After one too many overcrowded festivals *cough*Wacken*cough* Ray and I keep a lookout for small or medium sized festivals to combine with sightseeing holidays, preferably in countries not yet travelled. So when the lineup for Graspop Metal Meeting 2011 was announced, we had our next destination.
While traveling to the Scala, I was contemplating a couple of things; I hope that the sound is good and also that the singers have brought their good voice today.
I do like a female vocalist, soaring vocals over heavy guitars, gets my juices flowing as they say! But it has to be good, especially in this style of music as a poor sound or vocal performance, can turn the most beautiful of song in to the worst thing in the world.
The first audio sample of “Quarterpast”, the debut album from MAYAN, the new band featuring EPICA guitarist/songwriter Mark Jansen alongside Jack Driessen (ex-AFTER FOREVER) and Frank Schiphorst, can be streamed using the audio player below.
“Quarterpast” will be released on May 20 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD is being recorded and mixed by Sascha Paeth (EPICA, KAMELOT).
“Quarterpast” will feature vocal contributions from the following musicians:
* Mark Jansen (EPICA, ex-AFTER FOREVER)
* Ariën van Weesenbeek (EPICA)
* Jack Driessen (ex-AFTER FOREVER)
* Floor Jansen (REVAMP, ex-AFTER FOREVER)
* Simone Simons (EPICA)
* Henning Basse (SONS OF SEASONS)
* Laura Macrì (Italian opera singer)
Due to his “very busy schedule,” bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling (PESTILENCE, OBSCURA) recently left MAYAN and was replaced by Rob van der Loo (ex-SUN CAGED, DELAIN).
In a recent interview with The Great Southern Brainfart, Mark Jansen stated about MAYAN, “It started as just something for fun but soon it grew into something that had to be perfect as well. I thought it was just for fun to make music with old friends but now it’s as serious for me as EPICA is. Of course, EPICA remains my priority band and that’s the band that’s doing the most of the tours but MAYAN will fill in the gaps and maybe we will do some touring with EPICA in the future.”
When asked if the MAYAN material will — conceptually and lyrically — be similar to EPICA, Mark replied, “Lyrically, you will find a lot of comparisons because it’s my style of writing. I didn’t attempt to write about completely different stuff. It could have been lyrics for an EPICA CD as well but music-wise it’s completely different. It contains way more grunts and it’s way more heavy. It is still symphonic because I love that kind of music. It’s like a mixture of SYMPHONY X and OPETH style. That kind of direction.”
* Mark Jansen (EPICA, ex-AFTER FOREVER) – Guitar, Vocals
The new band MaYaN with many Epica members involved will release their debut album: Quarterpast on the 20th of May 2011.
The 7 singers on this album will be:
Mark Jansen: grunts & screams, Arien van Weesenbeek: grunts, Jack Driessen: screams, Floor Jansen (ReVamp, ex-After Forever), Simone Simons (Epica), Henning Basse (Sons of Seasons) and the revelation and one of the biggest Italian Opera talents, named Laura Macrì. See Laura sing here:
MaYaN will upload every day a new movie about the vocal recording sessions.
Coen will not be joining Epica on the 70.000 tons of Metal cruise and the latin-american dates early February.
“As you might know. Linda, my wife, and I are expecting our first child. The due date happens to be around the same time as the cruise. As you might understand, I will stay at home since I don’t want to miss the birth of my first child.”
Joining Epica on keyboards for these show is Oliver Palotai (Kamelot/Sons of Seasons), friend of the band and the right man for the job because of his amazing talent.
Words and pictures by Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus
I acquired a taste for Epica only recently, having finally been swooned by their latest effort DESIGN YOUR UNIVERSE. What really got my attention was seeing their live show earlier this year at New York’s Gramercy theater – their music truly explodes to life when experienced in the flesh. Naturally I was utterly elated that they would be returning and that I would have the opportunity to photograph the show! Read the rest of this entry »
TheRave.com will be streaming EPICA live in concert from The Rave/Eagles Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA. The worldwide broadcast will begin at 8pm CDT (9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific/2a GMT) on Sunday, November 28th. The concert will also be rebroadcast at a later date to be determined. SCAR SYMMETRY, BLACKGUARD and THE AGONIST are also scheduled to be a part of the broadcast.
