The Phantom Agony (2CD)

SKU: TMD-071
Label:
Transmission Records
Category:
Gothic Metal
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"The Phantom Agony marked the start of the now decade-long and world-wide career of the Dutch group EPICA. The album was recorded at The Gate Studio in Wolfsburg, Germany, under the leadership of the renowned producer and engineer Sacha Paeth (a.o. Aina, After Forever, Rhapsody, Kamelot) and at its release it was critically acclaimed to be one of the most impressive Dutch Epic Metal debut albums ever. The classically trained mezzo-soprano vocalist Simone Simons is a true revelation, confronting a complete choir & orchestra just as easily as she battles the shrouds clad grunts. But it is the incredible arrangements and production, this band of ex-After Forever guitarist Mark Jansen gives a unique place in Dutch rock history. “Pain and beauty blend into a musical experience that will saturate all the listener's senses”, one critic wrote after listening to the overwhelming CD. He could not have put it better.

Ten years after its original release, The Phantom Agony is back in store. Remastered from the original master tapes, as a double CD. The expanded edition comes in a deluxe digipack and contains 15 bonus tracks, including 7 previously unreleased versions and one previously unreleased song. The 20 pages thick booklet will provide unique photos and memorabilia, plus liner notes by guitarist Mark Jansen.
Track listing
TMD-071  2CD EPICA - The Phantom Agony – Expanded Edition

Chapter 1
1. Adyta 1:27 “The Neverending Embrace”
2. Sensorium 4:49 
3. Cry for the Moon 6:44 "The Embrace that Smothers - Part IV"
4. Feint 4:19
5. Illusive Consensus 5:00  
6. Façade of Reality 8:10 "The Embrace that Smothers - Part V"
7. Run for a Fall 6:31   
8. Seif al Din 5:46 "The Embrace that Smothers - Part VI"
9. The Phantom Agony 8:59
10. Veniality 4:37
11. The Phantom Agony 4:33 - single version
12. Triumph of Defeat 3:54

  
Chapter 2
1. Adyta 1:28 - orchestral version
2. Sensorium 4:53 – orchestral version
3. Cry for the Moon 6:40 - orchestral version
4. Feint 4:18 - orchestral version
5. Illusive Consensus 5:02 - orchestral version
6. Basic Instinct 4:07 - orchestral track
7. Run for a Fall 6:26 – orchestral version
8. The Phantom Agony 9:00 - orchestral version
9. Veniality 4:35 - orchestral version
10. Feint 4:53 - piano version
11. Cry for the Moon 3:30 - single version
12. Run for a Fall 4:29 - single version

Tracks 1 - 8 previously unreleased

These recordings have been exclusively restored and dynamically
remastered in the 24-bit domain from the original digital masters"

Debut release from the Dutch beauty and beast gothic metal band Epica. The band was put together by Mark Jensen, the former guitarist for After Forever. Musically speaking the similarities to After Forever are striking with mezzo-soprano vocalist Simone Simons acting as the counterpart to Floor Jansen. The music has that gothic epic grandeur with classical overtones through out. All of this is due to the always lush production of Sascha Paeth and the implementation of a large string section and choir. Apparently Jansen had a falling out with the rest of After Forever and essentially set up a parallel band. I can't say this is actually better than After Forever but on early listens I'd say it's pretty damn close or just as good. Highly recommended.

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