Epica – Storm The Sorrow

Epica – Storm The Sorrow

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.

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 in 2002. As a result, they were signed to Transmission Records.

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.The song “Façade of Reality” on the album was written about the September 11 attacks and includes fragments from speeches by Tony Blair.

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,] 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 (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)”. 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”.

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 Holographic Principle, EPs, first book and Design Your Universe 10th Anniversary (2016–2019)

On May 31, 2016 Epica confirmed 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”.

The band announced previously that the album would be released as part of their performance at the second edition of Epic Metal Fest but later revised this, stating it would be released a day earlier.
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 6 songs that were planned and recorded but never included in The Holographic Principle.

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.

On July 3, 2018, the band had announced that would be releasing their first book in 2019. The book gives detail on the band’s beginnings with exclusive interviews to the band members present and former with photos detailing their journey as a band.

The band announced on July 17, 2019 that a Gold Edition of their album Design Your Universe would come out on 4 October 2019 in support of its tenth anniversary, along with a tour.

Omega (2020–present)

Simone Simons had stated on February 1, 2020 that pre-production for the next album had been completed. On March 11, 2020, the band had entered the studio to begin recording their new album, while in turn released studio vlogs showing the album making process for their upcoming eighth studio album.

Mark Jansen had said in an interview that the album’s release date could be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was reported that on April 17, 2020 that Simone Simons had finished recording vocals for the new album. Mark Jansen later confirmed on September 2, 2020 that the album had been recorded, mixed and mastered with orchestrations and choir having been wrapped up before the band began recording.

Nuclear Blast later announced on October 7, 2020 the title for the band’s upcoming eighth studio album, Omega, along with a release date of February 26, 2021. On October 9, 2020, the first single off of the album, “Abyss of Time – Countdown to Singularity”, was released with an official videoclip.

The second single off of the album, “Freedom – The Wolves Within”, was released on November 27, 2020 along with a music video.The third single, “Rivers”, was released on January 22, 2021 along with a visualizer video.

Musical style

Epica performs a blend of symphonic metal, progressive metal, gothic metal, thrash metal, melodic death metal, symphonic black metal and, more rarely, folk metal and power metal. Their former guitarist Ad Sluijter having described 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.Mark Jansen having described the band also as “symphonic death metal” and a bridge between death metal and symphonic metal.

The music of Epica is aggressive, bombasticand excessivewith some songs being “epic, grand and majestic” and others “more subdued and introspective.” The band is also known to have progressive tendencies. A gothic atmosphere and sentimentality is also present in their music.

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.

” 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.

“Simone Simons delivers classical (operatic) vocals in a mezzo-soprano range, she’s begun to sing in a more modern style with belted vocals too (Rock/Pop, as she described it with the release of Consign to Oblivion on an interview) over time, and she has also been known to sometimes sing “with a clear alto voice that has a flawless tone and a lot of emotion.”

But, subsequently, Simone admitted that she was wrong and that she’s not a mezzo-soprano, but a soprano. Mark Jansen delivers death growls “that are secondary to Simons’ singing, but very important in terms of balance and variety.” The group is also known to employ human choirs and orchestras with additional embellishments such as spoken word recitals and lyrics in Latin and Arabic.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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