The name Epica says it all. This is truly epic music, combining the classical and metal genres, challenging the listener’s senses and mind. Led by vocalist Simone Simons and guitarist/vocalist Mark Jansen, Epica has been a leader in female-fronted metal since 2003. With genre-defining albums like 2007′s The Divine Conspiracy and 2009′s Design Your Universe (review), a Live Metal favorite, already in its discography, it would be easy for a band with a beautiful singer with amazing pipes to sell out and conform to the mainstream rather than the route Epica has chosen. Preconceived notions that this is just another symphonic-goth metal band led by a bombshell, writing cheesy pop-metal songs are way off base. In fact, this has never been the case. Epica is more Dimmu Borgir than it is Within Temptation. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that two former members of death metallers God Dethroned have joined the band’s ranks in recent years.
We’ve talked to Simone Simons a few times before, first after the band’s release of The Classical Conspiracy (a two-disc live performance with a full orchestra in Miskolc, Hungary) (review), and then after the release of Design Your Universe. Since that time, Simons has become a mother and married (to Oliver Palotai of Kamelot), yet still she found time to record Epica’s latest brilliant and maybe most complex album to date, The Quantum Enigma (May 6, 2014, Nuclear Blast). Now we finish tour Epica trilogy (hopefully we’ll start another soon) as Simons gives us the details of the new album and a brief lesson in physics, and tells us how she has gained perspective as a new mother. Read the rest of this entry »