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epica10Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland
30th May 2013

Dutch symphonic-metal band EPICA is closing down their gig activity at the end of June, since Simone is expecting a baby. Yet, before this is happening, EPICA was apparently put up quite a tour, with places to visit in some past months such as Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Russia, Australia, Dubai and Mexico. (Everyone be envious of flight miles they collected in the meantime). The tour is promoting their 2012 album ‘Requiem for the Indifferent’. They do not plan a dense schedule, when a band plays every day, rather aiming for some really wide coverage. Thankfully, EPICA likes Finland and won't mind playing there. Interestingly, those other Northern Countries are not in their favour quite that much: the last Swedish tour was in 2010 (according to their webpage)! Finns know how to receive a metal band and fans are guaranteed to show up in number.


The gig started with warm-up part by a local band (not mentioning name since my view will not be too positive and I won't like to affect band's image), and I can only hope the guys will sound better in coming years. They learned how to show off on stage, but musically it was not something interesting. Well, it seems to be a common case when a warm up is quickly picked up without much effort to provide a uniform experience within the gig. But on other hand, there is a good chance for newcomers to get some more audience. So, warm up people should work more on their sound. From what I heard before, in Russia warm-up was also selected in some strange way. EPICA is Simone Simons, Mark Jansen, Isaac Delahaye, Rob van der Loo, Coen Janssen and Ariën van Weesenbeek. /


Music & Performance
I did not dig EPICA all along, witnessing some of past shows on two TUSKA festivals in Helsinki. These festivals are large outdoor events, that are cool for attending one type of shows and make others look somewhat bleached. Back then, I did not really go impressed by anything but Simone's beautiful appearance. This gig was a totally different experience. Nosturi is semi-large venue and by far has a best light in the town that is placed carefully and professionally. Even with in-house light technician it is usually good. EPICA seem to bring their own light technician who made the show really shine on the theatrical level, making by far the most sophisticated light I have seen here to date. The show itself was also built solidly, and kept people warmed up through the entire gig.


I suspect that long hair is mandatory between EPICA members, as after the show I thought that I saw enough impressive head banging for the whole next year. The pregnancy of Simone seems to limit her movement somewhat, but her trademark head banging with her beautiful long red hair was there, as usual. From past shows, I did not remember much of the sound. It was basically Simone's parts. Here I discovered for myself that the music is heavy, well complimented by male growling and makes a great balance. This heaviness without compromise and softening I like very much. Maybe also the set list was better built. Anyhow, I saw one very convincing show from the band I had no particular impression before. Shortly speaking, in terms of culinary guide of Helsinki city, if you spot an EPICA show later next to your city: "excellent cooking; worth a detour". :)


01. Karma
02. Monopoly on Truth
03. Sensorium
04. Unleashed
05. Martyr of the Free Word
06. The Obsessive Devotion
07. Design Your Universe
08. Blank Infinity
09. Chasing the Dragon
10. Sancta Terra
11. Cry for the Moon
12. The Phantom Agony
13. Quietus
14. Storm the Sorrow
15. Consign to Oblivion

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 10
Total: 9 / 10



All pictures by Askar Ibragimov

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