I found out about the Symphonic Metal genre around 15 years ago. Lost track of it for a while until a co-worker put me onto Nightwish and Delain. I have found little else about it, but I blame myself for not looking hard enough. Lately I had stumbled onto:
I love the operatic tone to the some bands and their lead vocalists in this genre. Simone doesn't quite have that same background, but you are right that she has a great voice. Epica is a band I am going to invest more time in.
Did I say 15 years ago? :drake1
Seriously though, the first band I heard like this was a Christian one from Poland called Illuminandi. They captivated me with their unique and interesting sound. I had heard nothing like it at that time.
It was 10 years later before I heard of anything else. Thanks for the heads up. I spent a couple years away from exploring music, for some reason. Getting back to doing that now.
I think this was way better album than its two previous albums and while some songs capture that essence the band had from the 80’s with some instrumental parts that are quite amazing (harmonies, solos) at times it gets a bit boring. I think I would have loved shorter songs as there are parts that sound like filler/recycled riffs which obviously did not have the desire impact in me. I also think Bruce’s voice isn’t as stronger as usual/how it used to be. As for the lyrics just what you would expect from them.
-The Red & the Black is probably the best song from the whole album.
-Shadows of the Valley the initial riff is quite similar to Wasted Years (a favorite of mine) instrumentally the song is nice don’t really liked Bruce’s voice here though. But I can see the song working well live.
-The Great Unknown just like above; nice clean solos.