[[quoteright:299:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Epica.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:299:Just keeps getting more Epic-a.]]
Epica is a Dutch band that straddles several genres depending on which particular song they are playing at any given moment, from SymphonicMetal to PowerMetal, from GothicMetal to ProgressiveMetal and even stepping into the territory of DeathMetal from time to time. They began playing as Epica (a name taken from a Music/{{Kamelot}} album) in 2003, before that they were known as ''Sahara Dust'' before gaining the talents of Simone in 2003 and changing their name to Epica and are still going strong with a tour currently touring following the release of their new album, "Requiem For The Indifferent".

Similar bands include: Music/AfterForever, Music/{{Nightwish}} and Music/WithinTemptation.

!!Discography:
* 2003 ''The Phantom Agony''
** 2004 ''We Will Take You With Us'' (DVD)
* 2005 ''Consign to Oblivion''
** 2005 ''The Score - An Epic Journey'' (Classical instrumental soundtrack album)
** 2006 ''The Road to Paradiso'' (CD/Book collection for fans)
* 2007 ''The Divine Conspiracy''
** 2009 ''The Classical Conspiracy'' (Live album, recorded with a 40-piece orchestra and a 30-piece choir)
* 2009 ''Design Your Universe''
* 2012 ''Requiem for the Indifferent''
* 2013 ''Retrospect'' (A ten year anniversary live album)
* 2014 ''The Quantum Enigma''

!!Current and past band members
'''Current Line-up''':
* Vocals: Simone Simons
* Rhythm Guitar and growled vocals: [[Music/{{Mayan}} Mark Jansen]]
* Lead Guitar: [[Music/GodDethroned Isaac Delahaye]]
* Bass Guitar: Rob van der Loo
* Keyboards: Coen Janssen
* Drums, spoken word and growled vocals: AriŽn van Weesenbeek

'''Former band members''':
* Vocals: Helena Iren Michaelsen (2002-2003)
* Drums: Jeroen Simons (2002-2006)
* Lead Guitar: Ad Sluitjer (2002-2008)
* Vocals: Amanda Somerville (2008; filled in for Simone while she was ill)
* Bass: Yves Huts (2003-2012)

'''Session members'''
* Koen Herfst Ė drums (tour 2007)
* Amanda Somerville Ė Lead vocals (North American tour 2008), soprano vocals on "The Phantom Agony" and "We Will Take You With Us", background vocals on "Consign to Oblivion", "The Divine Conspiracy", "Design Your Universe", and "Requiem for the Indifferent" (Somerville also performed alto choir vocals for this album), now married to [[AfterForever Sander Gommans]].
* Oliver Palotai Ė touring keyboards (North American tour 2010), also Simone's partner.
* Bridgit Fogle - Alto vocals on "We Will Take You With Us" and "The Phantom Agony", background vocals on "Consign To Oblivion", "The Divine Conspiracy" and "Design Your Universe".
* Annie Gobel - Alto and backing vocals on "We Will Take You With Us".
* Linda Janssen: Backing vocals on "We Will Take You With Us", choir vocals on "Consign To Oblivion", "The Divine Conspiracy" and "Design Your Universe", soprano choir vocals on "Requiem For The Indifferent", also Coen's wife.
* Laura Macri: Soprano choir vocals on "Requiem For The Indifferent", also a member of the project group [=MaYan=] along with Simone and Amanda.
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!!Epica and their music contain the following tropes:
* {{Aesop}}: Most of their songs have some sort of greater message or story or moral, sometimes {{anvilicious}}, sometimes sneaked in..
* AlbumSingle: "The Phantom Agony", "Quietus" and "Never Enough". "The Phantom Agony" was egregious in which all of Mark's vocal parts were cut from the single and it's music video. "Unleashed" and "Storm the Sorrow" avert this however.
* AscendedFanboy: Or rather, ascended fan band to Kamelot with Simone being a regular guest on their albums and often touring together.
* BreakUpSong: "Never Enough" if nothing else.
** "Avalanche" too.
* ConceptAlbum: They are rather good at keeping [[AnAesop an Aesop theme]] to it.
** Mark Jansen's ''The Embrace That Smothers'' (started with [[Music/AfterForever After Forever's]] ''Prison of Desire'' and ended with ''The Divine Conspiracy'') elaborates humanity's flirtation with belief in a higher power and the associated corruption.
** Also ''A New Age Dawns'' (started with ''Consign to Oblivion'' ended with ''Design Your Universe''), based on the Mayan civilization.
** ''The Phantom Agony'' is inspired by the events such as the 9-11 attacks and abuse of children in the Catholic church.
