Folks, we have something from the world of symphonic metal. The Dutch symphonic metal juggernauts Epica recently announced a worldwide release of their second EP titled ‘Epica vs Attack on Titan‘, which is a based off covers of the anime Attack on Titan. The EP was released in Japan on Dec 20 last year. And on July 20th this year it is going to see a worldwide release. This EP features heavy metal versions of the theme songs from the highly successful manga (Japanese comics) series Attack on Titan. Personally, I prefer the anime of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and have collected quite a few figures from Solaris Japan but I do understand the popularity of Attack on Titan. While it’s not my cup of tea, this doesn’t stop bands like Epica from loving it! The manga series Attack on Titan has been extremely successful since its first release in 2009, with three live action films, three anime films, close to a dozen video games and 70 million copies in print and counting.
We have seen that in the last few years Epica has been on a roll, with a release of a studio album or EP nearly every year ‘The Quantum Enigma‘ in 2014, ‘The Holographic Principle‘ in 2016, ‘The Solace System‘ in 2017, and now ‘Epica vs Attack on Titan‘. They are churning out massive hugely successful tours around the world after each of these releases. You might recall that we covered Epica’s show in Baltimore (read here) last year. This EP was recorded in summer of 2017 at Sandlane Recording Facilities by Joost van den Broek. The original songs, which were influenced by the music of Epica, were composed by Revo of popular Japanese band Linked Horizon. The choir arrangements and scoring were completed by keyboardist Coen Janssen who also handled the orchestral arrangements with Joost van den Broek. Janssen has mentioned: “The ‘Attack on Titan’ EP is a project very close to my heart. More than ever I was involved in arranging and producing and I am very proud of the result! Very cool to see how these Japanese anime-songs turned into Epica songs more and more every step of the way!!! I’m very excited that our “Attack on Titan” EP will be available outside of Japan!“
The production quality of the album is absolutely fantastic! The standout track of the EP is the opening track “Crimson Bow And Arrow“. It is catchy, fast and showcases the smooth vocals of Simone Simons and the harsh vocals blend in superbly. The next track “Wings Of Freedom” is a tad faster and kind of relentless. The rapid vocals, keyboard and guitar in the middle is a bit too furious for my liking. The third track “In Inside These Walls Was A House” starts like a ballad and then ascending in to a crescendo, and then again ending like a ballad. This is a very dramatic track, and it is quite intense despite the slow tempo for much of the track. The last track titled “Dedicate Your Heart” slows down a bit, compared to the first two tracks, and display the full range of heavy riffs and drums amidst the orchestral elements by Epica. In addition to the riffs, this track contains some beautiful keyboard elements. Now the last four tracks of the EP are instrumental versions of the previous four tracks, with the background elements thrown in. To be honest, I wish this was a proper album with eight different tracks instead of four instrumentals. When you have a vocalist as talented as Simone Simons any song without featuring her voice feels somewhat like it has a void that can’t be filled. I enjoyed listening to it; However a full release would have been ideal. Make sure to pick up ‘Epica vs Attack on Titan‘ and let us know what you think of it. We eagerly look forward to hearing your opinion. Now we hope for a new worldwide Epica tour, cheers!
1. Crimson Bow And Arrow
2. Wings Of Freedom
3. If Inside These Walls Was A House
4. Dedicate Your Heart!
5. Crimson Bow And Arrow (Instrumental)
6. Wings Of Freedom (Instrumental)
7. If Inside These Walls Was A House (Instrumental)
8. Dedicate Your Heart! (Instrumental)