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Epica is a Dutch band that straddles several genres depending on which particular song they are playing at any given moment, from Symphonic Metal to Power Metal, from Gothic Metal to Progressive Metal and even stepping into the territory of Death Metal from time to time. They began playing as Epica in 2003, before that they were known as Sahara Dust before gaining the talents of Simone in 2003 and changing their name to Epica and are still going strong with a tour currently touring following the release of their new album, "Requiem For The Indifferent".
- 2003 The Phantom Agony
- 2004 We Will Take You With Us (DVD)
- 2005 Consign to Oblivion
- 2005 The Score - An Epic Journey (Classical instrumental soundtrack album)
- 2006 The Road to Paradiso (CD/Book collection for fans)
- 2007 The Divine Conspiracy
- 2009 The Classical Conspiracy (Live album, recorded with a 40-piece orchestra and a 30-piece choir)
- 2009 Design Your Universe
- 2012 Requiem for the Indifferent
Currant and past band members
- Vocals: Simone Simons - a woman with the voice of a goddess
- Rhythm Guitar and growled vocals: Mark Jansen
- Lead Guitar: Isaac Delahaye
- Bass Guitar: Rob van der Loo
- Keyboards: Coen Janssen
- Drums, spoken word and growled vocals: Ariën van Weesenbeek
Former band members:
- Vocals: Helena Iren Michaelsen (2002-2003)
- Drums: Jeroen Simons (2002-2006)
- Lead Guitar: Ad Sluitjer (2002-2008)
- Vocals: Amanda Somerville (2008; filled in for Simone while she was ill)
- Bass: Yves Huts (2003-2012)
- Koen Herfst – drums (tour 2007)
- Amanda Somerville – vocals (North American tour 2008), background vocals on "The Phantom Agony", "Consign to Oblivion", "The Divine Conspiracy", "Design Your Universe", and "Requiem for the Indifferent".
- Oliver Palotai – touring keyboards (North American tour 2010), also happens to be engaged to Simone. Lucky bastard.
Epica and their music contain the following tropes:
- Aesop: Most of their songs have some sort of greater message or story or moral, sometimes Anvilicious, sometimes sneaked in..
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: They took their name from a Kamelot album.
- Alliterative Name: Simone Simons
- Ascended Fanboy: Or rather, ascended fan band to Kamelot with Simone being a regular guest on their albums and often touring together.
- Break Up Song: Never Enough if nothing else.
- "Avalanche" too.
- Concept Album: They are rather good at keeping an Aesop theme to it.
- Mark Jansen's The Embrace That Smothers (started with After Forever's Prison of Desire and ended with The Divine Conspiracy) elaborates humanity's flirtation with belief in a higher power and the associated corruption.
- Also A New Age Dawns (started with Consign to Oblivion ended with Design Your Universe), based on the Mayan civilization.
- The Phantom Agony is inspired by the events such as the 9-11 attacks and abuse of children in the Catholic church.
- Consign To Oblivion is inspired by Mayan Civilization/religion.
- The Divine Conspiracy is about a philosophical idea that all religions are the same.
- Design Your Universe is optimistic about humanity's capacity for growth and uniting religion and science. (Don't forget you're able to, design your own universe!) Musically/compositionally the darkest of Epica's work, in contrast to its lyrical optimism.
- Requiem for the Indifferent is inspired by the enormous tension between different religions and cultures, wars, natural disasters and the financial crisis. Lyrically a bit darker than the others.
- Creative Differences: The reason Mark left After Forever and the reason Jeroen left Epica. Averted with Yves' departure however - he left the band to pursue another career opportunity that he couldn't fully utilise while part of Epica. Both he and the band posted public notes on Facebook thanking and wishing each other luck with their future endeavours.
- "Feint" was written after the murder of openly gay, anti-Islamic politician Pim Fortuyn.
- "Internal Warfare" is dedicated to the victims of the Norway massacre in July 2011
- Driven to Madness: The protagonist from the "Unleashed" video - he is shot in front of his partner during a robbery. He seems to recover from the attack, until he starts seeing the band members of Epica staring menacingly at him everywhere he goes until eventually he ends up in a mental hospital, with the staff also being the members of Epica. Unfortunately, this is revealed to be a hallucination as the man ended up dying from the aforementioned burglary.
- Dye Hard: Simone is a natural brunette (link).
