For their 20th band anniversary in 2022, Dutch symphonic metal titans EPICA have prepared a massive celebration from January to December, with plenty of surprises, new projects and of course some new music too that will all be revealed throughout the year.
After announcing plans to re-release their first three albums, the now-classic "The Phantom Agony", "Consign To Oblivion" and "The Score 2.0" via Nuclear Blast, on CD, vinyl, as well as strictly limited earbooks and boxsets later this year, EPICA has started the year with launching its own "universe."
"We truly feel like there's a universe within the band, a world of our own, and we want to invite our lifeblood to be citizens — Epicans, if you will," the band explains. "Think of it as a sequel to past EPICA fan clubs like 'The Fantom Agony' and 'The French Crusade' but updated for the modern era; it's more fan community than club. Epica Universe will give Epicans insight into our lives, both personal and professional, through exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, podcasts, polls, vlogs, live hangouts and much more. There's even a (super limited) tier that includes one-on-one video calls with a band member each month!"
Get a first glimpse of what to expect via a trailer below presented by the whole band.
And what would a 20th anniversary be without a proper celebration live and in full color? The massive anniversary show will take place on September 3, 2022 at the same venue as EPICA played their first show back in the day, supporting ANATHEMA: the 013 in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
EPICA was formed by composer Mark Jansen after leaving AFTER FOREVER in 2002, and the band quickly gained attention outside their home country, taking big steps towards becoming the leading symphonic metal superpower they have long proven to be. After their ambitious debut "The Phantom Agony" (2002) and the surprisingly eclectic sophomore work "Consign To Oblivion" (2005),the road took them to new heights via their first concept masterpiece "The Divine Conspiracy" (2007) and their global breakthrough "Design Your Universe" (2009). 2012's opus "Requiem For The Indifferent", 2014's bedazzling "The Quantum Enigma" and their finest, most embellished effort yet, "The Holographic Principle" (2016),cemented their reputation as not only one of the hardest-working metal bands in the business but also as one of the best. Period. With "Omega", the final part of the metaphysical trilogy they began with "The Quantum Enigma", they reclaim the throne without so much as the blink of an eye, amassing three million-plus streams during the first week of the album's release.
"Omega" is an album of unity, of friendship, of the close bond the members share. An album that naturally came together as a group effort. And no wonder: Mark Jansen, Simone Simons and keyboard player Coen Janssen have been playing together since EPICA's conception in 2002, with drummer Ariën Van Weesenbeek joining as early as 2007, lead guitarist Isaac Delahaye following in 2009. In 2012, bass player Rob Van Der Loo marked the latest addition to their ranks. For eight years, three records and hundreds of gigs, this band has formed an indestructible unit.
In the middle of a world in turmoil, of a cataclysmic change in society, EPICA somehow managed to create their most spectacular album yet. An album that is seamlessly bringing together metal and orchestra, choir and oriental instruments to a perfect storm constantly emitting goose bumps. A record with specifically written suites for orchestra and choir, featuring a wide range of ethnic instruments recorded around the world by some of the best native musicians out there. In short: They outdid themselves. Once again. And still managed to keep the songs approachable and wickedly catchy.
Since forming in 2002, the band has amassed an incredible amount of success, "Omega" entered the album Top 10 in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Switzerland. EPICA has toured the globe, performing at venerable festivals including Wacken Open Air, Hellfest, Heaven & Hell festival, Heavy MTL and Download, while also staging shows in countries where many metal bands have not played including South Korea, South Africa and Venezuela.