Epica – Design Your Universe
Nuclear Blast Records
Symphonic metal band Epica is back with their fifth full length release, entitled Design Your Universe, and they still sound phenomenal! The mixture of the epic and heavy music, the beautiful singing of Simone Simons, and the screams/growls of guitarist/vocalist Mark Jansen is excellent! This band really lives out their name, putting the “epic” in Epica. Design Your Universe includes 13 tracks on the Standard Release version of the album and lasts approximately 1 hour and 14 minutes with two songs lasting over 9 minutes (“Kingdom of Heaven” is approx. 13:35 and “Design Your Universe” is approx. 9:29). Within the 13 tracks, it’s definitely hard to find any stand alone tracks since all of them flow well together and support each other while keeping their own identities and being great as individual tracks, but there are certainly some I would recommend for a great listening experience before hearing the whole album. Some of the tracks I recommend include the two aforementioned tracks “Kingdom of Heaven” (Track 6) and “Design Your Universe” (Track 13/Title track), “Unleashed” (Track 3), “Tides of Time” (Track 9), and “White Waters” (Track 12) which features Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica. Again, each of these tracks are excellent, but they all have their own identities and serve their own purpose in making Design Your Universe such a great album. Overall, I would suggest this album to any Symphonic metal fans, people looking to get into Symphonic metal, and previous Epica fans.