EXCELLENCE. POWER. INTELLIGENCE. CREATIVITY. AMBITION.
The world of symphonic metal is all about big ideas and high standards, but few bands have taken this most bombastic of genres to such momentous creative heights as EPICA. Formed in the Netherlands in 2002, these perennially dynamic masters of sonic opulence swiftly grabbed the world’s attention with their 2003 debut album, The Phantom Agony. With a fresh and vital sound that struck a sublime balance between orchestral grandeur and pure heavy metal grit, EPICA’s music showcased the compelling contrast between singer, Simone Simons’s soaring vocals and guitarist, Mark Jansen’s guttural growls; between Isaac Delahaye’s unstoppable core of scything riffs and keyboard maestro, Coen Janssen’s intricate, hugely cinematic arrangements and embellishments. All of this backed by a powerful tandem: Ariën van Weesenbeek blasting his drums and Rob van der Loo providing tasteful low end.
The lyrics, too, made EPICA stand out from the crowd, as they eschewed the traditional symphonic trope of fantasy and began to explore and dissect notions of philosophy, science and spirituality. By the time they released 2005’s grand evolutionary step, Consign to Oblivion, the Dutch sextet were widely regarded as the genre’s brightest hope and international success was in their grasp.
THE RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF MUSICAL DREAMS
The decade that followed has seen EPICA grow from plucky contenders to their current status as symphonic metal heavyweights with a huge and ever-expanding worldwide following. With each successive album, the band has made huge creative progress while consistently delivering stage shows and performances of overwhelming power and grandiloquence.
From the dark religious exploration of The Divine Conspiracy (2007), over the intense musical journey of Design Your Universe (2009), to an impassioned and political Requiem For The Indifferent (2012), and on to the brave curiosity and breathtaking depth of their last album, The Quantum Enigma (2014), EPICA’s upward ascent has been both commercial and artistic: a testament to many years of hard work, fierce determination, and the relentless pursuit of musical dreams.
It’s now 2016, with EPICA poised to unveil their greatest masterwork to date. Their seventh full-length studio effort, The Holographic Principle marks a significant upping of the musical ante for the most adventurous of modern bands.
“This time we decided that our goal was simply to exceed ‘The Quantum Enigma.’ We wanted to the best album we possibly could and to evolve as a band on certain specific levels. One of the first things we talked about was to use as many real instruments as possible, in contrast to the previous album. We invested a lot of time to be able to write and work on the songs, and this time around we recorded real brass, strings, woodwinds, ethnic instruments, and percussion, to make it sound more alive and to really dive into what we think is the ultimate EPICA sound.”
– Keyboardist, Coen Janssen
“You always need to keep refreshing and challenging yourself, and then you just don’t repeat yourself. The new album is the result of maximum dedication and is all about making it sound real, direct, and pure.”
– Guitarist + Singer, Mark Jansen
A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS
As an expectant fan base gears up to immerse themselves in The Holographic Principle, EPICA relishes the chance to further extend their renown and influence around the world. 14 years since their humble beginnings, this band has risen steadily from obscurity to the upper echelons of the metal world, and this latest chapter in their fantastic journey is surely destined to elevate them even higher.
“There are always new people from all ages and different musical backgrounds coming to see us, so that means we have a future! We’re not just reaching the traditional metal fans but also the new generation and that’s a very good sign.”
– Mark Jansen
“We’re getting the fans who love symphonic metal, but we’re also getting a lot of recognition from people who like other styles of metal. Every metalhead out there can find something in our music, especially with The Holographic Principle. It has groove, modern thrashy rhythms, death/black/melodic metal influences, the whole lot!”
– Bassist, Rob van der Loo
“We have fans aged from seven to 70 and that’s really cool. We’re a symphonic metal band, so we also attract a lot of people that love classical music too! It’s very appealing to all ages. The music of EPICA has no age limit.”
– Drummer, Ariën van Weesenbeek
EPICA will officially launch The Holographic Principle at two special shows at their own EPIC METAL FEST in the Netherlands and Brazil on October 1st and 15th, respectively. Released on September 30th, the new album will then take the band around the world once more. Even as they question the very fibre of our reality with their extraordinary new album, EPICA ensures their own reality will be a glorious and unforgettable one.
“We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to do this for a living and to live the dream we all work hard for. However, our main goal still is to have fun and project that fun onto the audience so they keep enjoying what we do. And after that, universal domination! Let’s all take over this hologram!”
– Lead Singer, Simone Simons