Review of Epica’s “Retrospect“

Review by Brian Kelman
© Ethereal Metal Webzine

Retrospect: 10th Anniversary

This review is for the 2 Blu-ray/3CD Retrospect concert performed live by the Dutch Symphonic Metal Band Epica in celebration of their 10th
anniversary in Eindhoven, Netherlands on March 23, 2013. Joining the
band on stage for this 3 hour extravaganza were the same orchestra and
choir that performed on their Classical Conspiracy 2CD
(2009): the 70 piece Extended Reményi Ede Chamber Orchestra (conducted
by Zsolt Regos) and the Choir of Miskolc National Theatre (choirmaster
Zsolt Regos).

The
discs are neatly packaged in individual sleeves within a hard cover
book with a very informative booklet all contained within a protective
box. The song lists for each Blu-ray and CD are located on the back of
both the box and the book. The song lists are correct. Each sleeve
containing the CD’s also has the song listed for each individual disc
and they are correct. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the list
on each sleeve for the Blu-rays. For both the lists are incorrect and
should be ignored. Such carelessness spoils the otherwise neat packaging
format.

On
the production side, the video presents another problem. The lighting
during the concert is nothing short of a disaster in some parts. Many
times the band members were reduced to mere silhouettes because of the
intense light and strobes. Sometimes they simply disappeared in a sea of
intense glare. This seemed to give the camera crews some trouble, too,
with their shots and angles. This is all the more disappointing given
that the music and performance was tops.

One new song, Retrospect, was written and performed. In addition to an Orchestral Medley, the remainder of the set list include songs from all their studio albums.

From The Phantom Agony (2003): Sensorium, The Phantom Agony and Cry for The Moon.
From Consign To Oblivion (2005): Blank Infinity, Quietus and Consign To Oblivion.
From The Divine Conspiracy (2007): Chasing the Dragon, Never Enough, The Divine Conspiracy, Sancta Terra and The Obsessive Devotion.
From The Classical Conspiracy (2009): Presto (A. Vivaldi), Stabat Mater Dolorosa (G. Pergolesi), and Battle of the Heroes & Imperial March from Star Wars (J. Williams).
From Design Your Universe (2009): Unleashed, Martyr of the Free Word and Design Your Universe.
From Requiem for the Indifferent (2012): Monopoly on Truth, Twin Flames, Serenade of Self-Destruction, Delirium and Storm the Sorrow.

Special
guests were included. Former members Yves Huts (bass), Ad Sluijter
(lead guitar), and Jeroen Simons (drums) reprised their former roles in
the performance of Quietus. Floor Jansen (After Forever, MaYan, ReVamp and Nightwish) sang two duets with Simone (Stabat Mater Dolorosa and Sancta Terra).
Tarja Turunen was originally asked but since her first and,
unfortunately, only Beauty & the Beat tour was set to begin a week
later, she had to regretfully decline their gracious invitation.

The
sound quality is outstanding. The task of producing and mixing band,
orchestra and choir couldn’t have been an easy one but they have been
able to capture the clarity of the subtleties within the power that
comes with large scale ensembles. Bravo!

Extras
are also included. There are interviews with the current band members
that provide insight as to who they are as people as well as musicians.
Also there are interviews with the past members mentioned above as to
why they left and what they are doing now.

Despite
the song list error and the lighting problem, Retrospect is a must for
all Epica fans. Even though it is a look back to a great past it also
anticipates an even better future. They are well on their way given the
quality of their subsequent release The Quantum Enigma.

Overall Rating: 4/5

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