Epica:

They have named themselves well. I am very much into this melodic woman-fronted gothic metal that has arisen from the main continent of Europe and these guys are awesome. Coming from practically my favorite country in the world, Holland, these guys fullfill everything I am looking for in a band: Hard edged driving guitars, symphonic keyboards and choirs, and a fantastic lead vocalist that speaks to my soul via both lyrics and the fashion in which the vocal elements are delivered.

My past experience with these guys was wandering into the Boudisque in Amsertdam a few years back (one of the few places to find gothic, industrial, black metal and all the dark goodness inbetween in the city) and bought the album "the Phantom Agony" based solely on the awesome cover imagery and the sticker stating gothic melodic metal. It was a great purchase and I have been a fan since. Finally they play LA!

The images speak for themselves in terms of her physical beauty and the coolness of the band.... musically they far exceded their CD's in a live situation. I had been mostly focused on Simone previously (well I guess I still am if you look at the photo ratio) but I really enjoyed the harsh mail vocalist and thought his voice and delivery were better than the CD. His growls were slightly higher pitched and mixed really well with Simone's brilliant voice. Both the drummer and keyboardist were on the top of their game and really made all the songs powerful and perfectly Epic.
Normally when you have such a powerful band, the ballad's come off weak in comparison but the keyboardist and Simone alone, delivered touching powerful moments of beauty and sorrow, and unlike most LA shows, you couldn't hear the drunken fool next to you blabbering louder than the soulful moments of pure keys and her unbelievable voice... the audience was entrapped and enchanted - it wasn't just me.

I bought the new disc at the concert and have been loving it. I was not familiar with the new matieral at the time of the show but Simone would anounce a new song before the played it and I thought everyone was better than anything previous and that is saying a lot. The new disc, "The Divine Conspiracy" is great and I utilize it often to lift my spirit up out of the mundane and on to a truly Epic level.

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