Posts Tagged ‘Mark Jansen’

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Photos by Greg Maki (more…)


Dutch symphonic metallers Epica recently premiered the official music video for “Victims Of Contingency,”a song off their latest album, The Quantum Enigma, which debuted at #110 on the American Billboard Top 200 Albums chart earlier this year. Watch the video—directed by Remko Tielemans (Textures) & produced by the Kunstoff Kollectiv— inside. (more…)

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Bay Area Metal Titans, Machine Head, continue their live domination of North America with the announcement of their 21-show U.S. and Canadian trek in support of their debut studio album for Nuclear Blast Entertainment, due out this fall.

With a devastating line-up that features support from Finnish heavy metal powerhouse Children of Bodom, Dutch symphonic metallers Epica, and American melodic death/thrash openers Battlecross, this epic trek launches on October 4th in Denver, Colorado and includes five Canadian cities before closing out in Hollywood, California on November 1st. View tour dates inside: (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-The_Classical_ConspiracyThe unification of metal and classical music is something we have seen more and more of during the last decade. Metallica was one of the first metal bands to perform with an orchestra and release a live album documenting that performance (S&M). More recently, Within Temptation followed with their grand DVD/CD Black Symphony. But to this point no band has seemed better suited for this type of concert than Epica. They combine classical, opera, power metal, death and goth, creating symphonic music that is multi-faceted and unique. Epica already features a mini-orchestra and choir in its ranks, so this was a natural step.

On June 14, 2008, this became reality when they collaborated with a full orchestra and choir in Miskolc, Hungary, during the Miskolc International Opera Festival. The band performed a 45-minute set of metal adaptations of classical songs and movie soundtracks, accompanied by the orchestra and choir, as well as symphonic versions of its own songs. The end result is The Classical Conspiracy, a double live album commemorating the event. (more…)