Epica (band)

Last updated
Epica
Epica – Wacken Open Air 2015 08.jpg
Epica performing at the 2015 Wacken Open Air, one of several music festivals to promote The Quantum Enigma.
Background information
Also known asSahara Dust (2002)
Origin Reuver, Limburg, Netherlands
Genres Symphonic metal
Years active2002–present
LabelsTransmission, Nuclear Blast
Associated acts MaYaN, Within Temptation, Delain
Website epica.nl
Members Mark Jansen
Coen Janssen
Simone Simons
Ariën van Weesenbeek
Isaac Delahaye
Rob van der Loo
Past membersYves Huts
Ad Sluijter
Helena Michaelsen
Jeroen Simons

Epica is a Dutch symphonic metal [1] band, founded by guitarist and vocalist Mark Jansen after his departure from After Forever.

Symphonic metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music which combines the heavy drums and guitars of metal with different elements of orchestral classical music, such as symphonic instruments, choirs and sometimes a full orchestra. Keyboards reminiscent of power metal also sometimes featured.

Mark Jansen Dutch musician

Mark Jansen,, is a Dutch guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. A prominent figure in the symphonic metal subgenre, he is known for his work with the bands After Forever (1995-2002), Epica (2002-present), and MaYaN (2010–present).

After Forever Dutch metal band

After Forever was a Dutch symphonic metal band with strong progressive metal influences. The band relied on the use of both soprano vocals and death grunts.

Contents

Formed as a symphonic metal band with gothic tendencies, later Epica have incorporated into their sound strong death metal influences. [2] [3] [4] Starting from the third album, even progressive metal attitudes have become evident. [2] [5] [6] In addition, the band often uses thrash metal and groove metal riffs, black metal passages (mostly in the drum technique), power metal moments and references to Arabic music. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] Some songs also have electronic shades, djent transitions and folk metal melodies derived from middle eastern, Chinese and Celtic traditions. [12] Epica is also known for the attention to the vocal lines that, in contrast to the heavy context, weave very catchy, easy to hold, sophisticated and emotional melodies. [13] [14] In the band's sound the use of female vocals and male growls, performed by Simone Simons and Mark Jansen respectively, is fundamental. They primarily write their own lyrics, which often deal with philosophical, psychological, spiritual, moral, scientific, environmental, socio-political, global and topical and personal themes. Epica is also known for their wide use of orchestra and opera choirs.

Gothic metal is a fusion genre combining the heaviness of heavy metal with the dark atmospheres of gothic rock. The music of gothic metal is diverse with bands known to adopt the gothic approach to different styles of heavy metal music. The genre originated during the early 1990s in the United Kingdom originally as an outgrowth of death-doom, a fusion of death metal and doom metal. Lyrics are generally dark and introspective with inspiration from gothic fiction as well as personal experiences.

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, religion, occultism, Lovecraftian horror, nature, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, science fiction, and politics, and they may describe extreme acts, including mutilation, dissection, torture, rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia.

Progressive metal is a fusion genre melding heavy metal and progressive rock that combines the loud "aggression" and amplified guitar-driven sound of the former with the more experimental, cerebral or "pseudo-classical" compositions of the latter.

In 2003, Epica's debut album The Phantom Agony was released through Transmission Records. Consign to Oblivion followed in 2005, and debuted at No. 12 in the Dutch charts. They moved labels to Nuclear Blast following Transmission's bankruptcy, and in 2007, released their third studio album The Divine Conspiracy , which charted at No. 9 in the Netherlands. 2009's Design Your Universe was met with yet greater success, debuting at No. 8 in the Dutch Albums Chart, and charting across Europe, also garnering much critical acclaim. Epica's fifth studio album Requiem for the Indifferent was released in 2012. Well received by critics, it achieved international success, entering the US's Billboard 200 at No. 104, and Japan's Oricon Albums Chart at No. 172. [15]

<i>The Phantom Agony</i> Epica album

The Phantom Agony is the first full-length studio album by Dutch symphonic metal band Epica. It was released in 2003 by the Dutch label Transmission Records. It is the first album recorded by guitarist Mark Jansen after his departure from the band After Forever. On this album, Mark Jansen continues with the collection of songs that make up "The Embrace That Smothers". The first three parts can be found on Prison of Desire (2000), After Forever's debut album, and the following three parts can be found on The Divine Conspiracy (2007), Epica's third album. These songs deal with the dangers of organized religion.

<i>Consign to Oblivion</i> Epica album

Consign to Oblivion is the second studio album by Dutch symphonic metal band Epica, and was released in 2005. The song "Trois Vierges" features a guest appearance by then Kamelot vocalist Roy Khan. The album's lyrics are inspired by the Maya civilization. The CD was released with copy control on it. This CD started a new collection of songs, called "A New Age Dawns". This saga is continued on the album Design Your Universe.

