I’m sure many of you out there know Epica so I’ll spare you the introduction. Omega is the eighth studio album from the group and third with the current lineup and many fans, including myself, wondered if this would be their best release to date? I thought that 2014’s The Quantum Enigma and 2016’s The Holographic Principle were their greatest and most achieved work to date until listening to Omega. Undoubtedly, this album is pursuing what I would call the pinnacle of Epica with well balanced and high quality symphonic metal tracks. A lot of bands do struggle with that fine line balance of harsh and clean vocals as well as the balance between epic orchestral and heavy riffing parts. Epica have never failed delivering those contrasts in a way they have perfected and Omega is no exception.
Omega delivers so much into this 70+ minute release that tug at every emotion with the use of emotionally driven vocals, epic and heavy guitar riffs, beautifully orchestrated keyboard work that brings light to the songs as well as what I believe is their most solid and strongest sound overall. Simone Simons has brought her A-game to this album as this is her most balanced and to myself, the best she has ever sounded. Don’t get me wrong, Simone has always sounded amazing but here, she has really pushed the limits and you can feel it. Each track is a well balanced blend of quantity and quality as this is a long album but you get a full experience of not only beyond exceptional talent from the band themselves but a crystal clear, solid mix of a full orchestra to give this album the existential beauty it illuminates.
Tracks like The Skeleton Key, Gaia, and Abyss of Time all are instant classics as each bring a unique sound but also bleed that signature sound that Epica is known for. Again, Between Simone’s celestial voice and Mark Jansen’s epic songwriting and guitar work, this is definitely the new standard that symphonic metal should be striving for. As stated before, Epica has put out some amazing releases that I thought were the peak of their work and now with Omega, they have proven they can push even further beyond anyone’s expectations. If you want a flawlessly written release that is the perfect balance between darkness and light, melodic and heavy, epic and…well epic, then I highly suggest listening to Omega as this is definitely an album that will be remembered as a huge milestone in symphonic metal.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Neil Andersen