Epica Albums Ranked

Epica is a Dutch symphonic metal band, founded by guitarist and vocalist Mark Jansen after his departure from After Forever. Formed as a symphonic metal band with gothic tendencies, later Epica has incorporated into their sound strong death metal influences. Starting from the third album, even progressive metal attitudes have become evident. In addition, the band often uses thrash metal and groove metal riffs, black metal passages (mostly in the drum technique), power metal moments, and references to Arabic music. Some songs also have electronic shades, djent transitions, and folk metal melodies derived from middle eastern, Chinese, and Celtic traditions. Epica is also known for the attention to the vocal lines that, in contrast to the heavy context, weave very catchy, easy to hold, sophisticated, and emotional melodies. The use of mezzo-soprano vocals and growled vocals, performed by Simone Simons and Mark Jansen respectively, is fundamental to the band’s sound. They primarily write their own lyrics, which often deal with philosophical, psychological, spiritual, moral, scientific, environmental, socio-political, global and topical, and personal themes. Epica is also known for its wide use of orchestra and opera choirs. Here are all of Epica’s albums ranked.

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10. The Score – An Epic Journey (2005)

Epica – The Score 2.0 (An Epic Journey) (2017, CD) - Discogs

A film soundtrack, which combines Epica’s usual, well, epic style of metal with nods to composers such as Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams. Give ’em marks for thinking big; can you imagine After Forever or Tristiana churning this stuff out? On the minus side of the ledger, there’s a lack of Simone Simon, the band’s secret weapon, and, you know, it’s a film soundtrack, and inevitably lacks something without the visuals.”

9. Omega (2021)

Epica - Omega (Nuclear Blast) ⋆ Ave Noctum

“The songwriting has made a huge level up by having some instantly catchy hooks whether from the guitar leads or the vocals. The further elaborations of the symphonic death metal sounds are rewarding, and they even throw in a couple of middle eastern folk touches that would fit right into an Orphaned Land record with “Seal of Solomon” and “Code of Life”. These divergences do not feel forced or cheap; they are well produced, well executed, and make up some of Omega’s top moments.”

8. The Classical Conspiracy (2009)

EPICA | The classical conspiracy - Nuclear Blast

“The music on The Classical Conspiracy is broken up into two sets. The Classical Set and the Epica set. It’s really the Classical set that drew me to buying the album. With the exception of two tracks, opener Palladium and Unholy Trinity, both composed by Epica’s own Yves Huts, the set is made of pieces of classical music, usually with metal arrangements played with them, Epica’s own material being notable exceptions along with the vocal pieces Ombra Mai Fu and Stabat Mater Dolorosa, which are the only parts of the set that Epica vocalist Simone Simons is present.”

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7. The Holographic Principle (2016)

Epica – The Holographic Principle (2016, Blue, Vinyl) - Discogs

“I think ‘Holographic Principle’ is very similar to the previous album ‘The Quantum Enigma’; which isn’t a bad thing because that was a great Epica album. At first, I felt this was just another Epica album, but I think many albums ago, Epica had increased the bombast to as far as they could possibly go, so it’s hard for them to improve. You have the brilliant singing from Simone, death growls by Mark, and the use of a choir and orchestration. I think the choir does sound larger on this album and really shines on songs like “Beyond The Matrix”.”

6. Design Your Universe (2009)

EPICA | Design your universe - Nuclear Blast

“Design Your Universe is Dutch Symphonic Metal band Epica’s finest moment, and by far best overall album. They may have better individual songs here and their on their other releases, but this album is one vital whole without a single misstep or wasted motion. And it is almost scary how powerful gorgeous Vocalist Simone Simon’s voice is becoming. I truly believe she is the most powerful and clear female Vocalist of all time, and this album shows her skills to very devastating effect. Epica’s maturity as a band and level of songwriting skill is reaching a very high level here as well. “

5. Requiem For The Indifferent (2012)

EPICA | Requiem for the indifferent - Nuclear Blast

“With Requiem for the Indifferent, the band has stepped things up even further, as in a time where other symphonic bands are continuing to move in a less metal direction, Epica has done the exact opposite: The symphonic elements always have been and always will be a major part of their music, but with the last album they finally let the guitars take the lead over everything else, and with this new album they have once again defied all expectations and all rules of what a symphonic band can do, without losing any of what made them so special in the first place.”

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4. The Phantom Agony (2003)

The Phantom Agony (Expanded Edition) — Epica | Last.fm

“Epica’s ‘Phantom Agony’ is surprisingly ambitious for a debut album. Epica haven’t really changed their style since; they were onto the winning formula from the start. There’s some orchestration here although not as bombastic as more recent albums, so the keyboards have a larger presence. There’s the choral elements too. Some songs sound quite progressive; there’s only 9 tracks yet it lasts 51 minutes. Simone’s singing is really impressive, maybe even a more consistent operatic approach compared to the albums that followed.”

3. The Divine Conspiracy (2007)

Epica – The Divine Conspiracy (2007, Digipak, CD) - Discogs

“‘The Divine Conspiracy’ sees a change in drummer; Ariën van Weesenbeek. His drumming is fantastic, and alongside a more bombastic sound (I think they have really stepped up the choir and orchestra); they have made an album that lives up to their name. I think the general approach is the same, so Simone does her operatic vocals,”

2. Consign To Oblivion (2005)

Consign to Oblivion (Expanded Edition) - Album by Epica | Spotify

“This album features guest singers Trois Vierges and Roy Khan of Kamelot. The inspiration for this album is the Mayan Civilization as one can guess from looking at the cover art of this album. This album truly impressed me. It has the feel of a great Hollywood score with romance, adventure, and of course tragedy, for the final song depicts the end of the Mayan Civilization.”

1. The Quantum Enigma (2014)

EPICA | The quantum enigma - Nuclear Blast

“‘The Quantum Enigma’, the production is flawless. The music is typical Epica, so you have the brilliant singing from Simone, death growls by Mark, and the use of a choir and orchestration. There’s the usual mix of progressive songs, and songs that are catchy. The album is long at 70 minutes, and I have the version with acoustic bonus tracks too. The songs are brilliant but I need to specifically comment on “Essence Of Silence” which is absolutely mad.”