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Epica: Omega
Epica - Omega Album Art

Epica: Omega

Symphonic/Death/Power Metal
3.0/5.0

In the Greek alphabet Omega is the 24th and last letter. Is Epica's Omega their last studio album? I doubt it. The Netherlands band has been going strong since their start in 2002 as Sahara Dust (only to rename to Epica in 2003) with a continuous output of recordings and a relentless pursuit of touring. Instead, Omega is the band's eighth studio album.

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Epica

Predictably, Omega finds Epica doing what the do best: melodic and bombastic, often complex, symphonic power metal with female lead vocals, and almost every male player doing death vocals (wherein I usually depart from any Epica album after a spin or two.)

There's no mystery there. Their musical formula is equally creative, entertaining, and redundant (in the very best sense); it's a rare triumvirate of qualities only the best and most consist musicians can master. But as fan of Epica, you already know that. Perhaps the only thing to do is to mention songs and lyrical themes.

First, there's the third part of the Kingdom of Heaven saga, The Antediluvian Universe, at 13 minutes and more, it's Epica at their best expansive progressive power metal. In heavy metal, like books, concept albums or stories come as a trilogy. Is The Antediluvian Universe the last in a trilogy? Somehow, I doubt that as well. Another thematic concept in the album comes from founder and composer Mark Jansen and his interest in The Emerald Tablets of Thoth, an historical Hermitic tablet that European alchemists consider the origin of their craft. In a contemporary setting you may know it from the German Netflix series Dark where it appears on a metal door in the caves that are central to the time-travel plot. (Also, the priest Noah has a large image of the same tattooed on his back.) But, how this appears in Omega is somewhat mystifying, and not having the lyric sheet did not help. In Dark, the idea is consigned to the cycle of life, beginnings and endings: Omega begins with Alpha - Anteludium and ends with Omega - Sovereign of the Sun Spheres.

Finally, in deference to all the epic metal, Rivers offers listeners Epica's softer side with a symphonic, piano-enhanced, operatic ballad. All things considered, Epica's Omega is simply more of the band's equally creative, entertaining, and redundant (in the very best sense) symphonic power metal. Recommended.




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The Bottom Line

All things considered, Epica's Omega is simply more of the band's equally creative, entertaining, and redundant (in the very best sense) symphonic power metal. Recommended.

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