Rating:
9.0
Epica - The Divine Conspiracy
7 September 2007


Disc I
01. Indigo (Intro)
02. The Obsessive Devotion
03. Menace Of Vanity
04. Chasing The Dragon
05. Never Enough
06. La'petach Chatat Rovetz (The Last Embrace)
07. Death Of A Dream (The Embrace That Smothers - Part VII)
08. Living A Lie (The Embrace That Smothers - Part VIII)
09. Fools Of Damnation (The Embrace That Smothers - Part IX)
10. Beyond Belief
11. Safeguard To Paradise
12. Sancta Terra
13. The Divine Conspiracy

Disc II [limited edition]
01. Replica [Fear Factory cover]
02. Higher High
03. Never Enough [long version]
+ Never Enough [video]
+ Making of Never Enough video


It is hard to believe that this is only Epica's third studio album. Not even the most ardent followers would have dared to predict such a massive improvement from the Dutch Gothic Metallers. Relaxed and carefree, that's how they impress the listener with 'The Divine Conspiracy', while blasting everything else away which has been issued during the last few years in the area of female-fronted metal.

Never have the musicians backing the beautiful vocalist Simone Simons sounded so good and so focused. In 'The Divine Conspiracy' Epica was able to create the perfect balance between tough, aggressive metal on one side and pure orchestral and classical Power on the other. By giving the riffs more room to breath, Epica's meticulously planned and brilliantly arranged songs now unfold in all their glory. 'The Divine Conspiracy' also has traces of Black Metal and Progressive which makes the album sound much heavier. Although they have improved and headed towards the more epic sound, all the songs carry the trademark that made them successful in the first place.

The first four songs deal with the negative aspects of the human psyche, such as despair, greed and addiction. The three final parts of the 'Embrace The Smothers' (a nine-part cycle which had been started before the début work 'The Phantom Agony') refer to the religious parts of life. The song 'Death Of A Dream' is about Islamic women who are not treated with the same respect as the men. 'Fools Of Damnation' deals with people turning into slaves of their religion. These are only the few songs which deal with the concept of religion.

The artwork reflects the concept and displays a naked Simone, who represents Eve with an apple in her hand. The signs on her body represent the changes that leave a mark on our body and soul. The image on the art cover, helps us to understand the message the album is trying to convey to the listener.

'The Divine Conspiracy' sounds much more mature from the previous released albums by Epica. All the details that they were lacking in the previous albums have been filled in to create this masterpiece. The overall picture of the album, is much more guitar-oriented and much more aggressive unlike the previous albums. Throughout the album there is many more grunts and Simon Simons vocals are more varied. All the songs on the album are much more complex and bombastic - in short terms, this is definitely their heaviest album to date.

For all those who have not had the pleasure of hearing this album, I highly recommend you buy it, for it is one of (if not) the best released album of 2007.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: Epica
Album: The Divine Conspiracy


 


written by Princ_Of_Horror | 21.12.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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ZumoDeMelotocon - 21.12.2007 at 06:20  
Your first review, really? Nice job, keep it up
Princ_Of_Horror - 21.12.2007 at 09:39  
Written by Guest on 21.12.2007 at 06:20

Your first review, really? Nice job, keep it up

Thx, yeah it is my first
Katatronik - 21.12.2007 at 21:41  
Good review...
IMO, this is absolutely the best Epica album... great music indeed!
duyhung - 21.12.2007 at 22:13  
They have improved a lot recently, this album is really a masterpiece, i don't see any boring song here... And one of the most amazing points of The Divine Conspiracy is the drums part by Arien of God Dethroned.., this guy is a genius!
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.12.2007 at 22:14  
Written by Guest on 21.12.2007 at 22:13

And one of the most amazing point of this album is the drums part by Arien of God Dethroned.., this guy is a genius!


And he is their full-time drummer now. So that is great news for Epica fans. So, he is a busy man drumming as full member in two bands now.
duyhung - 21.12.2007 at 22:23  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.12.2007 at 22:14

Written by Guest on 21.12.2007 at 22:13

And one of the most amazing point of this album is the drums part by Arien of God Dethroned.., this guy is a genius!


