“Make sure that you are prepared, cause this will have an enormous impact!”
ROCK TRIBUNE (B), Dominique
“Modern intelligence melts into classical greatness. Symphonic, dramatic – EPICA!”
SCREAM MAGAZINE (NO), Stig
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’ 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 hopes and international success was in their grasp.
The decade that followed has seen EPICA grow from plucky contenders to their current status as symphonic metal heavyweights with a huge and still expanding worldwide following. With each successive album, the band have made huge creative progress while consistently delivering stage shows and performances of overwhelming power and grandiloquence. From 2007’s dark religious exploration »The Divine Conspiracy« over 2009’s intense musical journey »Design Your Universe« to 2012’s impassioned and political »Requiem For The Indifferent« and on to the brave curiosity and breathtaking depth of last album, 2014’s »The Quantum Enigma«, their 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. And now it’s 2016 and EPICA are poised to unveil their greatest masterwork to date. Their seventh full-length studio effort »The Holographic Principle« signifies a significant upping of the musical ante for this most adventurous of modern bands.
“This time we decided that our goal was simply to exceed »The Quantum Enigma«,” states Coen Janssen. “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.”
“You always need to keep refreshing and challenging yourself,” adds Mark Jansen. “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.”
Recorded once again with esteemed producer Joost van den Broek at the controls, »The Holographic Principle« represents the most impressive and powerful expression of EPICA’s boldly inventive sound yet. One listen to thunderous new songs like 'Edge Of The Blade' and 'Universal Death Squad' will confirm that »The Holographic Principle« is EPICA’s heaviest album to date. Meanwhile, the shimmering soundscapes and multi-layered melodrama of 'Once Upon A Nightmare' and the towering 11-minute title track confirm that »The Holographic Principle« is also the band’s most musically extravagant and daring release so far. With lashings of sumptuous orchestration and a never-ending stream of ingenious but brutal metal riffs and propulsive rhythms underpinning the whole explosive enterprise, this is an album that raises the bar for the entire symphonic metal genre.
02. Edge Of The Blade
03. A Phantasmic Parade
04. Universal Death Squad
05. Divide And Conquer
06. Beyond The Matrix
07. Once Upon A Nightmare
08. The Cosmic Algorithm
09. Ascension – Dream State Armageddon
10. Dancing In A Hurricane
11. Tear Down Your Walls
12. The Holographic Principle
– A Profound Understanding Of Reality
Acoustic Bonus CD:
01. Beyond The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
02. Dancing In A Gypsy Camp
03. Immortal Melancholy (Acoustic Version)
04. The Funky Algorithm
05. Universal Love Squad
Simone Simons | vocals
Isaac Delahaye | guitars
Mark Jansen | guitars, grunts, screams
Coen Janssen | synths, piano
Ariën van Weesenbeek | drums
Rob van der Loo | bass