EPICA
Symphonic Metal / Metal Related • Netherlands

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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).

Epica performs a blend of progressive metal and symphonic metal with some elements of gothic and power metal. Former 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.

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
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Quantum EnigmaQuantum Enigma
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Nuclear Blast America 2014
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Design Your UniverseDesign Your Universe
Nuclear Blast 2009
Audio CD$6.05
$6.79 (used)
Divine ConspiracyDivine Conspiracy
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Audio CD$6.05
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Transmission Nl 2013
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EPICA Discography

EPICA albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.39 | 15 ratings
The Phantom Agony
Symphonic Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.86 | 15 ratings
Consign to Oblivion
Symphonic Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.81 | 5 ratings
The Score
Metal Related 2005
.. Album Cover 3.82 | 29 ratings
The Divine Conspiracy
Symphonic Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.48 | 28 ratings
Design Your Universe
Symphonic Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 4.22 | 21 ratings
Requiem for the Indifferent
Symphonic Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 4.17 | 9 ratings
The Quantum Enigma
Symphonic Metal 2014

EPICA EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hi Five - Female Fronted Metal
Symphonic Metal 2007

EPICA live albums

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
We Will Take You With Us
Symphonic Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.72 | 3 ratings
The Classical Conspiracy
Symphonic Metal 2009

EPICA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Cry for the Moon
Symphonic Metal 2002

EPICA boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Road to Paradiso
Symphonic Metal 2006

EPICA singles (9)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Phantom Agony
Symphonic Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Feint
Symphonic Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cry for the Moon
Symphonic Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Solitary Ground
Symphonic Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Quietus (Silent Reverie)
Symphonic Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Never Enough
Symphonic Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Chasing the Dragon
Symphonic Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unleashed
Symphonic Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
This is the Time
Symphonic Metal 2010

EPICA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
We Will Take You With Us
Symphonic Metal 2004

EPICA Reviews

EPICA The Quantum Enigma

Album · 2014 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
arcane-beautiful
While I did enjoy Epica's last album “Requiem For The Indifferent”, I did think that it was the bands weakest albums. I did like the change in direction that the band where attempting, but I did feel that while they did write some brilliant tracks, there was a mad amount of filler. But now the band have steered towards their older stuff yet still have held their newer influences and sounds.

Musically the band have definitely went into a more heavier direction, with the guitar sound being a lot more prominent and heavier on this album. This album has also seen the band bring back the focus on choirs, with the choir being a big main attraction on this album. One of the bands biggest positives has to be Simone's vocals, which in my opinion are the best they've ever been.

One of the bands biggest attractions would have to be the bands lyrics, with the band going in some interesting directions. Dealing with concepts on humanities inability to deal with aspects of reality which are too hard to contemplate (explaining the reference to the id, ego and superego on the album cover). I do believe the band have some pretty cool lyrical moments on this album, but sometimes the bands lyrics can be a little bit generic, although very rarely though.

The opening track “The Second Stone” shows off one of the bands most interesting riffs in the past few years. Pretty catchy chorus carries the song too.

The first song to be previewed from the album “The Essence Of Silence” has to be one of the bands strongest and most interesting songs to come out in a while. With an epic choir adding to the bands epic sound, the songs real highlight is the chorus which shows off some very impressive vocals from Simone.

One of the albums most interesting tracks is “Sense Without Sanity -The Impervious Code” Lyrically dealing with a lot of different philosophical ideas being brought forward. The songs arrangement is also pretty interesting too.

The album's single “Unchain Utopia” is a rather interesting choice for a single. With a chorus which is channelled by a choir based chorus, it is rather catchy, but I do find better and more obvious examples which could be used as the albums lead single.

The albums interlude “The Fifth Guardian” is probably one of the bands best interludes in the past few years, with some lovely instrumental arrangements. The interlude is also a brilliant passage way into “Chemical Insomnia.” A kick ass guitar riff and a pretty cool chorus, this song is definitely one of the strongest tracks on the album. Lyrically the song has a lot of beautiful poetry, which is strange because the song (which is about drug abuse) is quiet hard to do, but the band have done it before in their classic track “Chasing The Dragon.”

One of the albums most anthemic and catchiest songs has to be “Omen – The Ghoulish Malady.” With an anthemic chorus and some pretty cool vocals, the song is one of the albums more sing all songs.

