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The Phantom Agony - Expanded Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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The Phantom Agony (Expanded Edition)
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Audio CD, 8 Apr 2013
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Frequently bought together

  • The Phantom Agony - Expanded Edition
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  • Consign To Oblivion - Expanded Edition
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  • Requiem For The Indifferent
Total price: £39.74
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 April 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Transmission Records
  • ASIN: B00BN8KEV8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,240 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Format: Audio CD
This is by far a must have album - and if you are a huge follower of Gothic Metal then don't let this beauty pass you by! "The Phantom Agony" is ideal for fans of Nightwish and Therion - and features the alarmingly beautiful vocals of Simone Simons. She and the soaring and striking backing choirs are what makes this album, and the growling male vocals secondly are amazing. It exudes emotion and intensity, and I've never heard anything like it! The highlights being "Cry for the moon," - "Illusive Consensus," and "The Phantom Agony."
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Format: Audio CD
Yeah you've probably not heard of em, while the likes of Nightwish and Within Temptation have been taking the limelight. But Epica rock on a epic scale. Think Nightwish with the added extra of growly kristania style vocals thrown in for good measure and you might have an idea of how good they are. All the tracks are fantastic with 'Sensorium', 'Cry for the Moon' and 'The phantom agony' being particular favourites. Get this album and you will not be disappointed.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
It was a bit of a shot in the dark buying this album as I had not heard of this band before. However, after reading positive reviews and also doing some research via YouTube I was instantly hooked. Bearing in mind that i am a chap of mature years, I must admit that i really like this genre of music but there is an awful lot of mediocre stuff within it but Epica are in a league of their own. The girl's beautiful soprano voice against a choral background, coupled with very tight drums and heavy overdriven guitar with often machinegun-like rhythms is a heady cocktail. I have to admit that I don't much care for the growly death metal vocals which sometimes occur but they don't happen enough to mar my overall pleasure in this band and I shall be looking at their other albums now.
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Format: Audio CD
Having been a big Epica fan for a while, I of course had to get my hands on their first full length album; "The Phantom Agony". In all honesty, it isn't quite as fantastic as their two most recent albums (Divine Conspiracy and Design Your Universe). That said, as anyone who knows Epica will know, that even if it doesn't live up to their later albums, that does not mean it is not a great album! My feeling is that you can sense their youth and relative inexperience at this point in their career. At this point, Simone (singer) was only around 18, extremely young, and for her age, her voice is incredible! As usual, Simone's vocals stun, as does the instrumentation.

That said, there are elements which show their inexperience a little. The sound and production quality aren't perfect (not bad either though), and the song writing isn't as tight as it is later on. But don't take these as serious criticisms; they are just observations, and I am only being picky as I am used to their music being incredible! For a first album, this is highly impressive and you really can't help but love it. The main difference is that it takes a few listens before you realise quite how good it is, unlike their later albums which are great from 1st listen. Anyway, simply put, The Phantom Agony is stuffed with great songs, which are still played live. Sensorium, Cry for the Moon and Feint are now classics, and Seif-al-Din and Triumph of Defeat (a more or less instrumental track) are new favourites for me.

In a nutshell, although I personally think Epica have improved a bit since this time, this album is still 100% worth buying. Simone's voice is gorgeous, the music is a great mix of heavy and melodic, with the awesome mix of soprano and death growls, and there are some genuinely great songs.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I like Epica. I have owned a copy of ‘The Score’ for some years on SACD. I have just ordered ‘Oblivion’ in the same format which should arrive soon. I have recently also got hold of ‘Holographic Principle’ on CD - pretty good stuff!

BUT, I am not so keen on some of the in between offerings - I briefly owned a copy of ‘Requiem’ but gave it to a pal at work.

This, however is rather wonderful. Simone’s voice (she was not yet 20 years old when this was recorded) is very different from how it sounds today. It is arguably a little less controlled and more mellow (Mezzo range?) but very gorgeous - her performance on track two ‘Sensorium’ is worth the price of admission alone. A bit like Tarja's in some ways but not as operatic (preferable to these ears).

The opening to this first album is very much in the Gothic/Doom traditions of early Within Temptation and maybe The Gatherings’s early offerings but continues in a much more symphonic/operatic/power metal style (with a hint of Nymphetamine here and there!).

I’m listening to this album for only the third time as I write this so will not elaborate further other than to say Buy It.
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Format: Audio CD
Yet another band i discovered this year.Epica is kind of like, Evanesence meets Gothic meets opera.I was totally blown away by Epica.Beautifully crafted music, with haunting vocals that will make the hairs on your neck stand on end.I recommend that you go out and buy this album. Brilliant & Amazing !!!!!
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Format: Audio CD
Epica are part of the genre which includes extremely the talented After Forever and Nightwish, and on the basis of this album, they can stand toe-to-toe with both in terms of creativity, musicianship and style.
There's not a lot to complain about on this album: the vocals are crisp, sharp and powerful - and the interlacing of them with the grunts and growls from the male vocalist is extremely well done, avoiding the tackiness that other bands manage attempting the same thing.
What else is there to say? The lyrics are great, the music is catchy, the guitars, keyboards and drums are all used extremely well and the only dissapointment is that there isn't more material avaliable by them. A definate contender for album of the year (2003) and definately my most favourite new 'discovery' in quite a while.
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