A band that has enjoyed as much worldwide success and acclaim as EPICA should have every right to rest on their laurels and stick to the proverbial “winning formula”. And yet, as their fans across the globe are well aware, EPICA has never been a band to play it safe, and they’ve never made the same album twice. EPICA has earned its reputation as one of the foremost symphonic metal bands by repeatedly shattering expectations and pushing the very limits in the genre.
This spring, EPICA will proudly unveil the next stage of their ongoing musical evolution: The Quantum Enigma, their sixth full-length studio album. This is EPICA like you’ve never heard them before: The Quantum Enigma sounds larger than life, expertly mixing devilishly sharp guitars, angelic choruses, evocative synthesizers, mind-boggling drum work, and of course, another soaring vocal performance from Simone Simons. The Quantum Enigma is simultaneously the band’s most intense and emotional release to date.
Mark Jansen credits increased collaboration between members of the band—which also includes lead guitarist Isaac Delahaye, keyboardist Coen Janssen, drummer Ariën van Weesenbeek, bassist Rob van der Loo, as a key factor in the creation of what is surely EPICA’s edgiest, most forward-thinking album yet:
“More than any of our previous albums, The Quantum Enigma is the result of a group effort. Even though the basic components of each song were still written by individual band members, we sat together to start working on the material as a solid team early in the process, playing the songs in a live setting and dive into the microscopic (quantum) world of the little details, comparing dozens of amps, snares, and mics in order to find the sound that would be able to beat all of our previous albums. A time consuming experience, but the only way to reach our ultimate goal: creating the album that could lift EPICA up to the next level.”
The band’s quest to annihilate artistic stagnation continued with their choice of behind-the-scenes collaborators: after five albums of successfully working with producer Sascha Paeth (who still played an important role during the pre-production sessions), EPICA opted to record The Quantum Enigma with the up-and-coming Joost van den Broek at Sandlane Recording Facilities in the Netherlands.
“After many years, there comes a point at which you want to try out some new methods in order to keep yourself fully motivated, and to refresh your music and mind. This was such a turning point for us. It was time to leave our comfort zone in order to explore new horizons. In producer Joost van den Broek, we found the guy who was able to get the best out of us with his patience, guru-like skills and loads of energy.”
The Quantum Enigma also marks the first collaboration between EPICA and mixer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Hatesphere, Amaranthe).
“Jacob really impressed us by giving the band a massive sound without compromising on all the symphonic and orchestral elements which color our music. Every detail finds its way into a perfectly balanced mix, and makes EPICA sound raw and overwhelming.”
Given the boundary-defying nature of the music on The Quantum Enigma, it’s appropriate that the album’s lyrics were inspired by the most mind-bending scientific proof in all of quantum physics: one that posits that our physical environment is directly influenced by our consciousness. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.
Ultimately, everything in the universe is energy and energy is influenced by the mind. Therefore the mind creates and controls reality.
These heady themes reflect in the lyrics of both Mark Jansen and Simone Simons, the latter of whom calls The Quantum Enigma “an exploration of the subconscious mind”.
Those lyrical concepts, combined with the undeniable power of the music, ensure that The Quantum Enigma is not just an album—it’s an experience.
The Quantum Enigma will be released on the 2nd of May 2014 in Europe and on the 6th of May in North America via Nuclear Blast Records.
EPICA plans to support its release with plenty of touring, once again bringing their grandiose, unforgettable live show to fans across the globe.