Epinikion – Inquisition

Epinikion
Inquisition
April 21, 2022
Playing time: 01:03:58

It’s complicated. The founders of the band are from the Netherlands. The co-musicians come from different countries. The band Epinikion is now based in Essen in Northern Belgium, close to the border with the Netherlands. And the word “Epinikion” comes from the Greek and approximately means “hymn for the victor”. In ancient Greece, the heroic stories of athletes after their victories in major events were sung about in an epinikion. The band was founded in 2021, and the album debut “Inquisition” was completed one year later.

The album starts with the one and a half minute overture “The Council Of Troubles”. I deliberately don’t say intro here. Because this track is in the tradition of great opera overtures. The strings and epic choruses transport the listener far into the past. At the beginning of the title track “Inquisition”, a bell can be heard. A threatening mood is created. The Inquisition in Europe was one of the darkest chapters in human history. Then the guitars roar. And guest musician Levent Gasgil shines with guitar solos. The powerful orchestration is impressive. You rarely hear it so appropriate to the song. And singer Eleonora Damiano manages the balancing act between high voice and deep, dark timbre brilliantly. “Love So Sublime” starts with an imposing bass line. The lower-pitched guitars fall into the given rhythm. And the singer shows that she obviously feels most comfortable in the lower tone range. With “Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Jealousy”, the rocking is more intense. For this Rock Opera, a variety of guest singers have been invited. For example, Loek Verlaan can be heard on the Rock anthem “Stand Up And Fight”. On “In The Middle Of The Night”, the soprano of Tamara Bouwhuis (Whiteabbey, Dim Crimson, various cover bands) enchants us. The musicians probably have something against songs that are too short. Most of the songs are longer than four minutes. The beautiful power ballad “Sail Away” even reaches eight and a half minutes. Only towards the end does the band really pick up speed. The most famous singer among the guests is probably Burning Witches shouter Laura Guldemond on “False Faced Demon”. Fittingly for the singer, this is probably also one of the heaviest songs on the album. And the shortest song “If I Could Turn Back Time” features two guest singers (Monique de Bruin, Debby Zimmermann). Another beguiling ballad. The vocals are only accompanied by piano and strings. The last two tracks (“Strangers In The Dark”, “The Courage To Change”) are rocking once again. And on the last one you can even hear some growls.

“Inquisition” is a Symphonic Metal album that almost completely does without the interplay of “The Beauty and the Beast”. And also the orchestration seems extremely discreet. Thus, one can probably rather put the emphasis on Metal or Rock, enriched and enhanced by Symphonic elements. This is probably one of the best albums of this genre I have heard in recent years. Sophisticated songwriting, excellent musicians, great vocals, these are the highlights of “Inquisition”. Only the artwork doesn’t seem to fit the album title very well.

Epinikion – Welcome to the Wonderful World of Jealousy (OFFICIAL VIDEO): https://youtu.be/e_uUsJigJcg

Lineup:

Eleonora Damiano – Vocals
Robert Tangerman – Rhythm Guitar
Emre Demir – Bass
Renate de Boer – Keys

Session musicians:

Levent Gasgil – Lead Guitar
Tirtzah Bego – Drums

Guests:

Loek Verlaan
Tamara Bouwhuis
Laura Guldemond
Monique de Bruin
Debby Zimmermann

Track list:

  • The Council Of Troubles
  • Inquisition
  • Love So Sublime
  • Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Jealousy
  • Stand Up And Fight
  • On The Brink Of Despair
  • In The Middle Of The Night
  • Sail Away
  • False Faced Demon
  • If I Could Turn Back Time
  • Strangers In The Dark
  • The Courage To Change
  • 9/10
    Album - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Cover Art - 7/10
  • 9/10
    Song Writing - 9/10
8.3/10
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