- Epic Rocking: The title track to each album, all of which are in excess of eight minutes (with "The Divine Conspiracy" being the longest at 13:57) as well as "Kingdom of Heaven" off Design Your Universe a five movement opus clocking in at 13:35.
- Fan Service: The cover of the album The Divine Conspiracy features Simone wearing elaborate body paint, and nothing else.
- To be fair, the cover is supposed to be a symbolic representation of the Garden of Eden. That being said, the cover for The Phantom Agony does contain Absolute Cleavage. And let's not forget about the white body suit worn in "Storm the Sorrow"...
- Fiery Redhead: Averted, Simone is quiet, soft-spoken and reserved in interviews and her blog is very much of a feminine nature.
- Follow Your Heart: A moral you can take from both "Design Your Universe" the album and the "A New Age Dawns Series" of songs.
Dont forget your able to, design your own, universe
- "Guilty Demeanor" is a song about staying true to yourself in the face of criticism. "Storm The Sorrow", about songwriting in the face of criticism, also features this.
- "Stay the Course" appears to be subversion of this as a political commentary referring to George W. Bush.
- Green Aesop: "This is the Time", "Deep Water Horizon"
- Harsh Vocals: Mark Jansen always grunts, growls and screams.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: "Beyond Belief" —a song about death and what might or might not come after—uses a fading heartbeat as a Last-Note Nightmare.
- Heavy Mithril: A fair amount of their songs fall into this category with the combination of social commentary. Their earlier videos for "The Phantom Agony" and "Feint" oozes the stuff as well.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Roy Khan on "Trois Verges" (from Consign to Oblivion) and Tony Kakko on "White Waters" (from Design Your Universe).
- Humans Are Bastards: "Semblance of Liberty"
- Idiosyncratic Album Theming - See Epic Rocking above
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Simone's surname is pronounced in a similar manner to her first name: "See-mons"
- Kubrick Stare: Used heavily in the video for "Unleashed", mostly coming from Simons, but the rest of the band is also featured during the video as well.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Hovers around 7 or 8. Some of the ballads go as low as 1. Chasing The Dragon covers everything from 2 to 9.
- Ms. Fanservice: Simons.
- New Sound Album: Consign is more classical then most of their stuff, but the variation between all albums is noticeable and almost always a "new sound" on some level...
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: The title track of "Requiem of the Indifferent" samples an extreme amount of sounds from Asian to classical choirs to epic riffs...but they generally tend to mix and match any and all music genre's, for example; "Never Enough" is classical pop inspired metal.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Who do you think?
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Every album. Good examples include "Martyr of the Free World", "Fools of Damnation" and "Serenade of Self-Destruction."
- One-Woman Wail: Occurs frequently in their songs including "Quietus" and "Twin Flames".
- One of Us: Simone, Mark and Coen are self-declared fans of Monty Python. They, along with Arien, are also fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy
- Power Ballad: "Tides of Time", "Delirium", "Solitary Ground".
- Rapunzel Hair: Simone is known for her long, flowing red hair. This also extends to all the current male members of Epica regardless of colour.
- Religion Rant Song: Not afraid of this trope at all. Examples include "Cry For The Moon", "Requiem for the Indifferent" (song) and "The Embrace That Smothers" saga shared with After Forever. The Divine Conspiracy is very much a Religion Rant Album.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Simone drops her relatively strong Dutch accent when she sings.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Pretty cynical.
- Soprano and Gravel.
- Specs of Awesome: Coen Janssen.
- Spoken Word in Music: This mass terrorism is the new evil in our world today, spoken by Tony Blair in "Facade Of Reality"
- Take That: "Run for a Fall", it was a harsh critique of After Forever's change in sound.
- "Requiem for the Indifferent" takes aim at many a person/situation.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Similar to Nightwish's use to showcase the operatic voice of Simone Simons. Played straight in their singles "Solitary Ground", "Unleashed" and "Storm the Sorrow", amongst others. Inverted, however, in "The Last Crusade and "Chasing the Dragon" where the key signature changes to a different key towards the end of the song and back again.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Mark, much to the fangirls' glee.
- Working with the Ex: Simone was Mark's girlfriend when she joined the band, but both of them remain despite breaking up some time ago.
- Vocal Tag Team: Simone and the male vocalist. Most often Mark, but can also be one of the guest voices.