Nuclear Blast German record label

Nuclear Blast is an independent record label and mail order record distributor with subsidiaries in Germany, the United States and Brazil. The record label was founded in 1987 by Markus Staiger in Germany. Originally releasing hardcore punk records, the label moved on to releasing albums by melodic death metal, grindcore, industrial metal, power metal and black metal bands, as well as tribute albums. It also distributes and promotes two post-hardcore/metalcore labels, SharpTone Records, focused on American scene, and Arising Empire, focused more on European bands such as Novelists, Imminence, Cold Snap and While She Sleeps.

At the beginning of May 2014 the band released their sixth album, The Quantum Enigma , which was a huge international success, debuting on No. 110 on US Billboard 200 and peaking at No. 4 in Epica's homeland Netherlands. [16] [17] [18] In June 2015 Epica was awarded the Music Export Awards, which is given to the Dutch act with the most international success in the past year. [19] Their seventh album, The Holographic Principle , was released in September 2016. [20]

<i>The Quantum Enigma</i> Epica album

The Quantum Enigma is the sixth studio album by Dutch symphonic metal band Epica. It was released by Nuclear Blast on 2 May (Europe), 5 May (UK) and 13 May (USA) 2014. It is their first studio album with new bassist Rob van der Loo, who replaced Yves Huts in 2012.

<i>The Holographic Principle</i> Epica album

The Holographic Principle is the seventh studio album by the Dutch symphonic metal band Epica, released on 30 September 2016. The album was produced by Joost van den Broek and mixed by Jacob Hansen. The release date along with the album's title and cover was revealed on Epica's website on 3 June 2016, the tracklisting was revealed on 17 June 2016.

History

Cry for the Moon (2002)

Simone Simons, Epica's lead singer and frontwoman Simone-Simons-2009-pic07.jpg
Simone Simons, Epica's lead singer and frontwoman

In early 2002, Mark Jansen left After Forever over creative differences. He then began looking for musicians who would work towards a more classical/symphonic type of music project; this was initially named Sahara Dust. [21] In late 2002, the band courted Helena Michaelsen [21] (from Trail of Tears) as its frontwoman, but shortly after she was replaced by the then unknown Simone Simons, who was Jansen's girlfriend at the time. The band's line-up was completed by guitarist Ad Sluijter, drummer Jeroen Simons, bassist Yves Huts, and keyboard player Coen Janssen. The name was later changed to Epica, inspired by Kamelot's album of the same name.

Trail of Tears was a Norwegian gothic/symphonic black metal band originally formed in 1994 by Terje Heiseldal, Kjell Rune Hagen, Jonathan A Perez, Michael Krumins, and Ronny Thorsen, under the name of Natt. Through most of their career the band emphasised the use of contrasting soprano and death grunt vocals, except for the release of Free Fall into Fear in 2005, in which the band switched this contrast mostly to tenor and growls, with less frequent soprano passages. The band disbanded in 2013, being succeeded by Thorsen's project Viper Solfa.

Simone Simons Dutch singer

Simone Johanna Maria Simons is a Dutch singer-songwriter. She is best known for being the lead singer of Dutch symphonic metal band Epica, where she joined at the age of seventeen, releasing seven studio albums and touring the world. In her singing career, she has also collaborated with bands such as Kamelot, Leaves' Eyes, Primal Fear, Ayreon, and Angra.

Kamelot American power metal band

Kamelot is an American/European power metal band from Tampa, Florida, formed by Thomas Youngblood and Richard Warner in 1991. The Norwegian vocalist Roy Khan joined for the album Siége Perilous, and shared songwriting credit with Youngblood until his departure in April 2011. On June 22, 2012, Youngblood announced on their website that their new vocalist is the Swedish singer Tommy Karevik, who was first featured on Kamelot's album Silverthorn as the main vocalist, co-songwriter, and lyricist.

Epica then assembled a choir (made up of two men and four women) and a string orchestra (three violins, two violas, two cellos and an upright bass) to play along with them. Still under the name Sahara Dust, they produced a two-song demo entitled Cry for the Moon [22] in 2002. As a result, they were signed to Transmission Records.

Choir ensemble of singers

A choir is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans from the medieval era to the present, or popular music repertoire. Most choirs are led by a conductor, who leads the performances with arm and face gestures.

A string orchestra is an orchestra consisting solely of a string section made up of the bowed strings used in Western Classical music. The instruments of such an orchestra are most often the following: the violin, which is divided into first and second violin players, the viola, the cello, and usually, but not always, the double bass.

Violin bowed string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths

The violin, also known informally as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are virtually unused. The violin typically has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow.

