Epica are known for their penchant towards super-epic, somewhat overstuffed and choir-heavy productions. Starting as a Symphonic and Gothic Metal outfit with the astonishing The Phantom Agony, the band slowly evolved towards an orchestral laden, bombastic style that left many of their earlier fans confused in their wake. Over the last years we have seen many of the major players in this genre move into a similar – if not the same – direction. Which means that what should be innovation turns out to be the new mainstream of sorts. It is a little like this drive to political correctness, where nobody likes to step outside the boundaries of the comfort zone. But to get progress, you need to do exactly that. [...]
I heard somewhere that not knowing the Swedish/Danish Viking band 'Amaranthe' is not knowing Metal. Come again? Well, here I am listening to their last, newest and best 2014 concoction 'Massive Addictive' and I just ask myself - WHAT ON EARTH IS THAT?? For sure, the tunes are catchy, fast, kind of Power Metally and well produced (even too well produced), but - gosh - it just sounds to me like 'George Michael' on steroids teamed up with some pop queen.