Epica - Past to Present
What is Epica?
Epica is a dutch symphonic metal band, led by the vocals of Simone Simons, which was started in 2002. Other members of the band are; Mark Jansen(guitar and grunts) from After Forever, Isaac Delahaye(guitar), Yves Huts(bass), Coen Janssen(synth and piano), and Arien van Weesenbeek(drums). Jeroen Simons, Ad Sluijter, and Helena Michaelsen were all former members. The name of the band was going to be Sahara Dust, led by the vocals of Helena, however, she was soon replaced by the mezzo-soprano Simone Simons, who was unknown at that time, and Epica was born.
Since the members of the band are big fans of Kamelot, that is how they came up with the band name, Epica, from Kamelot's eponymous album. Epica has been influenced by rock, symphonic metal, and even film music.
By 2003, The Phantom Agony, Epica's debut album was released worldwide. Shortly after, Epica began a long tour and was awarded an Essent award in 2004, which is an important award for young Dutch bands to earn. In 2005, Epica released their second album, Consign to Oblivion, which was in the top 100 for 7 weeks running, and #12 at its best week in the Dutch charts.
That same year Epica also released their next album, The Score: An Epic Journey, consisting of music Epica created for Joyride, a Dutch film. The Score contains mostly instrumental symphonic songs only. After 4 more years of hard work, Epica released The Road To Paradiso, a photo-sound book which described the history of the band, and offered a bonus of live material, demos, and unreleased songs.
Soon after, Jeroen Simons, the bands drummer, decided to move on to other things. In 2007, Epica signed a deal with Nuclear Blast, and released The Divine Conspiracy, their third full length album. With their new drummer, Arien van Weesenbeek, Epica was able to do even more than before, by coming up with faster, and more complex songs. Sascha Paeth, Amanda Somerville, and Miro Rodenberg also contributed to the new complex album, which runs longer than 75 minutes.
It gets even more interesting that that; The Divine Conspiracy theorizes that God created various religions in order for mankind to find its way through them by realizing that they are basically the same. The Divine Conspiracy also concludes the Embrace That Smothers concept from the Phantom Agony, which originated from Prison of Desire by After Forever, and features a guest appearance by the grunter from After Forever, Sander Gommans.
If you live in the U.S. like me, then there's a good chance you have never heard of Epica, unless you like to listen to various types of foreign music. Epica does perform in English, and has performed all over the world, including; The U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Israel, Tunisia, as well as most of the countries throughout Europe.
Epica is a unique sound that I wouldn't compare to any bands within the U.S. Simone Simons has a beautiful operatic voice, which is a pleasure to the ears. Some people are bothered by Mark Jansen's grunts, but I don't believe they hinder the music in anyway. The other members also do a great job, and sometimes Epica even features guest singers, a type of chorus, and various instruments, which definitely make for an excellent experience.
If you have heard of other foreign bands throughout the European area, you might compare Epica to; Nightwish, Leaves' Eyes, Within Temptation, or even Lacuna Coil. These are also great bands, but Epica tops the list for me.
Cry for the Moon
In 2003, Epica came out with their two song demo, Cry for the Moon. A choir of 4 women and 2 men sang along with them, while an orchestra comprised of 3 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, and an upright bass played along as well. Shortly after, they were signed to Transmission Records.
This one is excellent!
Quietus is one of the two singles released from Epica's second album, Consign to Oblivion, which was influenced by the Mayan Civilization, as can be seen in the song, A New Age Dawns, referring to the time system of the Mayans extending to 2012.
The dictionary defines quietus as a suppressing, or a silencing, and a killing blow.
Never Enough is the first of three singles released from Epica's third full album, The Divine Conspiracy, which is full of some great lyrics.
The video appears to be showing the unfaithfulness of a man, and apparently how it is never enough.
Cry for the Moon (2003 demo)
The Phantom Agony (2003 album, music video)
Feint (2004 single, music video)
Cry for the Moon (2004 single)
We Will Take You With Us (2004 DVD, live recordings)
Consign to Oblivion (2005 album)
The Score: An Epic Journey (2005 album)
Solitary Ground (2005 single, music video)
Quietus (2005 single, music video)
The Road To Paradiso (2006 live recordings)
The Divine Conspiracy (2007 album)
Never Enough (2007 single, music video)
Chasing the Dragon (2008 single)
The Classical Conspiracy (2009 live recordings)
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