JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

December 11, 2010
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Andy Laudano
Photos by Andy Laudano


Just in time for the holidays, hard rock fans in the metro area received a rare treat when the symphonic, power metal band Epica came to town.

Part of what makes this Dutch group so special is the mesmerizing operatic vocals of the stunningly beautiful, mezzo-soprano Simone Simons. Couple that with the death metal grunts and growls of founder / guitarist Mark Janson, and you have a unique, distinct sound few if any groups could rival.

The band took the stage as "Samadhi", the instrumental that opens their latest opus, Design Your Universe, played in the background. The sold-out crowd roared with approval as Epica tore through the opener, "Resign to Surrender." The momentum continued with Unleashed, the bands first single off its recently released disc, then followed that with the sing-a-long, "Martyr of the Free World". Simons left the stage as Jansen, Isaac Delahoye (guitar), Yves Huts (bass), Coen Janssen (keyboards) and Arien Van Weesenbeek (drums) had some fun playing "The Imperial March" from the Star Wars soundtrack. She returned to sing the beautiful ballad, "Tides of Time" with just a keyboard accompaniment.

Fans from as far away as Arkansas, New Mexico, and even a group from Mexico City, traveled to Dallas to capture the sights and sounds of this heavy guitar laden, orchestral wonder of a group. Whenever Simons wasn't tantalizing the audience with her considerable vocal prowess on songs like "Cry for the Moon" or "Consign to Oblivion", Jansen and Delahoye had the considerable crowd swirling their heads with every heavy metal riff they laid down, especially in songs like "The Last Crusade" and "Quietus".

For you metal heads in the know, this rare sighting of the head banging sextet was an early Christmas present. And for those of you who think you know, well, now you do.

Set List:
Resign to Surrender
Chasing The Dragon
Martyr Of The Free Word
Cry For The Moon
Imperial March
Tides Of Time
The Last Crusade
The Obsessive Devotion
Kingdom Of Heaven
Sancta Terra
Consign To Oblivion