Escapist

Epica

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I listened THP about two times, while in case of TQE, I don't know how many times I listened it. It's clear which one I prefer, haha! :D

 

There is absolutely no way that you can get whole grasp of the album such as THP in only 2 listens.

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I listened THP about two times, while in case of TQE, I don't know how many times I listened it. It's clear which one I prefer, haha! :D

 

There is absolutely no way that you can get whole grasp of the album such as THP in only 2 listens.

 

Exactly! This is not pop, the music is complex enough that it needs many listens to get understanded. :) After 2 listens I still didn't know much about the album and my overall feelings about it were not nearly as positive as they are now.

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I listened THP about two times, while in case of TQE, I don't know how many times I listened it. It's clear which one I prefer, haha! :D

 

There is absolutely no way that you can get whole grasp of the album such as THP in only 2 listens.

 

So much this!

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I would definitely recommend listening to THP more than only twice. When I first heard it, I didn't like it as much as TQE or TDC (my second and third favorite albums; my all-time favorite is Consign to Oblivion), but upon listening to it a couple times, it's now neck-and-neck with TQE and might be my new second fav.

 

I also don't think it's too similar to TQE. I think it's a good compliment to it thematically but I think they sound quite different. While TQE had homages to CtO in there, I heard at least a bit of TDC in this album- at about 3:15 in The Cosmic Algorithm for example I can hear a bit of Obsessive Devotion (around 3: 48 for comparison) in there, but I might just be hearing things or have a bad ear. 

 

THP is def. my favorite album of 2016! Edge of the Blade, Phantasmic Parade, Divide and Conquer, Once Upon a Nightmare, Dancing in a Hurricane, Ascension, and the title track are my favorites (that's like half the album lol). A lot of those (especially Edge of the Blade) I had to listen to more than once to fully appreciate. 

 

So yeah, in summary, I would def. recommend listening to THP more than twice (unless you're really not feeling it of course- I don't want folks to listen to something they don't want to lol). 

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I have to agree that listening to this album just 2x will not get you to every element of every songs in the album. I have this lukewarm feeling towards the album when they released UDS and EOTB. I remember hating these 2 songs but every time I listen to it, I'm starting to grasp every moments and elements of the song which I didn't hear on the first 2-3 listens.

 

I have been listening to the whole album for a while now and I must say that it's a brilliant album. I have to agree when someone said that THP is like a sequel of RFTI but with the production and grandeur of TQE. RFTI isn't an accessible album, you really need to listen to it more than 4x to really get through the details. While TQE is more catchy (something in the veins of DYU and CTO), it took me a few more listens to actually like it; and that is the same case for this album. I remember that I almost gave up during my 8th listen because that time I only liked A Phantasmic Parade, Once Upon, and Dancing In A Hurricane. And after a few more listens, I never expected to like The Cosmic Algorithm and Universal Death Squad so muuuuch..

 

Some rankings based on favorites:

1. The Cosmic Algorithm / The Funky Algorithm (the acoustic version feels like a different song and I like the groovy melodies).

2. Universal Death Squad / Once Upon A Nightmare / Dancing In A Hurricane 

3. Edge of the Blade / A Phantasmic Parade / Ascension - I never thought I'd like EOTB but I find it a good opening track. It's not a really good song but I really think that it's the "right" track to next to "EIdola".

4. Beyond the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (I like the acoustic version more than the original one. It sounds more haunting to me and always gives me chills whenever I listen to it).

5. Divide and Conquer

 

I didn't like Tear Down Your Walls that much. I used to really like it but it started to bore me. LOL.

The title track is also a grower, but I also have to be in the right mood to listen to it in full.

 

I reaaallly love the intro track. My friend thought it's a soundtrack for a 300-like film. Very cinematic.

 

 

Now if I were to rank the albums. My list would go like this..

 

 

1. Consign to Oblivion / The Quantum Enigma (YES! They are now tied at my #1)

2. Design Your Universe

3. The Holographic Principle

4. The Divine Conspiracy / Requiem for the Indifferent

5. The Phantom Agony

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I feel like I'm being overly negative but I don't like THP, even though I have given the album more than five spins. That's enough time to fully grasp the album. I have the same feeling as about EFMB. They're both not bad, excellent actually, but it's the first time I see both bands stagnating. I sort of sensed it coming with Epica though. As amazing as TQE was it didn't contain many new elements and I thought that they could go two ways from there on: Either starting to experiment again or writing new songs and albums in a similar style to what they have done before. This is what they did on THP.

 

As far as ranking the album goes, mine is:

 

1. Design Your Universe

2. The Divine Conspiracy

3. The Quantum Enigma

4. The Phantom Agony

5. Requiem for the Indifferent (I like the songs individually, as whole the album is tiring though)

6. Consign to Oblivion

7. The Holographic Principle

 

Yes, I do rank THP last. Consign to Oblivion has a few songs like Force of the Shore or Solitary Ground that just don't work for me but I enjoy the other songs a lot more than I do THP so I rank it last.

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For me...

1. The Divine Conspiracy

2. Consign to Oblivion

3, 4, 5. The Quantum Enigma / Design Your Universe / The Holographic Principle (I like them equally!!!)