The Phantom Agony (2002–2004)

The Phantom Agony is the first full-length studio album by Epica. It is the first album recorded by guitarist Mark Jansen after his departure from the band After Forever. The album was produced by Sascha Paeth (known for having produced bands such as Angra, Rhapsody of Fire and Kamelot) and released in June 2003. This album, Mark Jansen continues with the collection of songs that make up "The Embrace That Smothers". The first three parts can be found on Prison of Desire (2000), After Forever's debut album, and the following three parts can be found on The Divine Conspiracy (2007), Epica's third album. These songs deal with the dangers of organized religion. [23] The song "Façade of Reality" on the album was written about the September 11 attacks and includes fragments from speeches by Tony Blair. [24]

The album was followed by three singles: “The Phantom Agony”, “Feint” and “Cry for the Moon”.

Consign to Oblivion/The Score – An Epic Journey (2004–2006)

Their second release, entitled Consign to Oblivion , was influenced by the culture of the Maya civilization, [25] which can be noticed on songs in the "A New Age Dawns" series. "A New Age Dawns" refers to the time system of the Mayan people, which extends up to 2012, and makes no reference of what may happen past said year. Consign to Oblivion was composed with film scores as a basis, with Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman cited as major inspirations. The album features guest singing by Roy Khan [26] (from Kamelot) on the song "Trois Vierges". Epica also joined Kamelot as a support band on parts of their tour for promotion of The Black Halo album, to which Simons had contributed her vocals on the track "The Haunting (Somewhere in Time)". [27] Two singles were released from the album, "Solitary Ground" and "Quietus".

Epica's non-metal album The Score – An Epic Journey was released in September 2005 and is the soundtrack for a Dutch movie called Joyride , though it could also be considered to be their third album. Mark Jansen describes the album as typical Epica, "only without the singing, without the guitars, no bass and no drums". [28]

In 2005 and 2006 Epica went on their first tour throughout North America with Kamelot. After the tour, drummer Jeroen Simons left the band because of his wish to pursue other musical interests. In Fall 2006, Simone once again contributed vocals to an album of Kamelot, this time on the tracks "Blücher" and "Season's End" on the album Ghost Opera . In December, Ariën van Weesenbeek from God Dethroned was announced via Epica's official website as the guest drummer for their new album, but not as a permanent band member.

The Divine Conspiracy/The Classical Conspiracy (2007–2009)

Lead vocalist Simone Simons and Grunt vocalist and guitarist Mark Jansen during The Divine Conspiracy World Tour. Epica Hellfest 2007 22.jpg
Lead vocalist Simone Simons and Grunt vocalist and guitarist Mark Jansen during The Divine Conspiracy World Tour.

In September 2007, Epica headlined their first tour through North America and released their third album, The Divine Conspiracy , this time on a new label, Nuclear Blast. That December, Ariën van Weesenbeek was announced to be Epica's permanent new drummer. The band toured North America again in April 2008 with Into Eternity and Symphony X, this time with Amanda Somerville because Simone had contracted a staph infection (MRSA). It was released on September 7, 2007 through Nuclear Blast in Europe. The concept that guides the songs is that God created many different religions for humanity to figure out and overcome them so as to discover that, in nature and essence, they were all in fact the same one (hence the name, "The Divine Conspiracy"). [29] Aside from the concept of such a conspiracy, The Divine Conspiracy finalizes The Embrace That Smothers, which began in After Forever's Prison of Desire (Prologue and parts I-III) and continued in Epica's The Phantom Agony (parts IV-VI). In short, The Embrace That Smothers is a collection of 10 songs (Prologue and parts I-IX), which talks about the dangers of organized religion.

The first single of the album was released on August 10, 2007 entitled "Never Enough", accompanied by a music video and the second single, "Chasing the Dragon," was released in 2008 without an accompanying video.

On December 16, 2008, Ad Sluijter left the band. He left a message on his Myspace page with his reasoning for leaving the band, which included frustration over being unable to enjoy composing music because of deadlines. Ad's successor on guitar was announced in January 2009 to be Isaac Delahaye, who was a member of God Dethroned. [30]

Also in 2008, Epica recorded The Classical Conspiracy , their first live album. The live show took place in Miskolc, Hungary on June 14, 2008, in the framework of the Miskolc Opera Festival (where Therion did a similar show a year before). It included a 40-piece orchestra and a 30-piece choir, and the setlist contained not only the band's songs but also covers of classical pieces of Antonio Vivaldi, Antonín Dvořák, Giuseppe Verdi, Edvard Grieg, and of soundtracks of the movies Star Wars, Spider-Man and Pirates of the Caribbean. It was released on May 8, 2009 through Nuclear Blast Records. [31]

Design Your Universe (2009–2010)

