Our top 10 Epica songs list digs deep into the music of a Dutch band best known for its symphonic metal sound. The band was formed in 2002 by guitarist Mark Jansen. Its inception came after Mark left the metal band After Forever following creative dissimilarities. The guitarist teamed up with former Trail of Tears vocalist Helena Michaelsen during the band’s formation. After a short while, Helena was replaced by the band’s current lead vocalist and frontwoman Simone Simons.
Mark and Simone later added instrumentalists to the band’s lineup, releasing a demo under the title Cry for the Moon. Thanks to the two-song demo, the band was signed to Transmission Records. All this while, the band was using the moniker Sahara Dust. However, the band changed its name to Epica. The new band’s moniker was inspired by Epica (2003), the sixth LP by the metal act Kamelot.
Epica released its first studio album named The Phantom Agony in 2003. The Phantom Agony (2003) is renowned for its unique symphonic metal sound. Songs like “Cry for the Moon” and “Feint” bring the best of the symphonic metal sounds from the album. The album was produced by Sascha Paeth, who has also worked with Kamelot and Rhapsody of Fire. Once more, the band hit the studio to record songs for its forthcoming sophomore album Consign to Oblivion (2005).
The Maya people’s culture inspired the album. “Trois Vierges” saw the band feature Roy Khan of Kamelot on the vocals. Some of the reputable hits from the album include “Quietus” and “Solitary Ground.” The band’s success in its homeland Netherlands saw it tasked with releasing the soundtrack to the Dutch film Joyride. While the band had all through released metal hits, the soundtrack The Score-An Epic Journey features no metal elements. Instead, The Score-An Epic Journey saw Epica release music with more orchestral elements.
Epica started recording songs for its third studio album between November 2006 and March 2007. Eventually, The Divine Conspiracy was out in August 2007. This symphonic metal album was released under Nuclear Blast, with the band working with producer Sascha Paeth. Some of the metal musical gems from The Divine Conspiracy (2007) include “Never Enough” and “Chasing the Dragon.” The albums entered the albums charts in different nations, including the Netherlands, France, Japan, and Germany.
Design Your Universe (2009), the band’s fourth LP, catapulted Epica to higher success levels, peaking at number one on the Dutch Top 30 Alternative Chart. The album managed to rise to the twelfth position on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. Design Your Universe (2009) featured some of the best Epica songs, including “Unleashed” and “Martyr of the Free World.”
Three years later, the band released Requiem for the Indifferent (2012). The album was a success rising to the one hundred and fifth position on the Billboard 200. Epica has continued releasing powerful metal ballads throughout the years. The Quantum Enigma (2014), The Holographic Principle (2016), and Omega (2021) are the band’s other album releases. While Epica is primarily a symphonic metal band, its songs also incorporate elements of death metal, progressive metal, thrash metal, and gothic elements. Here we present the best Epica songs sampled from the band’s eight studio albums.
#10- Abyss of Time – Countdown to Singularity
Ushering us to the top 10 Epica songs is the hit “Abyss of Time – Countdown to Singularity.” The song is featured on the band’s most recent LP, Omega (2021). “Abyss of Time – Countdown to Singularity” finds the singer traveling into the depths of human cognition. Lead vocalist Simone sings about how we need to walk out of the fear in our minds. Her remedy for this is finding peace within our minds.
#9- Edge of the Blade
“Edge of the Blade” is a high-spirited ballad from The Holographic Principle (2016). Frontwoman Simone revealed that she was the brains behind the song’s lyrics while guitarist Isaac Delahaye wrote the music to this song. She continued to reveal that the song’s lyrics allude to self-acceptance while avoiding distractions from unimportant matters. The rock band Journey released a song with a similar title (but different lyrics) on Frontiers (1983).
#8- Desire Your Universe
The eighth track on our top 10 Epica songs is the melodic hit “Desire Your Universe.” Epica released this song as the album title track to their fourth album. The band tries to blend symphonic and melodic metal elements with this song. “Desire Your Universe” is among the first songs to have Epica feature former God Dethroned members Isaac Delahaye and Ariën van Weesenbeek.
#7- Universal Death Squad
“Universal Death Squad” is a bewitching track from the band’s album The Holographic Principle (2016). Mark Jensen revealed that the song alludes to advanced robotic legions. The song tells on the Sci-Fi films about robots having emotions now being a reality. The song’s instrumentation makes “Universal Death Squad” quite a powerful metal ballad.
Number six on our top 10 Epica songs is the cinematic hit “Quietus.” The song is one of the musical gems from Consign to Oblivion (2005), the band’s sophomore album. “Quietus” features some of the best mezzo-soprano vocals by lead vocalist and frontwoman Simone Simons. The song’s intro sounds a little bit Irish. Simone revealed that the song is about how we all struggle at some point in life to make tough decisions that make us lose our innocence.
#5- The Phantom Agony
“The Phantom Agony” is one of the most captivating symphonic metal ballads by Epica. The song is featured on The Phantom Agony (2007), the band’s debut studio album. “The Phantom Agony” finds the band singing about human existence. Epica exploits the potential of adding orchestra and opera choirs to the maximum on this symphonic metal hit.
#4- Pirates of the Caribbean
The Classical Conspiracy (2009) live album is home to the haunting hit “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The song brings the best of Hans Zimmer and Klaus Badelt’s compositions. While most of the band’s songs feature symphonic metal elements, “Pirates of the Caribbean” feels more like a neoclassical metal ballad.
The third track on our top 10 Epica songs is the ferocious hit “Unleashed.” The song is one of the popular hits from The Divine Conspiracy (2009). “Unleashed” was a driving force towards the album’s success. The song also became among the concert staples in the Design Your Universe World Tour. “Unleashed” finds Epica unbridling Isaac Delahaye as its lead guitarist. Isaac’s skills on the guitar add glamor to this vicious track.
#2- Storm the Sorrow
“Storm the Sorrow” is an exceptional metal ode from Requiem for the Indifferent (2012). The song’s lyrics allude to the negative criticism people battle with in life. This negativity often oozes from words and narratives people have to say about each other without a solid basis. Epica’s frontwoman tries to explore her vocal limits on this up-tempo metal hit.
#1- Cry for the Moon
Number one on our top 10 Epica songs is the charming symphonic hit “Cry for the Moon.” The song is a musical gem from Epica’s debut album, The Phantom Agony (2003). “Cry for the Moon” finds the band taking a dig at how the church handles incidences of priests abusing children. Once more, the song brings the best of the band’s use of orchestra and opera choirs.
Photo: S. Bollmann, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Top 10 Epica Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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Lame list. Shallow explanation about the songs, and lame choices. But above all putting a cover of pirates of the Carebean instead of any song from their broad repertoire is just mind bogling. There are just no songs from their best albums like The Quantum Enigma and Rhe divine Conspiracy…. lame, lame, lame
Are we really supposed to take this comment seriously when it comes from a person with the email name gothicwizard0? It’s time to grow up disappointed man.