The Phantom Agony [Bonus Track]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Dutch guitarist/vocalist Mark Jansen unveiled his highly anticipated post-After Forever undertaking, 2004's The Phantom Agony, under the guise of a new orchestral metal band named Epica. Clearly patterned on Jansen's former band, Epica fuses his deathly croaking with an operatic soprano over a lush foundation of symphonic-power metal, only with less immediate and distinctive results. As compared to After Forever's pre-established blueprint and unfortunately, continual comparisons are inevitable here songs like "Sensorium," "Cry for the Moon," and "Illusive Consensus" tend to prioritize guitars over keyboards, while making greater use of full-on choir backdrops. Jansen's throaty rasps are a constant presence ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Dutch guitarist/vocalist Mark Jansen unveiled his highly anticipated post-After Forever undertaking, 2004's The Phantom Agony, under the guise of a new orchestral metal band named Epica. Clearly patterned on Jansen's former band, Epica fuses his deathly croaking with an operatic soprano over a lush foundation of symphonic-power metal, only with less immediate and distinctive results. As compared to After Forever's pre-established blueprint and unfortunately, continual comparisons are inevitable here songs like "Sensorium," "Cry for the Moon," and "Illusive Consensus" tend to prioritize guitars over keyboards, while making greater use of full-on choir backdrops. Jansen's throaty rasps are a constant presence throughout, but lead vocalist Simone Simons -- a gifted mezzo-soprano by any definition -- simply lacks the sheer vocal prowess and versatility of After Forever's Floor Jansen. Whether this occurs by nature or design, one feels her talents are being underutilized; but then, perhaps the band didn't want her monopolizing the proceedings like the aforementioned Jansen although they apparently have no problem objectifying her sensual image on the album's cover. Furthermore, additional embellishments such as spoken word recitals, lyrics decried in Latin and Arabic, and complicated religious and philosophical exhortations heard on the likes of "Façade of Reality," "Seif al Din," and the preposterously overwrought title track, make the whole master work almost too pretentious to stomach. And for all of this grand conceptualizing The Phantom Agony's intricately intertwined movements indeed subscribing to the ages-old concept album tradition, what this is is a same-sounding LP: lyrically engaging and brave of vision, to be sure, but disturbingly short on songwriting chops, and ultimately devoid of the operatic metal genre's dramatic and defining peaks and valleys of emotion. Having said all that, The Phantom Agony
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/24/2004
  • Label: Seoul Records Kr
  • EAN: 8804775015816
  • Catalog Number: 2679

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Epica Primary Artist
Prince Moore Tenor (Vocal), Guest Appearance
Bridget Fogle Alto (Vocal), Guest Appearance
Andre Neygenfind Double Bass, Guest Appearance
Cinzia Rizzo Alto (Vocal), Guest Appearance
Annette Berryman Flute, Guest Appearance
Mark Jansen Guitar, screams, Animal Sounds, Group Member
Olaf Reitmeier Acoustic Guitar, Guest Appearance
Symphony of Voices Choir, Chorus
Tobias Rempe Violin, Guest Appearance
Jörn Kellermann Cello, Guest Appearance
Andreas Pfaff Violin, Guest Appearance
David Schlage Viola, Guest Appearance
Ad Sluijter Guitar, Group Member
Marie Theres Stumpf Viola, Guest Appearance
Simone Simons Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal), Group Member
Technical Credits
Carsten Drescher Artwork, Logo Design
C. Janssen Composer
Sascha Paeth Producer, Engineer
Peter Van 'T Riet Mastering
Robert Hunecke-Rizzo Orchestral Arrangements
Mark Jansen Orchestral Arrangements
Olaf Reitmeier Engineer
Hans Van Vuuren Executive Producer
Gjalt Lucassen Contributor
Joris VanDeKerkhof Contribution
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