, basically). 



More powerbombing comes with Martyr of the World. The sound is pure and overwhelming. Our Destiny is almost a powerballad, but the tempo is a bit too high according to me and the grunting too hard whilst the guitars and drums are on fire and throwing bombs. Kingdom of Heaven - A New Age Dawns Part V sounds just like how rougher tracks should sound in this genre. It's bombastic, fuelled and yet melodic. It's also a very epical track!



After this you can catch some breath with the scary interlude called The Price of Freedom. Back to bombing the place with Burn to a Cinder but the end is magical with a nightingale singing the last tones. Tides of Time is a magical powerballad where Simone can put her vocal powers upfront. With Deconstruct they go back to their typical symphonic power metal and a typical beauty and the beast vocal fight. Semblance of Liberty sounds very balanced between hard, melodic and heavenly voices. The choir renders it's vocal powers and lifts the song to a higher level. It's a pretty dense track. White Waters is a faeric ballad with a certain touch of the Scorpions. I like the violin in it too. Design our Universe - A new Age Dawns Part V takes us slowly to an auditive climax. Incentive is going out with a boom and marks the end of the regular album!

The fun for the real fans who already have this album for years starts with the accoustic versions of: Burn To A Ciner, Our Destiny, Unleashed, Martyr of The Free World and Dsign Your Universe. It's almost unbelievable but they succeeded in changing them all into fragile and almost tearjerking songs. This also shows off the strength and the potential within these songs and the great songcrafting!

I was happy that I could review this one. However I was unsure about how I should do it: from the point of view of a newbie or as an old fan. I did my best and went for a mix of both worlds. It was sensationnal and magical! Thank you Epica!