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 The Classical Conspiracy - review

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Ene
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PostSubject: The Classical Conspiracy - review   Fri May 08, 2009 3:26 pm

Finded awesome review of the new live-album, enjoy! Smile
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The unification of metal and classical music is something we have seen more and more of during the last decade. Metallica was one of the first metal bands to perform with an orchestra and release a live album documenting that performance (S&M). More recently, Within Temptation followed with their grand DVD/CD Black Symphony. But to this point no band has seemed better suited for this type of concert than Epica. They combine classical, opera, power metal, death and goth, creating symphonic music that is multi-faceted and unique. Epica already features a mini-orchestra and choir in its ranks, so this was a natural step.

On June 14, 2008, this became reality when they collaborated with a full orchestra and choir in Miskolc, Hungary, during the Miskolc International Opera Festival. The band performed a 45-minute set of metal adaptations of classical songs and movie soundtracks, accompanied by the orchestra and choir, as well as symphonic versions of its own songs. The end result is The Classical Conspiracy, a double live album commemorating the event.

What is interesting is since this concert was held during an opera festival, a large majority of the crowd are not even Epica fans, but fans of classical music. And on disc one, Epica performs classical pieces and soundtrack themes, much to the delight of the crowd. Surely you've heard most of these classical pieces before, but I doubt if many metal fans will recognize the titles off hand. But trust me, once you start listening, it will all sound familiar—whether you've heard these in movies or commercials—with a lot of metal thrown in. The chugging guitars and heavy foundation of these classics is similar to what Trans-Siberian Orchestra does, transforming ages-old classical pieces into rockin' metal songs. The only downside of the classical set is that the operatic lead vocals of Epica's Simone Simons are only heard on two songs, “Ombra Mai Fu” and “Stabat Mater Dolorosa”—but the performance more than makes up for it. Among the selections are an awesome speed metal rendition of the Star Wars “Imperial March” and melodies from both Spiderman and Pirates of the Carribean. The Epica set starts toward the end of disc one and fills all of disc two. In all, this album runs over two hours.

Simons is the centerpiece of Epica and her operatic, mezzo-soprano vocals are distinct, the driving force of the band. Hearing a performance like this on record makes me wish I could have witnessed this in person. Epica's songs sound much like they do on record, but the orchestra and choir make them louder, more grand and well ... epic. Songs like “Never Enough,” “Living a Lie,” “Cry for the Moon” and “Sancta Terra” are heard in their most powerful form. Guitarist/founder Mark Jansen lends his death metal grunts and growls and urges the crowd on. Since this was recorded at an opera festival I wish I could see the faces of those unsuspecting audience members. Epica's fans traveled from across Europe for the event and their chants of “E-pi-ca! E-pic-ca!” are heard throughout.

The Classical Conspiracy is a release like no other. The special set of classical pieces is different from what any metal band has done before. And I'll stress again that no band is more suited for a classical collaboration than Epica. I can't imagine the amount of rehearsals and work that went into this nearly flawless, monumental performance. If enough ears are exposed to this album, Epica should be recognized as a top-tier metal act with huge crossover appeal.

9/10
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PostSubject: Re: The Classical Conspiracy - review   Sat May 30, 2009 2:49 am

Very good review of it Ene.

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PostSubject: Re: The Classical Conspiracy - review   Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:10 pm

The review is awesome!I love TCC the song sound way better with live orchestra! Smile
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