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Epica / Stream Of Passion http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f6/a7/c9/Epica-Stream-Of-Passion-Live-Review-Rocktopia-Thumb-15-1389394025.jpg Hot

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Epica / Stream Of Passion - Electric Ballroom, London (UK) - 19th December 2012

Since joining Fireworks, I've covered live almost every major band in my favourite symphonic genre. Epica was the last of the top tier bands that I hadn't seen. Tonight their 'Requiem For The Indifferent' Tour finally rolled into London with an added treat as opening was another established name in Stream Of Passion.

The crowd was quite sizeable by the time SOP came on. There was a long intro for 'Lost' before Marcela Bovio appeared to a large cheer. She kicked into the vocals and they sounded glorious despite the guitars being loud. The strobe lights were in effect and the five main members moshing across the front bought quite a cheer. 'Passion' had a rich keys intro leading into a mellower verse than 'Lost'. The riff built slowly under the lovely lyrics reaching a crushing crescendo. 'Collide' erupted with a large progression before calming down but this didn't last long as everything rose up again for the chorus. 'Games We Play' and 'My Leader' were two more where the whole band let rip with another head banging fest. SOP took the break between songs to offer thanks to Epica before 'Out In The Real World' and 'The Indian' which saw the first appearance of Bovio's violin, but was sadly placed to the floor after the first chorus. The penultimate track was Radiohead's 'Street Spirit' with some rampant wails from Bovio as the song slowly increased in power. The trusted violin appeared again for the beginning of their final song 'This Endless Night'. It was returned to the floor quickly but Bovio put her arms to good use with some aggressive punches to the air to fire the crowd up. The enthusiastic response from the floor showed that this talented outfit had certainly done that.

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They venue was well packed when the house lights went out again. One by one Epica came out then started playing 'Monopoly Of Truth'. Simone Simons was the last to enter and she received a humungous cheer. There was lots of head banging in the haze of the lights which was quite a sight to see. 'Sensorium' came next and if Bovio sounded excellent then Simmons was glorious. At the song's bridge there was a lovely photo opportunity for the fans with all members silhouetted in the back lights. As the band took a breather, Simons reminded everyone tonight was the last night of the whole tour. Mark Jensen then pointed his guitar neck to the sky and fired off into 'Unleashed'. 'Martyr Of The Free World' saw an immense strobe effect intermittently through the song. Jensen finally greeted everyone with a wide grin before Epica tore into 'Serenade Of Self Destruction'. 'The Obsessive Devotion' and 'Quietus' saw the band take a good excuse for more intense head banging. 'Cry For The Moon' had Bovio appearing out of the darkness with her violin to assist with the opening. Simmons gave the crowd plenty of opportunity to join in with some fun participation moments. 'The Phantom Agony' was the end of the main set but everyone knew there was more and the band soon returned offering thanks to the crowd and Stream Of Passion. This bought Bovio out once more to duet with Simons on 'Sancta Terra'. She left the stage for 'Blank Infinity' before the penultimate track of the night 'Storm The Sorrow'. As a live rendition, this was just about perfect and made all the more amazing by yet more stellar lighting. Epica closed out the night for real with 'Consign To Oblivion'. It was an enormous end to the show and bought a near euphoric applause from the crowd as the band exited.

This was a fabulous evening with two terrific female fronted bands. It was easy to see tonight why SOP and especially Epica are so highly regarded as live acts. They had a minimalistic stage set but what was lacking in props was more than made up for with an astonishing light show. Add to this some great mixing and you had the perfect recipe for a marvellous night.

Dave Scott

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