And he is their full-time drummer now. So that is great news for Epica fans. So, he is a busy man drumming as full member in two bands now.

Awesome!! Isn't it time to edit their profile page?
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.12.2007 at 22:30  
Written by Guest on 21.12.2007 at 22:23

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.12.2007 at 22:14

Written by Guest on 21.12.2007 at 22:13

And one of the most amazing point of this album is the drums part by Arien of God Dethroned.., this guy is a genius!


And he is their full-time drummer now. So that is great news for Epica fans. So, he is a busy man drumming as full member in two bands now.

Awesome!! Isn't it time to edit their profile page?



I just checked the profile page and Ariën is already mentioned there as a regular band member, so someone already edited it, apparently/
Pétur - 22.12.2007 at 02:54  
great album, the more I listen to it the better it becomes.
Princ_Of_Horror - 22.12.2007 at 05:43  
Written by Pétur on 22.12.2007 at 02:54

great album, the more I listen to it the better it becomes.

Yeah I agree
ylside - 25.12.2007 at 12:04  
This album is quite good I must say,I checked it thanks to these comments and review. Was never interested in those female fronted bands but oh well...
White Winter Sun - 27.12.2007 at 12:42  
Nice review for one or probably "the" best Epica's album.
Marcel Hubregtse - 27.12.2007 at 12:45  
Just read the funniest thing in the latest Terrorizer live review of Epica. They were compared to Nightwish musically. What? Was the reviewer DEAF, okay I can understand Epica being compared to old After Forever musically but totally not to Nightwish. The only thing Nightwish and Epica have in common is a female vocalist.
Princ_Of_Horror - 28.12.2007 at 05:02  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 27.12.2007 at 12:45

Just read the funniest thing in the latest Terrorizer live review of Epica. They were compared to Nightwish musically. What? Was the reviewer DEAF, okay I can understand Epica being compared to old After Forever musically but totally not to Nightwish. The only thing Nightwish and Epica have in common is a female vocalist.

haha..yeah, you dont need much, as long as a female is the frontsinger they are compared. lol
But yeah, there have nothing in common.
Duy Hung - 28.12.2007 at 13:33  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 27.12.2007 at 12:45

Just read the funniest thing in the latest Terrorizer live review of Epica. They were compared to Nightwish musically. What? Was the reviewer DEAF, okay I can understand Epica being compared to old After Forever musically but totally not to Nightwish. The only thing Nightwish and Epica have in common is a female vocalist.

Lol i think i've read that, they said something like " ... heavier Nightwish ", didn't they?
Marcel Hubregtse - 28.12.2007 at 13:49  
Written by Guest on 28.12.2007 at 13:33

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 27.12.2007 at 12:45

Just read the funniest thing in the latest Terrorizer live review of Epica. They were compared to Nightwish musically. What? Was the reviewer DEAF, okay I can understand Epica being compared to old After Forever musically but totally not to Nightwish. The only thing Nightwish and Epica have in common is a female vocalist.

Lol i think i've read that, they said something like " ... heavier Nightwish ", didn't they?


I'll quote what it said:
But there's an underlying element of trying desperately to see them for their music and not their singer, as hard as you try you can't escape that they're a sub-par, albeit heavier Nightwish. Great while the FInns were on hiatus but now they're back who wants to bet Epica secretly shitting themselves?