The stream is free for fans around the world to view from the comfort of their home computers. Visit this location to be a part of this exclusive event.
The all-ages Montreal show for Holland’s symphonic metal band EPICA on November 21st at Club Soda has officially sold-out.
In response to fan demand, EnterTheVault.com has released additional General Admission and V.I.P. tickets (which include early entry and a Meet & Greet) on a first-come, first-served basis. Montreal’s November 21st show will be EPICA’s last appearance in the province of Québec until 2012.
Current tour dates with Scar Symmetry, Blackguard, and The Agonist are:
11/17/10 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
11/19/10 The Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
11/20/10 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
11/21/10 Club Soda – Montreal, QC – CANADA
11/23/10 Music Hall – London, ON – CANADA
11/24/10 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
11/26/10 Blondie’s – Detroit, MI
11/27/10 Headliner’s Music Hall – Louisville, KY
11/28/10 The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
11/30/10 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
12/02/10 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
12/03/10 Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC – CANADA
12/04/10 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
12/05/10 DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA
12/07/10 The Key Club – Hollywood, CA
12/08/10 Ramona Mainstage – Ramona, CA
12/09/10 Clubhouse – Tempe, AZ
12/11/10 Trees – Dallas, TX
12/12/10 Emo’s – Austin, TX
12/14/10 The Club at Firestone – Orlando, FL
12/15/10 Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
12/17/10 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
12/18/10 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
Design Your Universe debuted on the Billboard Heatseekers chart at #12 and the Top Hard Music Albums chart at #47 for first-week sales in excess of 2,000 copies.
View the video for the track “Unleashed” on the Nuclear Blast YouTube channel here.
EPICA To Release 'This Is The Time' Digital Single
“This Is The Time”, the new single from Dutch female-fronted symphonic metallers EPICA, will be released digitally on October 15. A video for the song, which was written for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), was filmed in March was in Hilversum, The Netherlands and can be viewed below.
For more than 45 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
Commented EPICA: “The awareness that we should be more careful with the earth, increases every day. We should also try to live in closer harmony with nature. EPICA is lyric-wise strongly connected to these themes and would like to devote themselves to this cause for a better world!”
Added WWF’s Jörgen van Beem: “WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of our planet’s natural environment, and build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. A planet where people and nature can thrive together, in a stable environment, now, and for generations to come. For more than 40 years, WWF has been at the forefront in protecting the Amazon and are therefore enthusiastic that EPICA decided to raise funds for the Brazilian forest programs of WWF, which ensure conservation and sustainable development throughout the world’s largest rainforest.”
Before a recent gig in the Big Apple, I had a chance to catch up with acclaimed metal band Epica who were about to start the 3rd date on their North American tour. Epica’s bassist Yves Huts and new guitarist Isaac Delahaye were kind enough to speak with me for ~15 minutes as the local opening bands went on.
And so my presence at obscure little European metal festivals continues…This time it was little RockinField—the draw card, seeing Michele Luppi singing live in VISION DIVINE and with the later announcement of AVANTASIA headlining the festival, I couldn’t ask for anything more. It all started out so perfect.
Originally planned for a small down outside of Brescia called Adro—difficult to get to using public transport, but I imagined we’d be rewarded with a smallish crowd as out of the way festivals go.
Later the Avantasia/Edguy forum a query had been posted about the festival moving to Milan, to the Fila Football Stadium, Milan, no less. On one hand I drew a sigh of relief as our journey from Rome would be effortless. On the other hand I felt selfish that I’d have to share the acts with a much bigger crowd and given my altercations with Italian metal fans (see previous Wacken reports) we probably wouldn’t be playing nice.
I missed Symphony X the last time they came around to London, where they opened for Dream Theater in Wembley. I’ve always considered Symphony X the far superior band, as one of my friends rather kindly put it, Dream Theater are “a collection of music teachers trying to fit together their music lessons to make a song”. Not to mention Dream Theater’s live performance which contains about as much charisma as a par-boiled potato. Anyway, Michael Romeo was one of my idols when I first started playing guitar, and their particular brand of neo-classical metal appealed to me at a time when I was into Jason Becker and Yngwie Malmsteen. Tonight promised much, especially when they were touring in support of their latest album, the superlative PARADISE LOST.