Epysode - Fantasmagoria Metal Traveller Rating: 4/5 Raise Your Fist
Fantasmagoria is the second album of the Progressive Power Metal band Epysode, lead by the mastermind Samuel Arkan, with prestigious guests as Ida Haukland from Triosphere, Michael Lepond from Symphony X, Henning Basse (ex-Metallium) or Léo Margarit from Pain Of Salvation.
Since the release of the album Obsessions back in 2011, Samuel spent a lot of time writing, composing and recording.
He managed to gather many renowned musicians to help him with this project, and he made sure that they all could record their parts at the Noise Factory Studio in Belgium.
This is quite unusual: in these kinds of projects it’s very common that each musician records his parts at home and sends them for the mix, but they actually don’t get to play together.
The result is a very cohesive sound throughout the whole record, even if different musicians and singers are involved.
There’s a dark atmosphere, heavy and powerful, all over this concept album.
It’s impossible not having plenty of images when hearing some passages of the record. In this regard, the title Fantasmagoria was totally accurate.
It all starts with a beautiful intro named File 4180-2, where a gunshot sets the tragic side of the story.
It’s followed by The Arch, which is a great opener. What a powerful riff and what an amazing solo!
Fans of bands like Kamelot and Evergrey will fall in love from the beginning, and by the way, Tom S. Englund is invited to sing no less than five songs.
Fantasmagoria is very varied, with heavy and softer songs. Sometimes the guitar is king, while some tunes are lead by the keyboards. One thing is certain, a lot of work has been made on the melodies. Morning Rose and Forgotten Symphony are great examples of that.
The highlight of some songs is the chorus, like in Venom or Now And Forever.
Others, like The Black Parade or Raven’s Curse have totally killer riffs. The latter is one of the fastest and heaviest songs of the record, and the chorus is a pure delight!
T.H.O.R.N.S. is another heavy song, alternating male and female vocals.
Those duets are found quite often, but the best one is on the title track, Fantasmagoria, without any doubt. It’s so full of emotions!
And the last song, called Unreal, is another highlight. The ending is striking, when a guitar solo full of feeling gives way to a piano melody, first harmonious and then dissonant.
Fantasmagoria has to be listened several times before it can be fully appreciated.
There are so many subtleties that’s it’s not possible to get everything from the beginning.
Samuel Arkan has created a very interesting record, and not only from the musical side, as it also has a story behind... and it might well be liked to Obsessions...
One more thing, some record of this sort remain studio projects, but Epysode will play some selected shows, like the PPM Fest in 2014, so be ready for a very special show!
Picture: AFM Records
Samuel Arkan – Guitars
Léo Margarit – Drums
Simone Mularoni – Guitars
Mike LePond – Bass
Julien Spreutels – Keyboards
Tom Englund – Vocals
Henning Basse – Vocals
Ida Haukland – Vocals
Matt Marinelli – Vocals
Tezzi Persson – Vocals
01. File 4180-2
02. The Arch
03. Morning Rose
05. The Black Parade
07. Garden Of Exile
08. Raven’s Curse
09. Living Fortress
11. The Inheritance
12. Now And Forever
13. Forgotten Symphony