So i gave Epica a try yesterday, and after experiencing thir albums for a while i have a mixed opinion of them.
Simone Simons has a good voice; it has good range, it has a very nice color and she seems classicaly trained. All in all there’s not much to complain about.
Epica as a band has a problem though, and it has everything to do with vocals… Which you wouldn’t have thought possible after the praise i heaped upon Simone.
So what is the problem? Well, it’s actually the grunts.
Some of Epica’s songs are magnificent. They are filled with beautiful orchestry, amazing background choirs, and Simone’s voice is an awesome compliment…
But some of the songs also feature another singer, and he especializes in grunting vocals, which i guess fits the epic nature of the compositions and the bands style.
But to me, however, it ruins the mood of most songs and it is just flat out ugly and disturbing. I can’t for the life of me figure out why Epica would feature that guy on any of their songs, nevermind some of their most ambitious ones.
Without the grunting, songs like Cry for the Moon would be very good songs… And a song like Design your Universe might reach a level only the best of Within Temptation and Nightwish have.
But alas, Epica likes the ‘beauty and the beast’ dynamic it seems, and their fans must enjoy it if they haven’t said anything.
That grunting is going to keep me from being a fan, and while Simone is a very good singer, she isn’t awesome enough to turn an average song into a good one with her vocals… Or make a great one legendary like Tarja or Sharon den Adel.
Overall, the band is good. But good isn’t ‘good enough’ in this genre anymore.. Not with juggernauts like Theatre of Tragedy, Dream Theater and Nightwish, which seemingly is returning to the top now that they have a live-studio caliber singer.
Thanks for reading,
P.s: Floor Jansen is a B+ caliber singer.
For reference, Anette was a C+… Simone Simons is a B+.
Tarja is an A- and Sharon is a B+