6. The Phantom Agony (impressive, but Simone sounds much better nowadays)

7. Requiem for the Indifferent (the ballads are the best part of it, and it doesn't work as a whole for me too)

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I think, at this point, I'd rank their albums as such:

 

1.) The Quantum Enigma

2.) Design Your Universe

3.) The Holographic Principle

4.) The Divine Conspiracy/The Phantom Agony (tie)

5.) Consign to Oblivion

6.) Requiem for the Indifferent

 

I like all of these albums, mind you
:P

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I have to agree when someone said that THP is like a sequel of RFTI but with the production and grandeur of TQE. RFTI isn't an accessible album, you really need to listen to it more than 4x to really get through the details. While TQE is more catchy (something in the veins of DYU and CTO), it took me a few more listens to actually like it; and that is the same case for this album.

 

I guess I was one of those insisting in the similarity btw RFTI and THP. I felt it straight away when I heard USD for the first time, and then the album confirmed it. Edge of The Blade was more like The Second Stone to me. After lots of listenings I can say I like all the songs, all of them are unique. I might also be tired be tired of Tear Down Your Walls, but it's just that I listened to it soo many times during the first weeks of the release.

 

I've been reading few things about this new discovery of the inside of black holes and all the theories related are indeed super interesting. I'd like to have time to read more, I can't wait to end the final exams period next week, so I can get into this reading in depth. Thing is, it's obvious that Mark is not trying to explain the whole theory in the songs, he's just using his knowledge of the holographic principle applied to our lives if it happens to be true.

 

I believe there are some instances of parallelism in the songs between the soul/body with the inside/outside of black holes as if our lives worked the same way, receiving information from the outside and then projecting it to the outside as holograms. Since everything is now quantifiable, we are able to manipulate the variables in order to change a situation/state. And that's just one of the things we can actually do with our mind. (Eidola, EoTB, Cosmic Algorithm, Ascention). Sounds much like a pragmatic view of the world to me, nothing new, but it's an interesting approach from this crazy theory.

 

 

The Cosmic Algorithm

Mark: “These are the lyrics I’m most proud of and they’re about the man beneath the hologram. Machines operate in numbers and code, and you can find similar algorithms in nature, so literally the whole universe as we know it is built on mathematical calculations. When you start seeing the algorithms beneath everything, you start to question: why are we here? What does it all mean? And these questions come up in the lyrics. People have always searched for the meaning of life, but the answers are always the same: love, family, friends and helping each other.”

 

And the album also seems to deal with the reaction of those people who firmly believe the world is as they've been told or who are not willing to accept another view, a new conception of the universe (like Phantasmic Parade and THP). Mark is presenting THP as a hypothetical case, "if all of this happened to be true...", so this is like "what would happen if these people can't face it and how can you explain it to them".

 

I'll come up with something clearer and better arguments whenever I find time to read those articles :laugh:

 

Edit: I forgot to mention the orchestra!! I think the orchestration in the middle of Dancing In a Hurricane and THP gives me goosebumps everytime.

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Cool bonus track!  :)

 

I looked up The Holographic Principle on Wikipedia. Assuming the information there is correct.. there are more bonus tracks listed there as "Unreleased". What happened to those?

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I love the bonus track. It had to grow on me a little, but, it's awesome. Nice and heavy!

 

I think there were a total of 6 bonus songs. I think we know two: Immortal Melancholy, and Fight Your Demons.

 

Not sure what the others are. And we only have the acoustic versions of Immortal Melancholy. I don't know if there's an electric version and what that sounds like.

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Here is the track listing I mentioned:

 

Immortal Melancholy (Piano Version) (Japanese exclusive bonus track)

Fight Your Demons (Exclusive single part of the USA Tour VIP Package)

Architect of Light (Unreleased)

Decoded Poetry (Unreleased)

The Solace System (Unreleased)

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1.) Design Your Universe

2.) The Holographic Principle

3.) The Phantom Agony

4.) Requiem for the Indifferent

5.) The Divine Conspiracy

6.) Consign to Oblivion

7.) The Quantum Enigma

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Here is the track listing I mentioned:

 

Immortal Melancholy (Piano Version) (Japanese exclusive bonus track)

Fight Your Demons (Exclusive single part of the USA Tour VIP Package)

Architect of Light (Unreleased)

Decoded Poetry (Unreleased)

The Solace System (Unreleased)

 

Thanks so much! I hope we get to hear the other three songs somehow then :D.

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Here are some other great videos of the two shows I was at. Mark said they may be back in 2017, and Coen seemed to want to come back too. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

 

 

 

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Definitely the most single worthy song on the album.

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That's the song I like the least on THP actually. When I listen to the album, I usually skip it.

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One of my favourites on THP. And especially the accoustic version which is just awesome! The video is ok. I miss videos that actually had a plot though.

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I miss videos that actually had a plot though.

 

It's a bit complicated to make up a plot out of the lyrics this time. I guess it applies to the rest of the songs. Even "Once Upon a Nightmare" has a surrealistic atmosphere, so it'd be quite expensive to use all the effects and stuff.

 

However, making up a plot which has nothing to do with the lyrics worked very well for Epica before. Unleashed is supposed to be a story of an old person regretting himself for not chasing his dreams throughout his life, and the video is quite a different story that was easier to narrate in a 5 minute video.

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That's the song I like the least on THP actually. When I listen to the album, I usually skip it.

 

I actually prefer the acoustic version of this song but that doesn't mean I dislike this song. It's just that some songs from the album are better than this.

 

And the video?! Hmmm well.. they can do AND THERE ARE better ones. 

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Epica has kicked off their European tour with Powerwolf. Looks like a great stage show! Too bad they only have time for 11 songs. Hopefully they headline in Europe on their next tour for this album.

 

 

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