With the 2007 release "The Divine Conspiracy
continues to assert themselves as one of the premier operatic metal bands out there today.
Simone Simons puts in a stellar performance for her work on lead vocals. Expertly skilled, Simons manages to slip in some passion and heart outside of the rigid parameters that is the definition of operatic style.
" (the single on the album) and "Safeguard To Paradise
" (the album's ballad) provide the best examples of this feeling.
The vast majority of the album ; however, is a metal opera, and Cohen Janssen is the man when it comes to coloring in those operatic parts with epic strokes of all sorts of synthethized sound. No doubt the metal side is metal, but Epica
seems to treat their rhythm secion as one part to the symphonic whole. Because of this, Janssen's output becomes the foreground and focal point for all of the songs.
" and the title track "The Divine Conspiracy
" may be the two best songs on the album for that very reason. Mark Jansen's rhythm guitar work is at its fastest and most aggressive here, but the highlights from these songs shine from elsewhere. "The Divine Conspiracy
" features a beautifully placed synth interlude after the first break, and "Fools
" throws at you everything else from a mens choir and some organ parts to a spoken verse in Latin. The Arabic scale used in the intro of "Damnation
" is a great touch, too.
One more thought to the metal side : the death metal grunts by Janssen are always a pleasure to listen to but what doesn't work is when he sings lines like "You don't care about me" (from "The Obsessive Devotion"). When that happens, it's a most disagreeable pairing, but in truth that appears few and far between. For the most part, the choice as to which vocals to use for which lines matches up perfectly. I say this in jest, but at a whopping seventy-five minutes, you have to clear up your schedule if you want to listen to "The Divine Conspiracy
", but should you do that, Epica
will deliver for you the full value for your time.
's "The Divine Conspiracy
" is a perfect fusion of opera and metal, and because of this it's an excellent album !