By Lauren Leuschner
Requiem for the Indifferent is the fifth studio album from Dutch symphonic metal band Epica. This is the last Epica record with original bassist Yves Huts, who announced his departure from the band just days after the album’s release on March 9. The album also features some guest vocals by Amanda Somerville, who toured America with Epica in 2008 while Simone Simons recovered from a staph infection.
The first time I played the new record, I was stoked to hear what would be in store for me from one of my favourite bands of all time. Somewhat disappointingly, I thought it just sounded like B-sides to 2009’s Design Your Universe and wondered if they would top that album. Nothing seemed to really stand out to me like the last record. After a couple spins of the new record, I started to like it more and more. It’s a pretty lengthy album, clocking in at 77 minutes. The production and mixing on this record are very well done. “Serenade of Self-Destruction”, “Monopoly on Truth”, “Deter the Tyrant” and “Stay the Course” quickly became my favourite album tracks.
Die-hard Epica fans that are expecting to hear darker tracks such as “Kingdom of Heaven” or “Martyr of the Free World” are in for a bit of a surprise as there are not nearly as many brutal vocals/grunts. Requiem for the Indifferent seems to focus more on the clean vocals of both Simone and Mark. Simone in particular seems to experiment and fully embrace more of her phenomenal vocal range on the new album. In respect to the instrumental aspects of the album, fans can anticipate to hear those familiar, brutal riffs and fantastic guitar solos.
After the album was released, Nuclear Blast announced that final album track “Serenade of Self- Destruction” was missing vocals and that somehow the instrumental version of the song ended up on the master version of the album. This was not noticed until after the album had already been released. Those who received these pressings from Nuclear Blast (I believe) were sent a free second copy of the album with vocals.
Overall, this record is absolutely worth picking up. I look forward to seeing Epica perform this album live in Toronto on October 31st, 2012 at The Opera House.