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20 Reviews
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far from perfect, but a must-own for Epica fans
I took a bit of a risk with this release, being only a casual Epica fan and being concerned about the quality after seeing the YouTube previews. But after watching the Blu-Ray I'm very impressed and it's got me back into their music.

The Show
I can't see many Epica fans being disappointed with the setlist here: 3 hours of material across their whole 10...
Published 8 months ago by Tom ODonoghue

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful concert with a very questionable audio
The concert in itself is well shot and organized, as well as it has several enjoyable surprises. The definition is quite good (it's a blu ray!) as well as the performances are... The only and yet big flaw is the audio: even in Dolby Digital the audio seems to be far somehow, as if it was typical of a bootleg, and this is of course something one wouldn't expect from a blu...
Published 7 months ago by Tumolo Roberto Michele


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far from perfect, but a must-own for Epica fans, 12 Nov 2013
This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray) (Audio CD)
I took a bit of a risk with this release, being only a casual Epica fan and being concerned about the quality after seeing the YouTube previews. But after watching the Blu-Ray I'm very impressed and it's got me back into their music.

The Show
I can't see many Epica fans being disappointed with the setlist here: 3 hours of material across their whole 10 year career, special guests like Floor Jansen and all backed by a orchestra and choir. Said orchestra really adds a lot to the sound of the show, if you're familiar with their CD release The Classical Conspiracy then you'll know what to expect. Something you won't fail to notice is the big light show and pyrotechnics throughout the show, which is great to look at but as I'll get to later really damages the video quality potential.

The Video
As mentioned the light show really hurts the video quality with lots of frantic back-lights and lasers without any lighting on the band members. Thankfully the HD picture is of good enough quality that it doesn't turn into a noisy compressed mess. DVD viewers may get a different experience. One plus is there are no video effects or distracting camera work which can sometimes ruin rock/metal concert discs. On the lighter tracks the lighting calms down and you get a fantastic picture - especially with shots of Simone fully lit centre stage.

The Audio
No real complaints for audio but other than LPCM Stereo you do only get a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 option - there is no DTS-HD Master Audio or TrueHD option here like many Blu-Rays.

Extras
There is an interview with all the band members and a behind-the-scenes video. It doesn't go into great detail but it's nice to have.

The Package
The 2-Blu-Ray & 3-CD package is really nice, all enclosed inside a book style package with a separate booklet full of photos and credits. Slight disappointment is the lack of BluRay popup menu meaning you have to jump back to the main menu to change tracks. On a 3 hour show it would of been useful to easily jump to different songs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great show but the technical presentation could have been better, 22 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray) (Audio CD)
I have not watched this whole show but the first few songs look and sound good. I subtract one star for not having lossless 5.1 surround on the bluray and for the lighting which strangely doesn't seem to light up the band members like you would think.

Lossless 5.1 should be standard for concert blu rays but this release doesn't have it. Strangely even the DD 5.1 doesn't sound very surround-like and sounds similar to the PCM stereo. On Rush's recent blu ray there is a huge difference between the lossless 5.1 DTS HD and the DD 2.0 track and it would have been nice to hear it on this release.

A lot of people comment on the lighting and I think it is not great but not terrible. Sometimes the lighting is so focused and bright it is like a pillar on the stage that you cannot see through and that is annoying. The lighting definitely should have been brighter and more diffused but the show is still quite viewable. I think the lighting was better when I saw Epica last year in a small 1000 capacity or so club.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epica rocks!, 18 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray) (Audio CD)
The show is amazing! Epica has a very quality sound, and the orchestra makes everything as it's meant to be!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful concert with a very questionable audio, 11 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray) (Audio CD)
The concert in itself is well shot and organized, as well as it has several enjoyable surprises. The definition is quite good (it's a blu ray!) as well as the performances are... The only and yet big flaw is the audio: even in Dolby Digital the audio seems to be far somehow, as if it was typical of a bootleg, and this is of course something one wouldn't expect from a blu ray production. For "far" I mean in this case that it seems the audio is coming from an old fashioned radio with a low quality. The volumes of the various instruments are not balanced, in fact often it happens some of them are hearable to the detriment of others and this situation varies with time. Often some of the instruments seem undistinguishable. Besides, in some parts Simone seems (to me) to start a little out of time with respect to the music. Anyway, this is just personal.
One more thing I read in other reviews too and that I agree, is the fact that the choice of lights is sometimes annoying for the eyes.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lights, lights, too many danm lights, 11 Nov 2013
By 
Twitch (Southern England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray) (Audio CD)
Finally Epica have released a live dvd accompanied by a full orchestra and choir. It has taken too long as they have been deserving of such a show for such a long time. Hell even Nightwish haven't released a live dvd with an orchestra and they were one of the pioneers behind the symphonic metal growth seen in the past 20 years. They are arguably the biggest and most well known band for this genre and yet Epica have beaten them to it and fully deserving Epica are of such a show.

