9. Epica - Requiem For The Indifferent
The successor to Design Your Universe was an interesting threshold for me, given I had semi-recently got into Epica, two years after it was released. I fell hard for it though. I still find it to be Epica's best album to date, by far. However, I don't mean to belittle their efforts on this one. The songwriting is definitely there, and at the end of the day that is Epica's key strength. Their technical prowess and beautiful, powerful vocals are all secondary to the quality of the compositions. At some points when Simone sings, it sounds as if an angel were channeling her voice into her. The cheesiness of that statement aside, she really sounds great. As to why it doesn't surpass Design Your Universe is puzzling to me, but one thing that stands out is the production quality, strictly on a comparative basis with the aforementioned. Requiem's production is a little bit more mechanical, if that makes sense. Doesn't sound as organic as Design, but that could just be me being extreme. Case in point, it's a testament to this band that even an album perceived to be a slight step down is still in the Top 10. Epica are a progressive metal powerhouse and anyone who doesn't think so is wrong. Simply put.
"Karma/Monopoly On Truth" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DJ76TQYzNU
"Guilty Demeanor" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP-qD5QJVzw