Epica performing in 2009 Simone-Simons-2009-pic05.jpg
Epica performing in 2009

On March 4, 2009, Epica announced their return to the studio where they would begin the recording process for a new album. In April 2009, it was revealed that the new album's title would be Design Your Universe . It continued the A New Age Dawns saga which started on Consign to Oblivion. The album was released on October 16, 2009. To promote this release, they performed in Amsterdam at Paradiso on October 10, 2009. [32] This is the first Epica album to feature Isaac Delahaye. [33] The record also contains a guest appearance from Sonata Arctica vocalist Tony Kakko on the song "White Waters". Reception has been positive from both critics and fans. The album debuted in No. 8 in the Dutch charts, [34] being the highest position an Epica album has reached. The album remained on the chart for five weeks and re-entered in No. 94 for one week due to the band's performance at the 2010 Pinkpop Festival. [35] On December 31, 2009, it was announced through their website that a new single will be released. The song is called "This Is the Time" and all profit will go to World Wide Fund for Nature. [36] After the release of Design Your Universe, Epica set out on a World Tour to support the album. They did a CD release party at The Paradiso in Amsterdam. They performed at some summer festival concerts in the summer of 2010 and returned to the United States and Canada in late fall 2010. Several dates in Europe, especially in the Netherlands, were sold out. The band also did a South American Tour, performing in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Uruguay. They played also in many important rock and metal festivals in Europe, such as Wacken Open Air, Pinkpop and Masters of Rock, in front of very large audiences. [37] [38]

Requiem for the Indifferent and Retrospect (2011–2013)

In an interview in November 2010, Simone stated that the band was going to start writing music around February 2011 after their Latin American tour is over. She also stated that they were hoping for a release in the first quarter of 2012. [39] 14 tracks were written without lyrics by May 2011. The band entered the studio later that year, with Sascha Paeth once again as the producer.

On December 1, the band announced that the name of the album would be Requiem for the Indifferent , and would be inspired by such factors as the enormous tension between different religions and cultures, wars, natural disasters and the financial crisis. [40] The album was released on March 9, 2012 in Europe, and on March 13, 2012 in the United States. [41] On March 25, 2012, Epica announced on their website that original bassist Yves Huts and Epica had parted ways, to be replaced by Rob van der Loo (ex-Delain, MaYaN). [42] On April 24, the music video of Storm the Sorrow was officially released, earning 128,000 views on YouTube on the release day. [43] [44] General response to Requiem for the Indifferent was positive. Allmusic stated that the album "is a typically elaborate and ambitious affair, incorporating copious amounts of choral work and classical arrangements into the band's neatly established blend of goth, progressive, power, and symphonic metal." [45] Natalie Zed of About.com staff considered Requiem for the Indifferent "a transitional album for the band", which tries to expand their musical range experimenting with "weird" riffing and new combination of vocals, while "losing none of the richness that has gained them fans." [46]

On 16 September 2012, the band made a guest appearance on the Dutch TV show Niks te gek (translation: "Nothing [is] too crazy"), where mentally disabled people (18 years or older) can get their wishes granted. In the episode, they recorded, together with the mildly autistic Ruurd Woltring, one of his own compositions, "Forevermore". The single was released through Nuclear Blast on 25 September 2012. [47]

The band announced on their official website that on March 23, 2013, they would celebrate the 10th anniversary of Epica in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The concert which would be called Retrospect, would be held in Klokgebouw with a 70-piece orchestra, choirs, international guests and many special effects. The band invited the Hungarian Remenyi Ede Chamber Orchestra and the Choir of Miskolc National Theatre to this show as they were the same orchestra that accompanied Epica in the recording of the live album The Classical Conspiracy. [48] The concert consisted of a 70-piece orchestra, special effects, acrobats, guest vocalist Floor Jansen (Nightwish) and former band members Ad Sluijter, Yves Huts and Jeroen Simons. Finnish singer Tarja Turunen was also invited to the show, but had to decline due to scheduling problems. [49] In the show the band introduced a new song titled "Retrospect" and played "Twin Flames" from Requiem for the Indifferent for the first time. They also played for the second time their longest song "The Divine Conspiracy", however a shorter version of this song was played. [50] During the concert, Coen Janssen announced that Retrospect would be filmed for release as a DVD. [51]

The Quantum Enigma and Epic Metal Fest (2013–2015)

Simons and Van der Loo during The Ultimate Enigma Tour Epica Rockharz 2015 06.jpg
Simons and Van der Loo during The Ultimate Enigma Tour

On February 5, 2014 Epica revealed on their official website first details about their sixth album. It was revealed that the new album would be titled The Quantum Enigma and would be released at the beginning of May 2014. [52] Later that same month the band unveiled the album's cover art, which was created by longtime collaborator Stefan Heilemann to accompany the ideas behind the lyrics. Track listing and release dates were announced the same day as well and eventually The Quantum Enigma was released by Nuclear Blast on the 2nd of May (Europe), 5 May (UK) and the 13th of May (USA). The album was produced by Joost van den Broek and recorded in the Sandlane Recording Facilities in The Netherlands. [16] The Quantum Enigma debuted at 110 on US Billboard 200, making it Epica's second entry on this chart, the previous being Requiem for the Indifferent and charting there in February 2013. [17] In Epica's home country the Netherlands, the album peaked at No. 4 making it their highest ranking album on the chart. [18]