** ''Consign To Oblivion'' is inspired by Mayan Civilization/religion.
** ''The Divine Conspiracy'' is about a philosophical idea that all religions are the same.
** ''Design Your Universe'' is optimistic about humanity's capacity for growth and uniting religion and science. (''Don't forget you're able to, design your own universe!'') Musically/compositionally the darkest of Epica's work, in contrast to its lyrical optimism.
** ''Requiem for the Indifferent'' is inspired by the enormous tension between different religions and cultures, wars, natural disasters and the financial crisis. Lyrically a bit darker than the others.
** ''The Quantum Enigma'' is about trying to find a deeper understanding in life and beyond through transcending one's own mind.
* CreativeDifferences: The reason Mark left Music/AfterForever and the reason Jeroen left Epica. [[AvertedTrope Averted]] with Yves' departure however - he left the band to pursue another career opportunity that he couldn't fully utilise while part of Epica. Both he and the band posted public notes on Facebook thanking and wishing each other luck with their future endeavours.
* CreatorCouple: A rare inversion. See WorkingWithTheEx below.
* DrivenToMadness: The protagonist from the "Unleashed" video - he is shot in front of his partner during a robbery. He seems to recover from the attack, until he starts seeing the band members of Epica staring menacingly at him everywhere he goes until eventually he ends up in a mental hospital, with the staff also being the members of Epica. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, this is revealed to be a hallucination as the man ended up dying from the aforementioned burglary.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: Discussed in "Serenade of Self-Destruction".
* DyeHard: Simone is a natural brunette ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f5HhZNgxR0 link]]).
* [[spoiler:DyingDream]]: The music video for "Unleashed" [[spoiler:turns out to be this]].
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: One at the start of every album, but their more recent albums each have one more in the middle ("LaĎpetach Chatat Rovetz", "The Price of Freedom", "Anima" and "The Fifth Guardian").
* EpicRocking: The title tracks of each album, but usually at least one other track:
** ''The Phantom Agony'': "FaÁade of Reality" clocks in at 8:12, and the title track at 8:59.
** ''Consign to Oblivion'': The title track is the only long one here, lasting 9:45.
** ''The Divine Conspiracy'': "The Obsessive Devotion" is 7:13 (combined with [[EpicInstrumentalOpener "Indigo,"]] it would be 9:18 long), "Chasing the Dragon" is 7:40 long, "Fools of Damnation" clocks in at 8:42, and the title track is the band's longest song to date, at 13:57.
** ''Design Your Universe'': "Kingdom of Heaven" is Epica's second-longest song, a 13:35-long five-movement suite. The title track clocks in at 9:28.
** ''Requiem for the Indifferent'': "Monopoly on Truth" lasts for 7:11 (combined with [[EpicInstrumentalOpener "Karma,"]] it would be 8:44 long), the title track is 8:34 long and "Serenade of Self-Destruction" clocks in at 9:52.
** ''The Quantum Enigma'': The title track is Epica's third-longest song at 11:53, "Sense Without Sanity" (The Impervious Code) is 7:42.
* FanService: The cover of the album ''The Divine Conspiracy'' features Simone wearing elaborate body paint, and nothing else.
** To be fair, the cover is supposed to be a symbolic representation of the Garden of Eden. That being said, the cover for ''The Phantom Agony'' does contain AbsoluteCleavage. And let's not forget about the white body suit worn in "Storm the Sorrow"...
** The men can also put on a show of fansevice. See WalkingShirtlessScene below.
* FieryRedhead: Averted, Simone is quiet, soft-spoken and laid-back in interviews and her blog is very much of a feminine nature.
* FollowYourHeart: A moral you can take from both "Design Your Universe" the album and the "A New Age Dawns Series" of songs.
---> ''Don't forget you're able to [[TitleDrop design your own universe]]''
** "Guilty Demeanor" is a song about staying true to yourself in the face of criticism. "Storm The Sorrow", about songwriting in the face of criticism, also features this.
** [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]], however, with "Stay the Course" - the song is a political commentary on UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush's presidency and suggests that what he thinks he's doing is actually part of someone else's plan.
* TheFundamentalist: A BerserkButton of the band.
* GirlyGirl: Simone's blog Smoon'Style focuses a lot on make-up and accessories.
* GreenAesop: "This is the Time", "Deep Water Horizon"
* HarshVocals: Mark Jansen always grunts, growls and screams. In addition to Mark, both drummer AriŽn van Weesenbeek and lead guitarist Isaac Delahaye provide harsh vocals as well (all 3 harsh vocalists can be heard on Requiem for the Indifferent, for instance AriŽn can be heard providing the harsh vocals on the verses for Stay the Course), although Isaac tends to limit himself to doing live backing growls only. This makes Epica a quadruple-vocalist band, which deserves awesomeness points in itself.
* HeavyMithril: A fair amount of their songs fall into this category with the combination of social commentary. Their earlier videos for "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UOJ5U0jY9k&feature=related The Phantom Agony]]" and "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ha1hWAcnMdQ Feint]]" oozes the stuff as well.