I know they answer to that last question: No, they're not?
Dreamwar_86 - 08.01.2008 at 19:25  
this album is the best of epica simone sings better than ever and the symphonic orchestration is awesome
Shadowcross - 31.05.2008 at 14:34  
Mark Jansen continues his symphonic metal revolution
perhaps the best yet (since Decipher)
Ernis - 15.08.2008 at 00:58  
A thorough and fine review about a very strong album....the only thing I'd like to remark would be that Epica has got very little or almost nothing to do with gothic style....gothic style, that's Fileds Of The Nephilim, Christian Death, Gothic Sex etc....you can find strong gothic elements in Beseech, Tristania and Mandragora Scream....But Epica is just pure symphonic metal...and they have developed this style to its purest and best quality form....for sure one of the strongest symphonic acts of our time....
orionproyect - 08.09.2008 at 18:17  
Written by Ernis on 15.08.2008 at 00:58

A thorough and fine review about a very strong album....the only thing I'd like to remark would be that Epica has got very little or almost nothing to do with gothic style....gothic style, that's Fileds Of The Nephilim, Christian Death, Gothic Sex etc....you can find strong gothic elements in Beseech, Tristania and Mandragora Scream....But Epica is just pure symphonic metal...and they have developed this style to its purest and best quality form....for sure one of the strongest symphonic acts of our time....



I'm absolutely agree with you, Epica shows a pure and excellent symphonic metal (by the hand of Mark Jansen). The Divine Conspiracy is a piece of art...

PS. congratulations to Princ_Of_Horror... keep writing!!
Land Of Doom - 23.10.2008 at 01:47  
Epica wonderful album of songs and especially The Obsessive Devotion
BlankFile - 25.05.2009 at 22:04  
Nowdays is very difficult to maintain a certain level of quality and creativity in this kind of music, but this band is not an example of lacking such values. Instead they keep presenting us pure magical symphonic Metal, with a voice so beautiful of Simone Simons contrasting with the brutal growls of Mark Jansen. The album is very constant and all the songs are equal in terms of quality. But we always have a favourite song, and mine from this album is "Fools Of Damnation", Killer Song indeed.
Stay Metal |m|
Princ_Of_Horror - 31.05.2009 at 09:00  
Yeah the song Fools of Damnation is great
Uirapuru - 19.06.2009 at 19:35  
Good review. Also nice the Fear Factory cover
Abattoir - 10.07.2009 at 18:09  
Awesome album, you just gotta love it Beautiful vocals, choirs plus some cruel, deep growls...pretty original staff. I also realy like drums, which are very diverse comparing to most of other symphonic metal bands. Of course the orchestral parts and keyboards makes the whole atmopshere breath taking.
ioannisk - 14.11.2009 at 14:08  
These guys along with Therion keep the symphonic metal genre to its roots! one of the best combinations of classical music with metal..
GT - 14.11.2009 at 15:46  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 28.12.2007 at 13:49

Written by Guest on 28.12.2007 at 13:33

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 27.12.2007 at 12:45

Just read the funniest thing in the latest Terrorizer live review of Epica. They were compared to Nightwish musically. What? Was the reviewer DEAF, okay I can understand Epica being compared to old After Forever musically but totally not to Nightwish. The only thing Nightwish and Epica have in common is a female vocalist.

Lol i think i've read that, they said something like " ... heavier Nightwish ", didn't they?


I'll quote what it said:
But there's an underlying element of trying desperately to see them for their music and not their singer, as hard as you try you can't escape that they're a sub-par, albeit heavier Nightwish. Great while the FInns were on hiatus but now they're back who wants to bet Epica secretly shitting themselves?

I know they answer to that last question: No, they're not?

Just read this and like you I find that comment hilarious. I like Nightwish no doubt about that, but comparing the two bands are like comparing...well two things you can't compare

...and calling them sub-par? Wtf. If anything par it must be above-par (if that term exist)
Vonpire - 19.03.2010 at 20:52  
Masterpiece! 10

Comparing this to Nightwish is a joke!

Epica is so far better than those guys that is a crime making a sentence like that
Sleeping Dragon - 29.03.2010 at 08:25  
I like Epica much more than Nightwish.

I suppose you could say they're a "heavier version" of Nightwish, due to the [usually] heavier/faster drumming, generally faster song tempo, rather common death growls, etc.

As far as singing ability, I think Simmons and Turunen are about equivalent... they sing in the same vocal range also [mezzo-soprano].

And I give this album a 10/10, of course.

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