So Epica is releasing a new album in March. I rarely listen to them much anymore, but they'll always hold a special place in my metal heart for being my favorite "bridge band", as it were, that helped me transition from classical-ish stuff to metal. I have cautious optimism for this album, which is called Requiem for the Indifferent. Judging by the title, however, they're going to try to have politically themed lyrics like their previous album, Design Your Universe, which is unfortunate because they suck at it. They aren't as unsubtle as, say, Megadave, but they still are a little too blatant for my tastes and they lack substance. Fortunately, what DYU lacked in good lyrics was more than made up for in quality material. It was considerably heavier than their other albums, which admittedly isn't hard to do; their previous stuff barely classifies as metal; and the overall composition quality and musicianship improved substantially as well. Combine this trend towards heaviness, the addition of two former members of blackened melodeath outfit God Dethroned to the lineup, and constantly improving vocals by both Mark Jansen and Simone "I'm half-naked on half of our album covers" Simons, and it is probably fair to expect a very solid album despite wonky lyrics.