The album's final track “The Quantum Enigma – Kingdom Of Heaven Part II.” Being the bands most epic song in the past few years, with some pretty impressive arrangements, especially with some briliant clashes between clean and guttural vocals. Lyrically the song is pretty impressive too, attacking religion with some pretty interesting view points.

In conclusion, this is pretty much business as usual, but it is a definite step in the right direction when compared to “Requiem For The Indifferent”. By a long shot this isn't their best album, but it is a pretty strong effort nontheless. Packed full of surprising tunes and showing a heavier sound to the band, fans of the band will definitely love this album.

7.9/10

Genres: Symphonic Metal, Progressive Metal, Death Metal, Extreme Metal, Power Metal

Country of origin: Netherlands

Year of release: 2014

EPICA The Quantum Enigma

Album · 2014 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
The Quantum Enigma (2014) is the seventh full-length album by Dutch symphonic metal act Epica (providing one counts The Score - An Epic Journey (2005), otherwise it is only the sixth). In the time since their previous album Requiem for the Indifferent (2012) the band have parted ways with original bassist Yves Huts, replacing him with Rob van der Loo, who also plays with Epica leader Mark Jansen in MaYaN. The Quantum Enigma is the second album by a Mark Jansen band to be released this year, following MaYaN's Antagonise (2014) a few months previously.

What makes Epica such a high class act in the symphonic metal genre is that they have never made the same album twice. Following their debut The Phantom Agony (2003) they released the relatively growl free Consign to Oblivion (2005), brought the growls back and gave their music a extra dose of power metal on The Divine Conspiracy (2007) and then became increasingly progressive on Design Your Universe (2009), ultimately resulting in the full-on progressive metal release that was Requiem for the Indifferent. On The Quantum Enigma they've made changes to their sound again. The music is still more progressive than either The Divine Conspiracy or Design Your Universe but less so, overall at least but perhaps more so in certain parts, than Requiem for the Indifferent. The amount of power metal influence has also seen another increase compared to the last couple of albums, although it's quite modern sounding in the riffs department. I'd say the album draws its cues mostly from The Divine Conspiracy and Requiem for the Indifferent so in a sense is on the level with Design Your Universe but find more middle ground between the two sounds than that album did, as well as having a few different elements such as some folk influences that have a distinct Asian vibe to them.

While The Divine Conspiracy and Design Your Universe are two of the best symphonic metal albums ever recorded in my opinion, I did not enjoy Requiem for the Indifferent to quite the same level. That was unfortunate, because I'd actually been quite eagerly awaiting the day that Epica fully embraced their progressive influences. Tracks like Kingdom of Heaven from Design Your Universe (which incidentally has a sequel on The Quantum Enigma) number among my favourite Epica tracks, so it was disappointing that Requiem for the Indifferent did not live up to its full potential, although the album was still excellent, proving again that Epica are more than a cut above all the other beauty and the beast symphonic metal acts out there. Although it was initially disappointing that The Quantum Enigma has withdrawn some of this influence again instead of further building on it, such feelings were quickly dispersed as I came to realise that Epica have found the perfect balance here between symphonic progressive metal and symphonic power metal, without really producing an album that belongs to either genre.

It is simpler to just call The Quantum Enigma epic symphonic metal, because that's exactly what it is regardless of how many other styles of metal Epica draw on. They've really put the epic into Epica with this one. Great symphonic arrangements, complexity, speed, and Simone Simons' vocals are as top notch as ever. Mark Jansen's growling plays just an important role though. It's not wrong to say that The Quantum Enigma is also part symphonic death metal, especially when dealing with a track like Victims of Contingency which is one of the most aggressive things Epica have ever done. To be honest it kind of sounds like a leftover from the last MaYaN album and was in fact co-written by Jack Driessen and Frank Schiphorst, MaYaN's keyboardist and guitarist, so it might well be as I say. Leftover or not, Epica has always done tracks like this, with really extreme and intense growling sections that go a step further than is normal for symphonic metal acts, and it just so happens that Victims of Contingency is one of the best tracks on the album. Best tracks are always hard to call on the most top quality of releases but right from the first listen to Victims of Contingency I couldn't believe how powerful the song was.

