Epica – Gig Review 18th March @ Max Watt’s, Brisbane


Max Watt’s, Brisbane
18 March 2016

Operatic metal has always been something I have enjoyed over the years, from the dramatic music of Nightwish to the angelic purity of Within Temptation. There’s just something about seeing talented females belt out ethereal vocals to the power of metal that will never cease to amaze.

But before we get to open a bottle of red and brood in the corner like some Goth kid listening to their first Type O Negative album. We witness the prog metal beauty of Perth locals Voyager. Coming off as the love child of Karnivool and Cynic and armed with the angelic vocals of Daniel Estrin and the over-the-top guitar antics of Simone Dow, they manage to warm more than a few bodies tonight; so much so that by the time they whip out The Prodigy’s iconic ‘Voodoo People’ they have everyone in the room in the palm of their hand. More tight and focused than they usually are tonight, there’s no doubt in my mind these guys are going places.

And finally out come Epica; arguably the brattier middle child of the operatic metal family, these guys and girl kick it off with ‘The Second Stone’ from the wonderful The Quantum Enigma; the song inciting a mosh pit within seconds on its inception and causing this reviewer and many others to bang their collective heads. The flawless vocals of Simone Simons are the true winner of tonight, soaring higher than a punter at an Electric Wizard concert, she’s what every person singing in the shower thinks they sound like (including me). Her vocals aren’t the only thing on display – with the band performing admirably with the keyboardist Coen Janssen being a particular highlight with a rather strange looking bent keyboard.
Simons is a constant ball of energy; so much so that by the time ‘Unleashed’ is played, she’s headbanging harder than a Willow Smith music video. The crowd responds by reciprocating her gesture, inciting circle pits and one particular fan threatening to pour alcohol all over everybody as he balances his several beverages in his hands and windmills hard enough to solve the energy crisis. Not even an obligatory chant of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” can derail the fun tonight.

Coming out on stage for an encore, the crowd’s chants for “ten more songs” are bargained down by the band to three songs. Turning everything up to 11 we witness a wall of death and a circle pit before the act finish with the epic majesty of ‘Consigned to Oblivion.’
Staying around for a group photo, the band leave everyone to pick themselves off the ground.

EPICA 1Set List
The Second Stone
The Essence of Silence
Storm the Sorrow
Chemical Insomnia
Cry for the Moon
The Obsessive Devotion
Victims of Contingency
The Last Crusade
Design Your Universe
Sancta Terra
Unchain Utopia
Consign to Oblivion
By Kaydan Howison


About Plugga73 (370 Articles)
Writing, reviewing, interviewing, exploring new and old heavy music. From punk to grunge to hardcore to death metal to thrash and everything in between. I've been writing in the music industry now for several years including the websites LOUD, SF Media, Tone Deaf, The Metal Review and AMNplify. I'll be the one talking about bands from the 90s all the time..... Hit me up on twitter @Plugga73