The band commented: "Where Retrospect reflected on the first decade of our career, we'd like to think The Quantum Enigma marks the beginning of a new era, where Epica sounds heavy, modern and without compromises! More than ever, the creation of this album was a group effort and we are extremely proud of the results! Every detail finds its way into a perfectly balanced mix, and makes Epica sound raw and overwhelming." [16]

On March 17, 2014 the first single, "The Essence of Silence" was made available as a digital download from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer and other platforms. [53] Three days later a lyric video was released. [54] "Unchain Utopia" was chosen as the second single and released on April 8, 2014. [55] In an interview with the Sonic Cathedral Webzine, [56] lead vocalist Simone Simons confirmed that a music video for "Unchain Utopia" was set to be released soon. However, a lyric video was released instead, which features footage originally filmed for the music video. [57] Later on the band decided to film a music video for the track "Victims of Contingency", which was released on October 30, 2014. [58]

The band returned to the stage after almost a year on 30 April 2013, in Tilburg in their home country, The Netherlands, which marked the album release show. [16] Throughout 2014 and 2015 the band toured Europe, Asia, Africa and both South and North America in support of The Quantum Enigma. Their last venue before going back to studio took place on 22 November 2015 at "Klokgebouw" in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, where Epica had held their Retrospect venue. The show was part of the first edition of "Epic Metal Fest", which is a festival organized and curated by the members of the band. Epica announced Epic Metal Fest on June 3, 2015 on their official website and revealed that they would be joined at the festival by bands Dragonforce, Eluveitie, Fear Factory, Moonspell, Delain and Periphery. The frontwoman Simone Simons further commented: "It was a long-cherished dream of Epica to host our own festival and we are very proud to be able to present an absolute awesome array of international metal acts. This day will surely be the next highlight in our career and we hope to be able to share it with all of you!" [59]

On June 5, 2015 Epica was awarded the Music Export Award at Buma Rocks, which is given to the Dutch act with the most international success in the past year. The band's guitarist/vocalist Mark Jansen thanked band's fans through their official website: "We are honored with this prestigious award, it’s a big achievement after all those years of investing countless hours and much energy into Epica. It shows that everything you do by following your heart will eventually pay off and will get acknowledged. Thanks to all our fans from all over the world!" [19]

The Holographic Principle and EPs (2016–present)

Epica live at Wacken Open Air 2018 Epica - Wacken Open Air 2018-0882.jpg
Epica live at Wacken Open Air 2018

On May 31, 2016 Epica confirmed [60] the title of the band's new album: The Holographic Principle, that was released on September 30, 2016. In an interview with Spark TV the band's singer Simone Simons discussed the complex nature of the album, explaining that the band used more "real, live instruments" than in previous albums and that this album is "one of [the band's] most ambitious offerings to date". [61] The band announced previously that the album would be released as part of their performance at the second edition of Epic Metal Fest, [62] but later revised this, stating it would be released a day earlier. [20]

On September 1, 2017, the band released their first EP The Solace System during the second North American leg of the tour. The EP features tracks that were planned and recorded but never included in The Holographic Principle. [63] .

Epica released an EP on December 20, 2017, in Japan titled Epica vs Attack on Titan Songs , featuring covers of songs from the anime Attack on Titan . The EP was released worldwide on July 20, 2018. [64]

On July 20, 2018, the German band Powerwolf released their album The Sacrament of Sin . Epica appeared on the "Communio Lupatum" of that album with their cover version of Powerwolf's "Sacred & Wild" (originally from the album Preachers of the Night , which was released on July 19, 2013).

Style

The contrast between Simone Simons' operatic vocals and Mark Jansen's death grunts is a feature of Epica's music. Epica Hellfest 2007 19.jpg
The contrast between Simone Simons' operatic vocals and Mark Jansen's death grunts is a feature of Epica's music.

Epica performs a blend of symphonic metal, [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] [71] progressive metal, [72] [73] [74] gothic metal, [70] [75] [76] [77] thrash metal, melodic death metal, symphonic black metal and, more rarely, folk metal and power metal. [68] [78] [79] [80] [81] [82] [83] [84] [85] [86] Their former guitarist Ad Sluijter having described the band as "a bridge between power metal and gothic metal." [87] Vocalist Simone Simons has expressed a preference for the group to be described as symphonic metal [88] though the founder of the group Mark Jansen notes that they do not mind being called gothic metal. [89] Mark Jansen having described the band also as "symphonic death metal" and a bridge between death metal and symphonic metal. [90] [91]

The music of Epica is aggressive, bombastic [92] and excessive [71] with some songs being "epic, grand and majestic" and others "more subdued and introspective." [76] The band is also known to have progressive tendencies [93] while a gothic atmosphere and sentimentality is also present in their music. [71] [76]

