The new album of Epica comes as no surprise to people already familiar with their sound and previous works. Female fronted Metal, says the newsletter but this is only a very generic term not describing exactly what you will listen here. First of all, the vocals of Simome have moved to a different level, and she manages to color the songs with her distinctive eerie way of singing, dominating the whole album, but in a way that no one would complain. She makes you want to listen more and more, as she unfolds her vocal capabilities in each song, and the contradiction she makes with the brutal Death and Black vocals is simply perfect. Music wise the band has maintained their trademarks in music, but has moved to more complex forms of performing close to Progressive, without abandoning some Black or Death Metal elements though, only this time they are fewer than before. The songs are full of excellent ideas, great musicianship, and various vocals and choirs, and this creates a feast of Symphonic Metal music, that always moves very close to perfection. The music is well written, with enough well explored ideas, and although it might sound catchy from the first moment, it takes some time to reveal all it's secrets, something that makes this album more interesting. Melodies are a vital part of this album, either being vocal, guitar driven, or keyboard, and are used in a very wise way. On the other hand, the band doesn't afraid to add more aggressive moments, from growling to blastbeats, and this somehow points out mostly the diversity of the music, but also the variety of the melodies. There are no weak points here, only things that need more attention to fully understand. The production is crystal clear, the kind of production a multi layered album such as this, needs to fully expose all it's details. If you are a fan or the band, then this album will blow your mind.