Ever since EPICA emerged on the scene, the band has been caught in a whirlwind of studio recordings, interviews, screaming fans, world wide live performances and the rock 'n roll lifestyle.
The loss of both a record company and a drummer in 2006 seemed to have stopped the band on their rise to the top. But all is not what it seems.
EPICA is back with a mighty new album called 'The Divine Conspiracy' (info | shop), an exiting new chapter in the history of the band.
The Dutch female fronted symphonic metal band EPICA was founded in 2002. Mark Jansen had left After Forever to pursue his own dreams and found that guitar player Ad Sluijter, bass player Yves Huts and keyboard and piano player Coen Janssen shared his vision.
Drummer Jeroen Simons and singer Simone Simons completed the band. The band name is derived from an album of Kamelot of whom several band members are big fans and musically EPICA stands out by not only taking influences from the world of rock and (symphonic) metal, but also from film music as composed by the likes of Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer.
Within a few months EPICA had the material to record the stunning debut album 'The Phantom Agony' (info). The album was released worldwide in 2003 and was followed by a lengthy tour. EPICA's efforts were rewarded in 2004 with an Essent Award (an important Dutch award for talented young bands).
While touring continued throughout the year, EPICA recorded and released their second full length album 'Consign To Oblivion' (info) in 2005. The album made it to #12 in the Dutch charts and remained in the Top 100 for 7 weeks.
This release also features a guest appearance by Kamelot frontman Roy Khan. With the creative juices flowing, that same year the album 'The Score: An Epic Journey' (info) also saw the light of day. The album consists of the music EPICA wrote for the Dutch movie 'Joyride'. This album is marked by the absence of guitars, drums or even vocals and contains mainly instrumental symphonic songs.
After four years of hard work, the band took the time to reflect on the impressive career that took the world by storm.
So in 2006 the photo-sound book 'The Road To Paradiso' (info) saw the light of day. It's a detailed description of the band’s history in words and images and contains lots of pictures taken by the band members, professional photographers and even hundreds of fans that contributed their best pictures and words. This book comes together with a unique bonus-cd that features unreleased songs, live material and demo recordings.
The year that started on a high ended in a low when drummer Jeroen Simons decided to quit the band. But it's not in the band's nature to be taken aback. After hundreds of shows in dozens of countries all over the world (including the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, most European countries, Israel, Tunisia…) this band had become a well oiled metal machine that is unstoppable.
In 2007 EPICA signed a new record deal with Nuclear Blast and the year will see the release of EPICA’s third full length album 'The Divine Conspiracy'. “More” is the best word to define this album. More choirs, guitars, grunts, speed and songs. 'The Divine Conspiracy' will be more guitar oriented.
The question is whether mankind can realize that all religions are basically the same. But there’s more to it. The album also concludes the 'Embrace That Smothers' concept that could already be found on 'The Phantom Agony', but started on the After Forever-album 'Prison Of Desire' (info). It seems only fitting that the conclusion of the concept features a guest appearance by After Forever grunter Sander Gommans.
In 2008 however, after an impressive touring marathon and after the recordings of the monumental live album ‘The Classical Conspiracy’ (info | shop), guitarist Ad Sluijter called it quits. He was succeeded by Isaac Delahaye, and with him EPICA worked on the more guitar oriented ‘Design Your Universe’ (info | shop), released in 2009. This is still seen as a masterpiece by many, and it certainly put the band at the top of today’s metal scene.
In 2012 the masters of symphonic metal return with the fifth album called "Requiem For The Indifferent" (info | shop), an exiting new chapter in the history of the band. The title refers to the end of an era. Mankind can no longer stick their head in the sand for the things that are happening around us: tensions between different religions and cultures, wars, natural disasters, a huge financial crisis. As we are all connected; the universe, earth, nature, animals and human beings, this period in time will be the prelude to the end for those who still don't want to, or simply won't see it, and more than ever we will need each other to overcome these problems.
'Requiem of the Indifferent’ was released on the 9th of March (13th of March in the US).
Now the band will celebrate a decade of success by once again raising the bar for symphonic metal across the world with »Retrospect«, which will be released on November 8, 2013 by Nuclear Blast Records as 2 DVD/3 CD and 2 Blu-ray/3 CD. The show was filmed with 10 high-definition cameras and is edited, mixed and mastered by Jochem Jacobs (TEXTURES) at Split Second Sounds.
»Retrospect« was captured this past March during the band’s very special sold-out tenth anniversary performance in front of thousands of ecstatic fans at Klokgebouw (Bell Building) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Add a couple of thousand additional fans who streamed this unique event live in their homes, and you can imagine the impact of this evening. The three-hour concert – which included accompaniment from the seventy piece Extended Reményi Ede Chamber Orchestra and The Miskolc National Theatre Choir – is presented here up-close and in-your-face, with a level of energy, musicianship, and dynamism about which most bands can only dream.
In addition to a collection of the band’s biggest hits from across the spectrum of their entire catalog, this once-in-a-lifetime spectacular also features the live debut of the previously-unreleased ‘Retrospect’ and fan favorite ‘Twin Flames’, covers of classics of Vivaldi, Pergolesi, and Oscar-winning film composer John Williams, two guest collaborations with the venerable Floor Jansen (NIGHTWISH, REVAMP), and a very special performance of their breakthrough single, ‘Quietus’, with founding members Jeroen Simons, Ad Sluijter, and Yves Huts. »Retrospect« features the unforgettable performance in its entirety, as well as exclusive interviews with all band members and behind-the-scenes footage from the show.
Fan reverence for EPICA has grown exponentially since the release of their acclaimed 2003 debut, »The Phantom Agony«. Their most recent release, last year’s »Requiem For The Indifferent«, not only broke the top 10 of the charts in the band’s native Holland, but also breached the top 40 in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Finland and Belgium, the top 50 in Australia, the Czech Republic and Sweden, and the top 100 in the U.S. and the U.K.
Always looking for new opportunities, the band has performed in over 50 different countries worldwide, drawing crowds of up to 4,000 fans per night in South and Central America, up to 4,500 fans per night in Europe, Asia and Australia, and up to 1,500 fans at each performance in North America. With almost 2 million likes on Facebook, 100,000 followers on Twitter, tens of millions of views on YouTube, EPICA’s popularity shows no signs of hitting a ceiling anytime soon.
»Retrospect« is destined to take the band to the next level. EPICA have never sounded so deserving of their name.