Epica uses a "trademark of many symphonic and gothic metal bands" in contrasting "two extremes, death grunts and brutality on one side, airy female melodiousness on the other." [71] Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic notes that the band's "attraction ultimately hinges on exploring the sonic contrasts of light and dark; the punishing intensity of those elephantine guitar riffs and hyperactive drumming cast against the soaring, layered sweetness of the orchestrated strings and keyboards." [94] Simone Simons delivers operatic vocals in a mezzo-soprano range [93] though she has also been known to sometimes sing "with a clear alto voice that has a flawless tone and a lot of emotion." [76] But, subsequently, Simone admitted that she was wrong and that she's not a mezzo-soprano, but a soprano. [95] Mark Jansen delivers death grunts "that are secondary to Simons' singing, but very important in terms of balance and variety." [76] The group is also known to employ human choirs and orchestras [93] with additional embellishments such as spoken word recitals and lyrics in Latin and Arabic. [70]

Members

Current members
Former members
Timeline
Epica (band)

Discography

Related Research Articles

Ariën van Weesenbeek Dutch musician

Ariën van Weesenbeek is a Dutch drummer who plays for the symphonic metal band Epica and the symphonic death metal band MaYaN, both created and led by guitarist Mark Jansen.

<i>The Score – An Epic Journey</i> Epica album

The Score – An Epic Journey is a soundtrack album by the Dutch symphonic metal formation Epica, released in 2005. It is the film soundtrack to Joyride, a Dutch production.

Oliver Palotai German musician

Oliver Palotai is a classically trained German musician of Hungarian ancestry, husband of Simone Simons from Epica, best known as a member of the power metal band Kamelot and of Doro Pesch's touring band.

Michael Rodenberg German musician

Michael Rodenberg, nickname Miro, is a German keyboard player and musical producer known for working with power metal bands such as Angra, Shaaman, Luca Turilli, Rhapsody of Fire, Kamelot and Heavens Gate. He mainly works in conjunction with his some-time bandmate Sascha Paeth.

<i>One Cold Winters Night</i> live album by Kamelot

One Cold Winter's Night is a live album released in 2006 by the symphonic power metal band Kamelot on the SPV label Steamhammer in Germany. It is the second live album and first live DVD from the band, and was released on November 14, 2006. It marks the first appearance of Oliver Palotai on keyboards. The album featured guest appearances by Simone Simons while the second disc of the DVD set contained a number of interviews and videos.

<i>The Divine Conspiracy</i> Epica album

The Divine Conspiracy is the third full-length studio album by Dutch symphonic metal band Epica as well as their first concept album. It was released on 7 September 2007 through Nuclear Blast in Europe. The concept that guides the songs is that God created many different religions for humanity to figure out and overcome them so as to discover that, in nature and essence, they were all in fact the same one. Aside from the concept of such a conspiracy, The Divine Conspiracy finalizes The Embrace That Smothers, which began in After Forever's Prison of Desire and continued in Epica's The Phantom Agony. In short, The Embrace That Smothers is a collection of 10 songs, which talks about the dangers of organized religion.

<i>The Classical Conspiracy</i> Epica album

The Classical Conspiracy is the second live album released by the Dutch symphonic metal band Epica. The recorded live show took part in Miskolc, Hungary on 14 June 2008 in the framework of the Miskolc Opera Festival, where the Swedish symphonic metal band Therion had done a similar show a year before. Epica performed on stage with a 40-piece orchestra and a 30-piece choir, entirely composed of Hungarian musicians conducted by Zsolt Regos. The expanded ensemble played classical music, excerpts from operas and movie soundtracks, as well as Epica's songs. The album was released on 8 May 2009 through Nuclear Blast Records.

<i>Design Your Universe</i> Epica album

Design Your Universe is the fourth full-length studio album by Dutch symphonic metal band Epica, released on 16 October 2009. It was the first album to feature officially new band members Isaac Delahaye on guitar and Ariën van Weesenbeek on drums.

Ad Sluijter is a Dutch guitarist who is mostly known for his work with the Dutch symphonic metal band Epica. He also contributed to other bands like Delain.

<i>Requiem for the Indifferent</i> Epica album

Requiem for the Indifferent is the fifth studio album by Dutch symphonic metal band Epica. It was released on April 2012. It was the final album to feature original member Yves Huts on bass guitar.

Requiem for the Indifferent World Tour

Requiem For The Indifferent World Tour was a concert tour by Dutch symphonic metal band Epica in support of their fifth studio album, Requiem for the Indifferent, released by Nuclear Blast on 9 March 2012.