* HeyItsThatVoice: [[{{Kamelot}} Roy Khan]] on "Trois Verges" (from ''Consign to Oblivion'') and [[SonataArctica Tony Kakko]] on "White Waters" (from ''Design Your Universe'').
* [[HugeGuyTinyGirl Huge Girl Tiny Girl]]: [[http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2013/070/4/c/floor_jansen_and_simone_simons_by_elinevanderlaan-d5xo2ff.jpg Whenever]] Simone [[http://www3.images.coolspotters.com/photos/1036187/simone-simons-gallery.jpg performs with]] [[AfterForever Floor Jansen]]. Simone's 5'6, and Floor is at least six feet tall.
* HumansAreBastards: "Semblance of Liberty"
* IdiosyncraticAlbumTheming: Every studio album has an intro between 90 seconds and two minutes long, and starting with ''The Divine Conspiracy'', there is also a similar interlude about halfway through. Each album also ends with [[EpicRocking an unusually long composition]], which was also the title track on every album until ''Requiem for the Indifferent''.
* InMemoriam:
** "Feint" was written after the murder of openly gay, anti-Islamic politician Pim Fortuyn.
** "Internal Warfare" is dedicated to the victims of the Norway massacre in July 2011.
* IncrediblyLongNote: While not as long as examples by other singers, Simone ends "Never Enough" with an impressive G5 held for ten seconds.
* IndecipherableLyrics: Averted with Simons, played straight with Jansen.
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: Simone's surname is pronounced in a similar manner to her first name: "See-mons"
* KubrickStare: Used heavily in the video for "Unleashed", mostly coming from Simons, but the rest of the band is also featured during the video as well.
* LastChorusSlowDown: "Kingdom of Heaven", "Karma".
* LastNoteNightmare: "Beyond Belief"ó a song about death and what might or might not come afteró ends with a chilling wind and a gradually fading heartbeat.
* [[SopranoAndGravel Mezzo-Soprano And Gravel]]: In a twist, newer albums have ''two'' gravel voices. Mark supplies the deeper grunts, but AriŽn provides higher-pitched screams starting on ''Design Your Universe.''
* MohsScaleOfLyricalHardness: Epica's lyrics are markedly darker than the lyrics of most other symphonic metal bands, and usually range between 7 and 9.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Because of the HarshVocals and MelodicDeathMetal influences, Epica is a bit heavier than other SymphonicMetal bands on average, hovering around 7 to 9. Some of the ballads can go as low as 1, but [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome ''Chasing The Dragon'']] [[SerialEscalation covers everything from 2 to 9.]]
* MoodWhiplash: "The Fifth Guardian"/"Chemical Insomnia" - a calm, oriental-themed orchestral piece segues straight into a death metal-esque intro.
* MsFanservice: Simons.
* [[BilingualBonus Multilingual Bonus]]: Latin and Arabic are just two of the languages the band uses in their work.
* NewSoundAlbum:
** ''Consign to Oblivion'' is more classical than most of their stuff, but the variation between all albums is noticeable and almost always a "new sound" on some level...
** ''The Divine Conspiracy'' was overall heavier than the debut while still having the neo-classical influences from ''Consign''.
** ''Design Your Universe'' introduced an even greater MelodicDeathMetal slant thanks to the introduction of Issac Delahaye and AriŽn van Weesenbeek of God Dethroned fame.
** ''Requiem for the Indifferent'' retains the melodeath influences and was overall more complex.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: The title track of ''Requiem of the Indifferent'' samples an extreme amount of sounds from Asian to classical choirs to epic riffs...but they generally tend to mix and match any and all music genre's, for example; "Never Enough" is classical pop inspired metal.
* NonAppearingTitle: About half the time, although a few songs just slightly reword the title in their lyrics.
** ''The Phantom Agony'': "Sensorium," "Cry for the Moon," "Illusive Concensus"
** ''Consign to Oblivion'': [[UpToEleven Almost the entire album, including the title track]]. The only songs [[AvertedTrope that have a full title drop]] or a close approximation are "The Last Crusade," "Blank Infinity" and "Another Me" (its subtitle, "In Lack'ech," translates from Mayan to "you are the other me").
** ''The Divine Conspiracy'': "Menace of Vanity," "Chasing the Dragon," "Fools of Damnation," "Beyond Belief," "Safeguard to Paradise," "Sancta Terra"
** ''Design Your Universe'': "Resign to Surrender," "Kingdom of Heaven," "Deconstruct," "White Waters"
** ''Requiem for the Indifferent'': [[SerialEscalation Even more often than on]] ''[[SerialEscalation Consign to Oblivion]]'', with only "Storm the Sorrow" and "Stay the Course" as [[AvertedTrope aversions]].
