R E V I E W S

Epica - We Will Take You With Us - 2005 - The End/Transmission Records

Track Listing
1. Facade of Rality
2. Sensorium
3. Illusive Consensus
4. Cry for the Moon
5. The Phantom Agony
6. Seif al Din
7. Feint (acoustic version)
8. Run for a Fall (acoustic version)
9. Memory
Epica are part of the new wave of Dutch female-fronted gothic bands that also includes the likes of After Forever and Within Temptation. Led by guitarist/screamer Mark Jansen and beautiful (not to mention talented) frontwoman Simone Simmons, they manage to create some beautiful albeit unoriginal music. They are also very good at contrasting different elements of their songs - operatic female vocals and aggressive male vocals are both used with a nice variance. Along the same lines, there are lots of fast, heavy guitar led parts in addition to slower, keyboard driven melodies. Epica aren’t a band that’s afraid of the spotlight, and with only a few releases they have risen to the top of their scene.

We Will Take You With Us doesn’t really have any new or exciting material for Epica fans out there. It’s basically most of the songs from their debut album, The Phantom Agony, in a different order. The only song here that was previously unreleased is “Memory” – a song taken from the musical “Cats.” In addition, “Feint” and “Run For A Fall” are both acoustic tracks, taken from an appearance on the 2 Meter Sessies, a Dutch program. They both consist mainly of Simone singing, accompanied by a piano. Her voice really shines on these two songs, more so than on any of the others on this release. Instead of having to compete (for lack of a better word) with the other instruments, Simone is given the full freedom her voice deserves.

I’m not going to go into detail about the other tracks on the album, because that’s already been done. In fact, I’m a bit puzzled to why Epica even bothered to release all of them together like this – they’re already out on The Phantom Agony. Why not release an EP with the two acoustic songs, the “Cats” cover, and maybe one other track? Maybe it’s because EP’s only sell for $5, while “albums” go for $15. I’m not going to draw any rash conclusions (but feel free to do so on your own) at this point, but I’d hope that this isn’t a sign that Epica are planning to walk down the over-commercialized path that often plagues bands in this genre. I’m not saying exposure isn’t good, and they do have a lot of commercial appeal (as their music is relatively accessible) but excessive (and semi-pointless) releases such as this are never a good thing. They still have great material at this point in their careers – I just hope that isn’t compromised in the future.

Unless you’re just dying to hear a few acoustic Epica tracks, don’t bother picking this up (unless it comes with the 2 Meter Sessies DVD that was also released, that might be worth it but I haven’t seen it). You’re better off getting The Phantom Agony, where the tracks are in their proper order (an order which suits them much better). In fact, if you really want to hear Simone shine, pick up the new Kamelot album, The Black Halo. She accompanies Roy Khan beautifully on “The Haunting.” In fact, “The Haunting” is the best performance Simone has done – the overall song and her contribution are far superior to anything Epica’s done.



--Veritas 08.14.05


Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.


All reviews for this band:
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Consign To OblivionEpica
2005
Ken Pierce1/16/2006
The Divine ConspiracyEpica
2007
Vinaya11/7/2008
The Phantom AgonyEpica
2004
Ken Pierce6/9/2004
We Will Take You With UsEpica
2005
Ken Pierce1/2/2006
We Will Take You With UsEpica
2005
Veritas8/17/2005



Interviews found from this band:
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE



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