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Epica

Epica

Epica Biography

Biography

Epica is a symphonic metal band from The Netherlands, founded in 2003 by guitarist and vocalist Mark Jansen subsequent to his departure from After Forever. The band currently consists of Simone Simons (vocals), Mark Jansen (guitars, vocals), Isaac Delahaye (guitar), Yves Huts (bass), Coen Janssen (keyboards, synthesizer), and Ariën van Weesenbeek (drums). In early 2002, Mark Jansen left After Forever due to creative differences and began looking for musicians to integrate a new musical project, initially named Sahara Dust. In late 2002, the band courted Helena Iren Michaelsen (former vocalist of Trail of Tears and current vocalist of Imperia) as its frontwoman, but shortly after she was replaced by the then unknown mezzo-soprano singer Simone Simons, 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. Their name was changed to Epica, inspired by Kamelot's album, "Epica". Epica then assembled a choir (made up of two men and six women) and a string orchestra (three violins, two violas, two cellos, and a double bass) to play along with them. Their debut album, The Phantom Agony, was produced by Sascha Paeth (known for having previously produced albums for bands such as Angra, Rhapsody of Fire, and Kamelot) and was released in late 2003. Their second release, entitled Consign to Oblivion, was influenced by the culture of the Maya civilization, a fact which can be noticed, for example, on songs which integrate the "A New Age Dawns" arch. "A New Age Dawns" refers to the time system of the Mayan people, which extends up to the year of 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 being cited as major inspirations. The album features guest singing by Roy Khan (from Kamelot) on the song "Trois Vierges". Epica also joined Kamelot as a support band on parts of their tour for promotion of the The Black Halo album, to which Simone had contributed her vocals. Epica's The Score: An Epic Journey was released in September 2005 and is the soundtrack for a Dutch movie called "Joyride", though it can also be seen as their third album. Mark Jansen stated that the album is "Typically Epica. Only without the singing, without the guitars, no bass and no drums". In 2005 and 2006 Epica went on their first tour throughout North America with Kamelot. After the tour, their drummer, Jeroen Simons, left the band, due to his wish to pursue his other musical interests. In December Ariën van Weesenbeek was announced at the official website of the band to be the drummer for their new album. The Divine Conspiracy has been released at the end of August 2007 in the United States in time for their second tour through North America. The new album was released early September in Europe and is the first Epica album released by Nuclear Blast. Design Your Universe is the fifth full-length studio album by Epica, It was released on October 16, 2009. The album title, Design Your Universe, deals with new breakthroughs in quantum physics. It proves that we are all connected to each other on subatomic level. Also, it shows that we can create or at least influence matter with our thoughts… a very interesting fact. Because it changes everything for us, our whole worldview collapses once you accept these facts and integrate them in your lives. So this had to become the new album title. Epica performs a blend of gothic metal and symphonic metal. Another component of Epica's style is power metal with their guitarist Ad Sluijter describing the band as "a bridge between power metal and gothic metal.". Vocalist Simone Simons has expressed a preference for the group to be described as symphonic metal though the founder of the group Mark Jansen notes that they do not mind being called gothic metal. 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. In January Epica announced on their official website that guitarist Isaac Delahaye would join the band as a fulltime member. 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". The album will be released on 16th October. To promote this release, they will be performing in Amsterdam at Paradiso on the 10th of the same month. This album will be new guitarist Isaac Delahaye's first.[10] The record also contains a guest appearance from Sonata Arctica vocalist Tony Kakko on the song "White Waters". Official site: www.epica.nl

Epica Metal Albums

The Classical Conspiracy Thumbnail Image
★★★★½

Japanese pressing includes one bonus track. Marquee. 2009.

Divine Conspiracy Thumbnail Image
★★★★½

Take four cellos, mix with a quartet of Finnish classical-music students who possess a note-for-note knowledge of metal giants Metallica, and beat gently. Viola! You have [...]

Consign to Oblivion Thumbnail Image
★★★★½

It doesn’t take very many fingers to enumerate the number of American heavy-metal bands who traversed the treacherously shifting musical tastes of the 1980s and ’90s [...]

The Classical Conspiracy Thumbnail Image
★★★★½

Japanese pressing includes one bonus track. Marquee. 2009.

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After Forever , Delain , Leaves' Eyes , Within Temptation , Nightwish , ,