Dutch symphonic metallers EPICA have announced their unique collaboration with the Metropole Orkest. The Metropole Orkest is a world-renowned Dutch orchestra which has performed and/or recorded with the world biggest superstars such as Sting, Bono and Brian Eno.
In the summer of 2017, with the help from its massive fan base, EPICA won a high-profiled competition organized by the Metropole Orkest. First prize was a recording of a song of their choice with the orchestra. In between EPICA's heavy touring schedule, the band was able to conjure up a unique, never-before-seen "big band meets symphonic metal" rendition of "Beyond The Matrix". As a bonus to all voters, runner-up in the competition and friend of the band, Arjen Lucassen (AYREON) contributed a beautiful guest solo to the song.
Keyboard player Coen Janssen commented on writing process: "We came up with 'the battle' to fully display the strengths of both worlds — our heaviness and their jazziness, but how to combine it in one piece… In comes Tom Trapp, arranger extraordinaire. He fully understood the way we wanted to build up the piece and he translated it into this amazing arrangement for the Metropole Orkest. From ambient soundscapes to heavy symphonic to over-the-top big band parts... this song has it all!! Expect the unexpected!!! It was an absolute pleasure and honor to see such professionals work from up close and I learned a lot every step of the way. The way the conductor, arranger and orchestra communicate and play is something I've rarely seen before. A unique experience that resulted in a unique version of 'Beyond The Matrix'."
EPICA VS METROPOLE ORKEST "Beyond The Matrix - The Battle" will be released as a limited-edition vinyl and digital download on October 26 through Nuclear Blast.
EPICA's "Attack On Titan" EP was made available outside of Japan on July 20 via Nuclear Blast Records. The release features metal versions of the theme songs from the highly successful manga-series-turned-worldwide-aired anime "Attack On Titan".