Where Victims of Contingency sets itself up as the most aggressive thing that Epica has done the album's title track (which is subtitled as Kingdom of Heaven Part II) aims for a different milestone; their most epic track. At almost twelve minutes it's the longest track on The Quantum Enigma; a little shorter than the original Kingdom of Heaven. Apart from both being progressive influenced epics I don't detect too many similarities between the two tracks; no rehashing has been involved. It's a great way to end a great album and like with Victims of Contingency is an instant high point. This is not to say that the rest of the album is weaker, as it's not, but the other songs did require a few more listens to sink in than these two did. I have one small issue with the album and that is the fact that it's a bit too heavy on the use of choirs for me, but my enjoyment isn't exactly impacted by this so is a niggling issue at most.

Although I still prefer Design Your Universe, which is one of my favourite albums of all time, The Quantum Enigma easily takes second place for me when ranking Epica's very respectable discography. A new Epica album is always pretty high on my hype list for its year and once again they're delivered. Of course a 5 star rating is deserved. As of now, this is the joint highest rating I've awarded to a 2014 release. The other? As it happens it was MaYaN's Antagonise, so it's certainly been Mark Jansen's year as far as I've concerned and together The Quantum Enigma and Antagonise make an incredible duo. Only time will tell which one ranks higher for me come the end of the year, but I know that both are album of the year contenders.

99/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/epica-the-quantum-enigma-t3527.html)

EPICA Requiem for the Indifferent

Album · 2012 · Symphonic Metal
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Warthur
Although I am quite taken with some symphonic-inclined "Beauty and the Beast" metal - I quite like the debut by The Sins of Thy Beloved, for instance, though it's more gothic than symphonic - I've always found myself markedly underwhelmed with Epica's work. The fact that they've released an album called "Requiem for the Indifferent" seems to me an act of unintentional self-parody, since indifference is precisely what the album inspires in me.

Sure, the production is alright, the performances are up to scratch, in general it's not terrible, but at the same timethere's a certain soullessness to the proceedings. It feels to me that, in common with many symphonic acts, Epica realised they've hit on a style which, whilst it won't make them global megastars, at least consistently yields a reasonable level of commercial success (they might not be mainstream material in the UK but they've done alright in many of the European album charts, for instance) and so they're yet again going through the motions. An alright listen if you're into this style of metal, but hardly a classic, or even on its way to being a classic.

EPICA The Phantom Agony

Album · 2003 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
H. Siedler
I am a defensor of this album! While some people say it is overrated, I say it is fabulous! Let me explain why:

1) This album is different from other similar proposals. The voice is the star here! Everything is made to let the voice shining. And it shines a lot! 2) The drummer is fantastic!!! Speaking about instruments, the drums are the highlight! This guy is intelligent, precise and creative! You can feel here a virtuous drummer who doesn't want to grab all the public's attention! His composition is brilliant! 3)The string arrangements! It's not an entire orchestra, but it's powerful! Carefully arranged, it fit's as a glove! 4) The choir! Sometimes, it reminds me a gospel choir. This album wouldn't be the same without it!

The downside in here: 2 guitars and nothing to emphasize. No solos. Nothing special. The same about the bass.

The songs are gorgeous! Strong lyrics! Lyrical parts, soft parts, heavy parts and even some swing parts. You just don't get tired of listening to this album. To me, despite the simplicity, is one of the greatests symphonic rock/metal albums ever.

Elegancy, simplicity and good-taste. 4 and a half stars!!!

EPICA Requiem for the Indifferent

Album · 2012 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
dtguitarfan
If you're a fan of female fronted metal, or even if you're not but you're a fan of metal, there are probably two names that you first associate with the phrase "female fronted metal" - Nightwish and Epica. Epica have steadily risen from relative obscurity to being pretty definitive in the modern world of metal, and what's more: they have yet to release a weak album. If you are unfamiliar with their style, I will tell you that Epica masterfully blend sublime operatic soprano vocals, orchestration, choral work, heavy (not just in categorization) guitar and drum work, and just the right amount of growls (and I'm not usually a fan of growls) together to create what is often referred to as "Beauty and the Beast Metal." If you are familiar with their work, I will tell you that I think Epica have stepped it up a notch and gotten a bit, dare I say, more Progressive in this album, both in their compositions, and they have also began to throw in some fancy guitar solos. When asked what my favorite Epica album was, I have also thought "The Divine Conspiracy" was an easy choice, but with this release I find it hard to pick just one....

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