Liverpool Sound and Vision rating 9/10
Designed to be seen as an E.P., and yet one that is as steeped in the glory of the album as anything that has carried the name this year. For Epica once again truly live up to the name and their past as their present The Solace System to their fans.
The six strong song E.P. is unquestionably powerful, it is electric, it is persuasive and effective and yet it has the unnerving ability to be hypnotic, to be caught and so wrapped up in the attention that it feels as though you have been lost in both reverie and Time. It is find that you are lost amongst the stars and the symphony they create.
The reaction to the songs is one of physicality, the listener, whether they expect it or not, is immersed and contained within the structure of the song and that sly old devil of hypnotism is able to grab and use the attention respectfully given, as a source of energy; the battery life of the human soul is boosted and the tracks are then rightly seen, not as left over’s from a previous era or time, but as the wonderful addition that only abundance of imagination can bring.
Simone Simons vocals don’t just haunt the songs on the E.P. they pound the subconscious into submission and then gently kiss the resulting metaphorical bruises away; they are kind, considerate and bountiful, and alongside Isaac Delahaye, Mark Jansen, Coen Janssen, Ariën van Weesenbeek and Rob van der Loo’s remarkable teamwork, each track is wild and beautiful.
In the songs Decoded Poetry, Architect Of Light, the fantastic Wheel of Destiny and the E.P.‘s title track the sense of the primal urge is magnified and strangely comforting, The Solace System, the possible fury felt in the discord of life is banished and the following aggravation is dispelled, appeasement is not an option, complete destruction of negativity is the only true way to feel consoled and buoyed by the closeness that comes at a pace and with a smile attached to the Dutch sentiment of allurement.
Hypnotic, reactionary and positive, The Solace System is not just an E.P. placed together to give a sense of continuation, it is a beast all on its own and one that really knows the point of symphonic Metal.
Ian D. Hall