Samuel Arkan’s Epysode will release a new album called ‘Fantasmagoria’ on October 11th. For progressive/power metal fans, this album should be something like a new bible. Mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen at Hansen studio, this record deserves its name due to the dramatic, creepy and theatrical imagery the music conveys.
What makes this album truly special for the people attached to this genre is the multitude of musicians that collaborated for this: as vocalists you have Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), Henning Basse (ex-Metalium, ex-Sons Of Seasons, Mayan), Ida Haukland (Triosphere), Matt Marinelli (Borealis) and Tezzi Persson (Between The Silence). As featured musicians, one can find – apart from Samuel Arkan– Mike LePond (Symphony X), Léo Margarit (Pain Of Salvation), Julien Spreutels (Ethernity), Simone Mularoni (DGM). If that doesn’t make one want to try this record, I don’t know what will: this line-up is kicking ass!
‘Fantasmagoria’ contains 14 songs out of which 3 of them (‘File-4180’, ‘Garden of Exile’ and ‘The Inheritance’) seem to be interludes or transitions in the different chapters of the album. Bear in mind that this record has a concept behind. I would like to take a few lines to highlight some of the songs that touched me in a more personal way: ‘Venom’ is a rather slower-paced creepy track with an enticing piano solo that will captivate you without a doubt. ‘Living Fortress’ is the catchiest track of the record in my opinion. The melodic and the vocal line seem to blend in naturally without forgetting to include the thrilling bits that are scattered throughout the whole album. But the song that got to me in the deepest way is, without a doubt, the title track. ‘Fantasmagoria’ is a beautiful, soft, piano ballad where the voices of Tom Englund (an exceptional musician) and Ida Haukland entwine in a track that will give you goosebumps. I would really go out and buy the record just for this extraordinary song.
The only thing that stops me from giving a 10 to this record is that, sometimes, in certain tracks (like ‘The Black Parade’), the transition between rhythms is made in a rather steep way than smoothly. That is something that to me seems to ‘hurt’ a bit the melodic line of the track.
However, ‘Fantasmagoria’ is an album you guys really need to try out if you know and love these musicians. Epysode did a great job and I am already looking forward to a new record!