Epicurean – A Consequence of Design

Epicurean – A Consequence of Design – 3/5

So here we have a band called Epicurean, with their second album. Like many of the reviews Ive done so far, this is a band ive never heard of, and had little idea what I would find waiting for me.

Defining the bands sound is not an easy thing to do. We have some post-hardcore vocals, some mid-range growls, some thrashy riffs, power-esque solo’s, and keyboards doing a weird synth thing that reminds me of some symphonic/black ive heard. Metal Archives classifies them as “Melodic Dark Metal,” and I disagree. The idea of ‘dark’ gives a black, gothic impression which is not at all present on this album. In fact, it sounded to me quite cheery and light hearted. All in all, id probably call it melodeath with a thrash twist.

The vocals alternate between a post-hardcore style whine, and an almost-but-not-quite mid range growl, in a similar style to Dark Tranquillity. His aggressive vocals I initially thought were bad, but then I wondered if he was intentionally trying to find a balance between growls and more thrash-style singing. There are places where it works, (e.g. Illumination) and more often that not, where it doesn’t.

The guitars are largely standard thrash riff affair with virtuoso power metal solos. Theres little to really say, they aren’t bad but nothing particularly memorable. The keyboards on the other hand, despite having a small role do a wonderful job. They add a slight symphonic aspect and most of the atmosphere probably comes from what he does. (E.g. Dividing the Distance).

What we have here is a band that sounds like they couldn’t decide what genre of metal to play – so decided on them all. What we’re left with is an album of repetitive sounding genre-mashes. The album itself isn’t bad, theres simply little to draw you in. The power metal solo’s have no power behind them, the thrash riffs sound content, the post-hardcore vocals sound whiny, juxtaposing the growls which aren’t very...harsh (for lack of a better word). Whether its meant to sound evil, powerful or aggressive, it fails. It just sounds emotionless, and there isn’t enough variety on the album to keep me interested long.

(Highlights: Lithograph, Dividing the Distance)

By T. Bawden