Like Evanescence or Lamb of God? Dutch band Epica is a hybrid of the two, with the addition of a few symphonic elements such as an orchestra and a choir. Founded by guitarist and vocalist Mark Jansen, Epica was later added female vocalist, Simone Simons who often duets with the growling vocals of Mark. Their songs largely deal with topics such as science, religion and global affairs.

This band has powerful double-bass drumming by Ariën van Weesenbeek paired with Jansen’s slashing vocals. Coen Janssen creates synth and piano elements that make for an overall grand sound of orchestra that sounds like you are hearing music from the 1800s. A fast paced bass guitar by Rob van der Loo, and cheetah-fast guitar riffs and solos by lead guitarist Isaac Delahaye, create the thrash-like sound of an Epica album. Simons has the pipes to bring down an opera house while rhythmically singing (And I emphasize “Singing”) to the metal.

Epica’s debut album, “The Phantom Agony,” was released through Transmission Records. Since then, the band has continued to ‘wow’ audiences around the world with Simons’ vocal ability and the subliminally fast guitars that make it perfect for moshing. The band has made a total of six albums so far: “The Phantom Agony” (2003), “Consign to Oblivion” (2005), “The Divine Conspiracy” (2007), “Design Your Universe” (2009), “Requiem for the Indifferent” (2012), and just recently, “The Quantum Enigma” (2014).

In 2005 “Consign to Oblivion” debuted at No. 12 in the Dutch charts.

Epica then moved labels to Nuclear Blast in 2007 and released their third studio album “The Divine Conspiracy,” which charted at #9 in the Netherlands. 2009’s “Design Your Universe” was met with greater success, debuting at #8 in the Dutch Albums Chart, and charting across Europe and garnering much critical acclaim.

Epica’s fifth studio album “Requiem for the Indifferent” was released in 2012. Well received by critics, it was met with international success entering the US’s Billboard 200 at #104. The latest album, “The Quantum Enigma,” one of their heaviest albums so far, went to the US Billboard 200 at number 110.

Epica has a strong overall sound that combines elements of thrash metal and orchestra, creating a unique sound of symphonic metal. Epica has had several line-up changes throughout the 12 years they have been around, however, the core of the band lies within the founding members Mark Jansen, Coen Janssen, and Simone Simons.