** ''The Quantum Enigma'': Scaled back somewhat with "Victims of Contingency", "Reverence - Living in the Heart" not employing the non-parenthesised title in the lyrics. "Sense Without Sanity" is used in the line "Sense without your sanity".
* OfCorsetsSexy: Who do you think?
* OminousLatinChanting: Every album. Good examples include "Martyr of the Free World", "Fools of Damnation" and "Serenade of Self-Destruction."
* OneWomanWail: Occurs frequently in their songs including "Quietus" and "Twin Flames".
* OneOfUs: Simone, Mark and Coen are self-declared fans of Creator/MontyPython. They, along with AriŽn, are also fans of the LordOfTheRings trilogy.
* PowerBallad: "Tides of Time", "Delirium", "Solitary Ground", "Canvas of Life".
* RapunzelHair: Simone is known for her long, flowing red hair. This also extends to the other members of Epica (save for Coen, who shaved his hair off for charity in 2013).
* ReligionRantSong: Not afraid of this trope at all. Examples include "Cry For The Moon", "Requiem for the Indifferent" (song) and "The Embrace That Smothers" saga shared with AfterForever. ''The Divine Conspiracy'' is very much a Religion Rant ''Album''.
* RepetitiveName: Simone Johanna Maria Simons.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: "Requiem For The Indifferent" is very grounded in many of the issues of the early 2010s, including one song about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and another about the [[UsefulNotes/{{Libya}} Libyan Civil War]].
* SingingVoiceDissonance: Simone drops her relatively strong Dutch accent when she sings. Mark has a surprisingly soft speaking voice for someone who does death growling on a regular basis.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Pretty cynical, though ''Design Your Universe'' is somewhat more idealist than the other albums.
* SopranoAndGravel: Simone is the soprano, Mark is the gravel.
* SpecsOfAwesome: Coen Janssen.
* SpokenWordInMusic: ''This mass terrorism is the new evil in our world today'', spoken by TonyBlair in "Facade Of Reality"
** ''Design Your Universe'': Cameos by BarackObama and UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush in "The Price Of Freedom" and "Semblance Of Liberty" respectively.
** ''Requiem For The Indifferent'': Excerpts from a speech given by UsefulNotes/MuammarGaddafi features in "Deter The Tyrant"
** General news reports can be heard in "Living A Lie" and "Serenade of Self-Destruction"
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: Can be found as early as ''The Phantom Agony'' where Simone speaks a monologue in "Seif al-Din".
* SweetTooth: Simone has a self-confessed one.
* TakeThat: "Run for a Fall", it was a harsh critique of [[Music/AfterForever After Forever's]] change in sound.
** "Requiem for the Indifferent" takes aim at many a person/situation.
* ThreeMinutesOfWrithing:The video for "Storm the Sorrow". [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that although Simone is wearing a white form-fitting body suit throughout most of the video, the writhing is due to the tar-like tentacles trying to consume her at every opportunity.
* TitleRequiem: The album and title track ''Requiem for the Indifferent''
* TruckDriversGearChange: Played with:
** Straight: "Solitary Ground", "Unleashed", "Our Destiny", "Storm the Sorrow", "Twin Flames", "Avalanche", "Victims of Contingency" and "The Essence of Silence".
** Subversions: "Beyond Belief", "The Last Crusade" and "Chasing the Dragon"
** Inverted with "Unchain Utopia" where the LyricalColdOpen and intro are noticeably higher than the rest of the song.
** An interesting case occurs on "Monopoly on Truth" - The second chorus (where Simone sings by herself) is modulated lower than both the first and final choruses.
* UncommonTime: A lot of their songs like to randomly throw in bars of alternating time signatures (e.g. "Menace of Vanity" alternates between 4/4 and 6/4 while "Internal Warfare" alternates between 4/4 and 7/8).
* VocalEvolution: The operatic vocals are less prominent with each album. Simone also did away with higher pitches and started using a more deeper and intimate voice with "The Divine Conspiracy".[[LampshadedTrope Lampshaded]] in this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=WZyb_xECc5I&feature=endscreen video]].
* VocalTagTeam: Simone and the male vocalist(s). Most often Mark (and occasionally AriŽn as of the newer albums), but can also be one of the guest voices.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Mark and Isaac, much to the fangirls' glee.
* WitchHunt: The video for "The Phantom Agony" suggests that Simone is accused of of being a witch, as evidenced by the instruments of torture she is placed under, and her being thrown underwater. She is eventually bought to be executed by her bandmates but apparently escapes, leaving them dead.
* WorkingWithTheEx: Simone was Mark's girlfriend when she joined the band, but both of them remain despite breaking up some time ago.
* WomanInBlack: "Storm The Sorrow"
* WomanInWhite: "The Phantom Agony", "Storm the Sorrow"

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