However let's get straight on with the major issue this release has.... Whoever was in charge of the lighting for the show went and f****d up. The lighting is horrible and it ruins the entire show from a visual stand point. Throughout the whole show the lights glare on the cameras in a way extremely unpleasant way. The majority of the time you can't see the band as they are obscured from view. and other times they have lighting that would be better suited to a dance concert and is very out of place, during the Phantom Agony for example they have green lasers that would more at home in a nightclub. There are times when the lighting tones down, during softer orchestral parts and this is how the lighting should have been throughout the whole show

This is a real shame because the actual music is fantastic, everyone performed very well and everyone for the brief moments you can actually see the band seems to be enjoying it immensely. Appearances from past members of the band and Floor Jansen were great and added a great emotion to the experience as it really brought the last 10 years together

The set list is huge and gives 3 hours from a huge catalogue. From a personal stand point I was disappointed they didn't do Mother of Light fully and only included it in the orchestral medley and I would love to have heard Tides of Time as Simone's vocal performance on the studio version was phenomenal , but complaining and marking the show down based upon set list when it was so long anyway would be too harsh.

There is good behind the scenes footage and interviews with the band which is a welcome addition, Simone is awesome as ever <3

Ultimately if you get this you will I think love the CD's because as I said the sound is great and listening to it in the car is great, the dvd's have let the band down tremendously though. Whoever decided on this lighting should never ever be allowed to make any decisions ever again with regards to live shows for this band.

What could have been Epica's crowning achievement has instead finished as a huge disappointment of what could have been. They may never release another live dvd like this again. Hiring a full orchestra and choir isn't cheap and there was a time when the band said they weren't even going to release a live dvd at all because the costs involved weren't justifiable for the size of the band.

It is with a heavy heart I have to rate this only 3 stars. As a huge Epica fan I am disappointed and hope sincerely they have a chance in the future to set right the wrongs of this show

5 stars performance
5 stars set list
5 stars extras
1 star lighting
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any Epica fan, 18 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus DVD) (Audio CD)
As an avid Epica fan, I wanted to purchase this as soon as I knew that it was being released. I have read reviews in which people complain about the lights, and yes, they're a bit overkill sometimes. But still, you'll be at most 2 seconds without seeing the face of a band member and at no point during my watching of this show did I think "Damn, I really wanted to see his/her face in that particular shot".

So take those critics with a pinch of salt. As for the concert... Great. Really good. The band members are genuinely enjoying themselves, you can see them smiling all the time and looking really happy while delivering a great performance. The same goes for the choir and orchestra. Everything comes together to provide a great experience, both visual and auditory.

Floor Jansen's participation is a must, she and Simone really sing beautifully together. Trust me, your money will be well spent on this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray) (Audio CD)
Even though I can't but envy all those people who were present in this concerts, I'm very happy that this is released on blu-ray.

Epica's music has always had different kind of styles and elements, including extreme metal elements and slower and beautiful parts. Backed with philharmonic orchestra (which can be said to be one of the stars in this show) Epica's song writing and composing skills come present in a way that may haven't been as accessible on their studio albums.

Blu-ray picture quality is good, it's a rock show, there are lights, effects, etc, and dynamics of audio tracks are good enough. Overall, this is a must buy for any symphonic / gothic metal fan out there and recommended for any metal fan.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 31 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray) (Audio CD)
Show very good despite the lights fumble on the images. But there is a difference due to orchestra and band play songs from all phases. For anyone who is a fan is essential.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love their music as always but packaging not that practical, 31 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus DVD) (Audio CD)
The music is as perfect as ever, nothing less and amazing to see them in a full concert at last!! The packaging on this one with paper sleeves in the book is dead odd and fiddly to handle though. Cant argue though, I just love Epica.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EPICA, 21 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray) (Audio CD)
Epic as always, as all things this band imagine to bring to all his fans , nothing more to say!!!
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Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray)
Retrospect (Bonus Blu-Ray) by Epica (Audio CD - 2013)
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