Posts Tagged ‘Design Your Universe’


Simone Simons of Epica

LIVE PHOTOS: EpicaFleshgod ApocalypseArkona
Review by Jeff Maki
Epica’s North American Principle Tour made one of its last stops of its month-long trek at Baltimore Soundstage, and judging by the energy of the band and its fans, this show should go down as one of the strongest of the tour. According to Epica’s official Instagram, Soundstage won the “award for most crowdsurfers” of the tour, as hundreds of fans came to see the Dutch goddess Simone Simons lead the symphonic metal masters, who are supporting their new album, The Holographic Principle. The tour was an international affair, with Epica from the Netherlands, Italian symphonic death metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse, the Russian pagan tribe Arkona and The Agonist, which hails from Montreal, Canada. (more…)

Simone Simons on the physics of The Quantum Enigma

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. (more…)

Epica's Simone Simons

Epica’s Simone Simons: “Metal has a New Design”

The Dutch symphonic metal band Epica is about to break through with its new album, Design Your Universe. This is the album they have been building to since the release of their 2003 debut, The Phantom Agony. From the orchestration to the vocals to the arrangements and the overall complexity and heaviness, it displays a complete evolution in every aspect of the band’s sound. At the heart of it all is their 24-year-oldsinger, Simone Simons. A mezzo-soprano by nature, she experiments with vocal styles on the new album. Classical, pop, rock—she nails down them all.

The album did extremely well in its initial release, selling more than 2,000 copies in the United States alone and appearing on the Billboard Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) at No. 12. In January 2010, Epica will launch its first U.S. tour supporting the album.

Not long after the release,’s Jeff Maki spoke to Simons in a lengthy chat (their second in six months). Simons talks in depth about the making of Design Your Universe, the lyrical themes behind it and much more. Will we soon see the red-haired beauty all over rock and metal publications as the new reigning queen of the hottest chicks in metal? See what she has to say about it. (more…)

epica-designAfter their collaboration with a live orchestra and subsequent release of The Classical Conspiracy, The Netherlands’ Epica became one of the first “underground” bands to greatly prosper from the release of such an album. Yes, Epica is an established band in their own right, but not established in the sense of Metallica or the Scorpions or other bands that have had a release similar to this.

Still riding the success, Epica now brings us a new studio album, Design Your Universe only a few months later. And the boldness and grandiose performance has carried over like never before—I felt as if I was hearing a massive, extended encore of The Classical Conspiracy. (more…)