Retrospect is the third live album released by the Dutch symphonic metal band Epica in celebration of their tenth anniversary. The recorded live show took part in Eindhoven, Netherlands on March 23, 2013 at the Klokgebouw and was sold out. Because of the great demand by international fans, Epica announced a live stream, called the Retrostream, on March 4, 2013. Epica performed on stage with the same orchestra that accompanied Epica in the recording of the live album The Classical Conspiracy: the 70-piece Extended Hungarian Remenyi Ede Chamber Orchestra and the Choir of Miskolc National Theatre. The expanded ensemble mostly played Epica songs, including a whole new song called Retrospect, especially written for this live show with the same name. Like on The Classical Conspiracy, Epica played some classical music, excerpts from operas and movie soundtracks, however not as many as on the aforementioned show. The album was released on CD, DVD and Blu-ray on November 8, 2013 through Nuclear Blast Records. Before the release of the show on Blu-ray and DVD, the show premiered at two movie theaters: Mathäser Multiplex Kino in Munich, Germany and Service Bioscoop Zien in Eindhoven, Netherlands. On the day of the release, the show was shown in a Belgian movie theater: Kinepolis in Kortrijk, Belgium. The day after, the show was shown a final time in a movie theater: Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City.

Jack Driessen is a Dutch keyboardist, songwriter and arranger. He is co-founder and member of the Dutch Symphonic Death Metal band MaYaN. Furthermore he is known as the first keyboardist of the symphonic metal band After Forever (1995–2000) and as songwriter on 3 albums of the symphonic metal band Epica.

