Epica - We Will Take You With Us
Transmission Records
Gothic Metal

Release year: 2005
Epica, Transmission Records
Reviewed by Ben

In a semi calculated move to help promote the upcoming Consign to Oblivion release, Transmission Records has made available in the US Epica’s first DVD We Will Take You With Us. Having a DVD after only one album seems a bit rushed and when one finds out the content of this DVD they might come to the same conclusion. This is not a concert nor is it a documentary on the band which is what usual metal DVD fare consists of. Instead, this is an unusual release for the majority of the material is studio footage of the Epica crew. The 2 Meter Sessions are renowned in the Netherlands as a premier radio show and that Epica was asked to be on it with only one album to their names is quite an accomplishment. Seeing as this was a rare honor the band and the label decided to film the event and release it as a DVD. The main meat here is the lengthy 2 Meter Sessions in full including a brief acoustic set. There are also two music videos Feint and The Phantom Agony as well as a making of segment on The Phantom Agony and tons of interviews about the main event. I have to say that I had pretty low expectations on me enjoying this but I watched everything on here in one sitting top to bottom.

There isn’t much that I can really comment on the 2 Meter Sessions footage other than to say the band sounds just as good live as they do on the albums. Using a huge string section and a real choir for the recordings resulted in an authentic atmosphere, one that recreated the immense musical landscape that the album did. Since there wasn’t a crowd to feed off of the band was relatively mellow, they played their parts with a smile and that was it. This isn’t to say that they came off as bored however, there’s just not much moving around that you can do when you’re surrounded by about twenty other people and mountains of cords and equipment. What I did notice throughout my viewing was that the core elements of Epica are Simone and the orchestra. There is nothing going musically that is too terribly complex or technical while the orchestral arrangements command attention. After I had this realization I listened again to the orchestra but with a more scrutinizing ear and I have to say, they steal the show from the band. When the album is run through in an albeit altered order I immediately closed out and went to the music videos to see what they had to offer. I’ll be honest, these were some pretty weak videos. The Phantom Agony was atrociously cut in half for a video edit which is something that I despise. I really have no idea why there are so many bands out there that think an epic song can translate into a radio single. Imagine a not as outrageous Rhapsody video and that should give you a good general idea of how The Phantom Agony came off, although Simone was looking terrific and I loved the guys rocking out in bondage suits playing their guitars. Feint is a little bit better, more reserved yet still too cheesy with the concept. I think what would work best for the band would be a performance video with good lighting effects and some other shenanigans rather than go for another medieval or concept theme. Finally, I put on the making of segment for the 2 Meter Sessions and this turned out to be just as entertaining a time as the performances. Mark, Simone, the choir, Coenn, and many more people get their fair share of air time and talk about their own unique roles. The conversation with the choir is perhaps the most relaxed and nonchalant interview that I have seen so far. I would actually think that the experience in watching the sessions would have been better if I watched the making of segment beforehand.

While this DVD is a professionally put together release whether or not someone is going to buy it boils down to if they liked The Phantom Agony so much that they want to hear them again but this time live in the studio. There aren’t any features on here other than the 2 Meter Sessions that would warrant fringe listeners or casual fans buying this blindly. We Will Take You With Us is an archetypal example of a “for the fans only” release however it is a fine one.

Killing Songs :
Ben quoted no quote
Other albums by Epica that we have reviewed:
Epica - The Quantum Enigma reviewed by Joel and quoted 93 / 100
Epica - Requiem for the Indifferent reviewed by Khelek and quoted 86 / 100
Epica - Design Your Universe reviewed by Kyle and quoted 89 / 100
Epica - The Divine Conspiracy reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
Epica - Consign To Oblivion reviewed by Ian and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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