Dutch symphonic metal titans Epica brought their epic (pun intended) live show to the O2 Forum in Kentish Town in the last their six-date UK tour in support of their latest EP The Solace System. The queue snaked around the venue as fans eagerly awaited a night of metal.
Opening the show were Texan progressive metal five-piece Oceans of Slumber who played an engaging set featuring tracks from their latest album The Banished Heart (reviewed by Chris) that was released at the beginning of March. This was my first time seeing or hearing Oceans of Slumber and I thought they were great; Cammie’s vocals worked beautifully with the rest of the band and their music set the tone perfectly for the rest of the evening.
Main support on this tour was Danish multi-instrumentalist and song-writer Myrkur (Amalie Bruun) whose music expertly combines a Scandinavian folk sound with elements of black metal to create music that is not only delicate and feminine but also dark and brutal.
I first saw Myrkur perform at Tons of Rock festival in Norway last summer and have been a fan ever since! Most recently I saw her put on a stunning performance of folk-songs in a tiny church in Bethnal Green which was truly magical. Tonight she opened with “The Serpent” and went on to play a fantastic set including “Ulvinde” and “Måneblôt” from her latest album Mareridt (2017) plus tracks including “Onde Børn” from her 2015 album M. She ended by performing Norwegian Medieval ballad “Villemann og Magnhild” (about a man who goes off to fight a troll to save his princess).
The excitement in the venue was palpable as the lights went out and tonight’s headliners Epica took to the stage and launched straight into “Edge of the Blade” from their most recent full-length album The Holographic Principal. Having been around since 2002 and with seven albums under their belt Epica must have been spoilt for choice as to which songs to play on this tour. They put together a wonderful setlist featuring fan favourites from their back catalogue as well as “Fight Your Demons” from their 2017 EP The Solace System.
The whole band were full of energy and their performance was really engaging and great fun to watch. Keyboardist Coen Janssen looked like he was having the most fun of them all as he had some sort of fancy track set up behind the drums which meant he could glide gracefully in a half-circle around the stage – I have not seen anything like that before!
Theatrics aside I thought Epica’s performance was great; the balance between Simone Simons’ soaring orchestral vocals and Mark Jansen’s gritty growls worked brilliantly with the rest of the band and produced a glorious metal symphony that certainly lived up to my expectations.
Photos by Katie Frost Photography
- Edge of the Blade
- Fight Your Demons
- The Holographic Principle
- Victims of of Contingency
- Cry for the Moon
- Unchain Utopia
- Design Your Universe
- Sancta Terra
- Beyond the Matrix
- Consign to Oblivion