References

  1. Epica biography Archived 2012-10-14 at the Wayback Machine musicmight.com. Retrieved on 2011-09-08.
  2. 1 2 Della Cioppa, Gianni (2010). Heavy metal: i contemporanei.
  3. Crítica del CD de Epica – The Quantum Enigma | www.rafabasa.com – Noticias en español sobre el heavy metal y los grupos de heavy metal
  4. Epica – The Quantum Enigma – Chronique – La Grosse Radio Metal – Ecouter du Metal – Webzine Metal
  5. "www.musicaldiscoveries.com".
  6. Epica – The Quantum Enigma | Ashladan
  7. Epica – The Quantum Enigma » ThisIsNotAScene – Music Reviews, Interviews & News
  8. "Recensione di "Requiem for the Indifferent" su Metal Underground".
  9. MetalItalia.com, ed. (2016-07-28). "Epica: il nuovo album "The Holographic Principle" traccia per traccia e intervista a Simone Simons!".
  10. BMS Soc. coop., ed. (2016-07-08). "Epica: The Holographic Principle (listening session)". MyRock. p. 5.
  11. "Epica – The Holographic". 2016-08-10. Archived from the original on 2017-10-09. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  12. TrueMetal.it, ed. (2014-05-27). "Epica (Mark Jansen & Simone Simons)".
  13. Metal.de, ed. (2016-08-07). "Epica – Zuviel gibt es für Epica nicht: Die Listening-Session zu "The Holographic Principle"".
  14. Spark TV: Epica – interview with Mark Jansen about upcoming new album "The Holographic Principle" on YouTube
  15. "Requiem for the Indifferent – Chart positions / News / Epica". Epica.nl. 2012-03-21. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  16. 1 2 3 4 "Epica – 'The Quantum Enigma' – Cover Art, Release Date + Tracklisting Revealed – Epica Official Website". epica.nl.
  17. 1 2 "Epica". billboard.com.
  18. 1 2 Hung, Steffen. "Epica – The Phantom Agony".
  19. 1 2 "Epica Receives Dutch Music Export Award! – Epica Official Website". epica.nl.
  20. 1 2 "Epica on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  21. 1 2 "Epica – Metal Storm". metalstorm.ee.
  22. "Metalfan.nl Review: Sahara Dust – Cry For The Moon". Metalfan.nl. 2003-02-12.
  23. "Epica (Nld) – The Phantom Agony". Encyclopaedia Metallum . Retrieved 2010-05-10.
  24. Reviews and Interview @ musicaldiscoveries.com 2004
  25. Reviews and Interview @ musicaldiscoveries.com 2005
  26. "Epica – Consign To Oblivion – Metal Storm". metalstorm.ee.
  27. "Kamelot – The Black Halo – Metal Storm". metalstorm.ee.
  28. Jansen, Mark (2005). The Score – An Epic Journey (Media notes).
  29. "Simons interview, 2008" . Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  30. "idio – Content Intelligence". idio.
  31. "Epica To Release 'The Classical Conspiracy' Double Live Album". Blabbermouth. 2009-03-12. Archived from the original on 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  32. "Metalfan.nl Concertreview: Epica en Kingfisher Sky in Amsterdam". Metalfan.nl. 2009-10-11.
  33. "Epica: New Album Title Revealed?". idiomag. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  34. Epica – Design Your Universe (Album) dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved on 2009-10-23.
  35. "Epica – Design Your Universe (album)". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Media Control Charts . Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  36. Nuclear Blast 28 September 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2015
  37. Epica Announces North American Tour with Scar Symmetry, Mutiny Within and Blackguard metalunderground.com. 2010-05-09. Retrieved on 2010-05-15.
  38. "Epica Online". Epica.nl. 2006-01-21. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
  39. "Epica: New Album Release Party Announced". Blabbermouth. 2011-07-31. Archived from the original on 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  40. "Nightwish (Comunidade Branca)". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  41. "Epica: New Album Release Date".
  42. "Epica Bassist Leaves Band". Loudwire.com. 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  43. "The new Epica video..." Facebook. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  44. "Epica". Epica.nl. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  45. Monger, James Christopher. "Epica Requiem for the Indifferent review". Allmusic . Rovi Corporation . Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  46. Zed, Natalie. "Epica – Requiem for the Indifferent review". Heavy Metal. About.com . Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  47. "Forevermore". Metal-Archives.com. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  48. "Epica – Retrospect – 10th anniversary". epica.nl. September 13, 2012. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  49. "Epica: "Music is always a result of other music". Interview". Metalscript.Net. 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  50. "Epica Concert Setlist at Klokgebouw, Eindhoven on March 23, 2013". setlist.fm. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  51. "Retrospect – release date, cover-artwork and track-listing revealed". epica.nl. August 23, 2013. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  52. "First Details of New Album Announced! – Epica Official Website". epica.nl.
  53. ""The Essence of Silence" – Released – Epica Official Website". epica.nl.
  54. ""The Essence of Silence" – Lyric Video – Epica Official Website". epica.nl.
  55. ""Unchain Utopia" – Available Now! – Epica Official Website". epica.nl.
  56. "Epica The Quantum Enigma Interview 2014". soniccathedral.com. 2014-04-26. Archived from the original on 2014-05-02.
  57. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  58. "Epica Premieres the Music Video for "Victims of Contingency"". epica.nl.
  59. "Epica Announces Epic Metal Fest – Epica Official Website". epica.nl.
  60. "Epica To Release 'The Holographic Principle' Album In October". blabbermouth.net. 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  61. Spark TV (2016-05-31), Spark TV: Epica – interview with Simone Simons – new album 2016 , retrieved 2016-06-02
  62. "Epic Metal Fest Holland Announced – Epica Official Website". www.epica.nl. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  63. "Epica to Release 'The Solace System' EP in September". Blabbermouth. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  64. "EPICA's 'Attack on Titan' EP To Receive Worldwide Release". Blabbermouth. May 18, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  65. "Epica – The Quantum Enigma". metal-temple.com.
  66. "Epica – The Quantum Enigma review – Metal Storm". metalstorm.net.
  67. Evil Dr. Smith. "Lords of Metal ezine". Lords of Metal.
  68. 1 2 "Epica – The Quantum Enigma – Chronique – La Grosse Radio Metal – Ecouter du Metal – Webzine Metal". lagrosseradio.com.
  69. "Epica – The Quantum Enigma Review". Myglobalmind Webzine Your Online Magazine for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.
  70. 1 2 3 Rivadavia, Eduardo. "The Phantom Agony Review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  71. 1 2 3 4 Fox, Keith. "The Divine Conspiracy Review". Metalreview.com. Archived from the original on March 2, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  72. Rivadavia, Eduardo. Epica at AllMusic . Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  73. Musical Discoveries. "The Divine Conspiracy Review". Musicaldiscoveries.com. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  74. Musical Discoveries. "The Divine Conspiracy Review". Musicaldiscoveries.com. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  75. "MusicMight :: Artists :: Epica". musicmight.com. Archived from the original on November 6, 2015.
  76. 1 2 3 4 5 Bowar, Chad. "The Divine Conspiracy Review". About.com. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  77. Smit, Bas. "Consign To Oblivion Review". Lordsofmetal.nl. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  78. "Epica – The Quantum Enigma". metalkaoz.com.
  79. "www.ladyobscure.com". ladyobscure.com.
  80. "Review of "Design Your Universe"".
  81. "Review "Design Your Universe"". Archived from the original on 2011-08-10.
  82. Metalrockx (29 April 2014). "Epica – The Quantum Enigma". ashladan.be.
  83. "Review of "Design Your Universe"".
  84. "Epica". allmusic.com . Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  85. "So klingt das neue Epica-Album The Quantum Enigma". Metal Hammer.
  86. "Epica The Divine Conspiracy Review and Interview at Musical Discoveries". www.musicaldiscoveries.com. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  87. Cursed With Oblivion. "Interview with Mark Jansen, Simone Simons and Ad Sluijter of Epica". Xs4all.nl/~cursed. Archived from the original on January 16, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  88. Rademacher, Brian. "Interview with Simone Simons of Epica". Rockeyez.com. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  89. Vayner, Ofer. "Interview with Mark Jensen of Epica". Alternative-zine.com. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  90. "SpazioRock – Interviste – Epica (Mark Jansen)". SpazioRock.
  91. "Epica (Mark Jansen)". TrueMetal.
  92. Van der Wal, Kim. "The Divine Conspiracy Review". Lordsofmetal.nl. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  93. 1 2 3 Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Consign to Oblivion Review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  94. Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Divine Conspiracy Review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
  95. "Simone confirms to be a soprano".