Background To Release
Epica have decided to officially release worldwide the EP that was only released in Japan late last year. Entitled Vs Attack On Titan Songs, this is music originally composed by Revo from a Japanese band called Linked Horizon. Linked Horizon wrote the music for a series of Manga movies. The pieces were written (apparently) in an Epica style, so now the band have re-recorded them for the more Metal based market.
To be honest, I have never actually watched any Manga movies or read any of the comics that they are based upon. Therefore, I have had to look them up! Listening to the EP and comparing the versions to the series was quite interesting. They are heavier, without a doubt. At times, they are more frenetic. However, they have the beautiful tones of singer Simone Simons that make them more enjoyable.
EPICA – Vs Attack On Titan Songs
There are eight tracks, but really only four songs as each song is on the EP twice. This is because the second time has both Simone’s voice and Mark Jansen’s growls removed. They are classed as “instrumentals”, but still have the choirs on them, along with the spoken word sections. The tunes are musically the same.
It looks like a labour of love for keyboardist Coen Janssen. He co-composed all the choirs and orchestral arrangements, along with producer Joost Van Der Broek.
The songs themselves are quality. Ok, I have very little idea of what some of them mean not being a comic fan, but they sound powerful. They also sound elegant, as well as joyous and uplifting. There is an element of “musicals” throughout and the sort of over the top vibe of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This is no bad thing. It all still sounds like Epica, but yet slightly different.
Opening track “Crimson Bow And Arrow” comes in with an ominous feel. The following choir and gentle drumming up the ante a bit. Guitars and the dulcet tones of Simone enter. Hitting full speed, this is classic Epica including some fine growling from Mark. There is, at one point, even a slight touch of Dimmu Borgir in the spoken word bit.
“Wings Of Freedom” starts with a marching style choral piece before it kicks in fully. The tune crosses into Power Metal, as well as Symphonic with some very fast growls from Mark countering the sweetness of Simone. The tune is well constructed and is a lot of fun.
The third song is a ballad. This tune is strangely called “If Inside These Walls Was A House”, which mixes a Disney ballad with the afore-mentioned TSO. You could easily introduce a child to Metal via this!
The last song “Dedicate Your Heart” has some fine drum fills and rolls from Arien Van Weesenbeek, leading into the guitar solos. There is one moment where a hint of “Lost In Hollywood” by System Of A Down is in the melody!
As I said earlier, if you want to hear the songs without the vocals, then tracks 5 to 8 may be of some interest.
The EP is a good one and recommended as something a little different (as it sounds very much like soundtrack material) but has that Epica sound. I would be interested to see or hear if they do any other projects like this.