A band that has enjoyed as much worldwide success and acclaim as EPICA should have every right to rest on their laurels and stick to the proverbial "winning formula". And yet, as their fans across the globe are well aware, EPICA has never been a band to play it safe, and they've never made the same album twice. EPICA has earned its reputation as one of the foremost symphonic metal bands by repeatedly shattering expectations and pushing the very limits in the genre. This spring, EPICA will proudly unveil the next stage of their ongoing musical evolution: The Quantum Enigma, their sixth full-length studio album. This is EPICA like you've never heard them before: The Quantum Enigma sounds larger than life, expertly mixing devilishly sharpguitars, angelic choruses, evocative synthesizers, mind-boggling drum work, and of course, another soaring vocal performance from Simone Simons. The Quantum Enigma is simultaneously the band's most intense and emotional release to date. Mark Jansen credits increased collaboration between members of the band -- which also includes lead guitarist Isaac Delahaye, keyboardist Coen Janssen, drummer Ariën van Weesenbeek, bassist Rob van der Loo, as a key factor in the creation of what is surely EPICA's edgiest, most forward-thinking album yet: "More than any of our previous albums, The Quantum Enigma is the result of a group effort. Even though the basic components of each song were still written by individual band members, we sat together to start working on the material as a solid team early in the process, playing the songs in a live setting and dive into the microscopic (quantum) world of the little details, comparing dozens of amps, snares, and mics in order to find the sound that would be able to beat all of our previous albums. A time consuming experience, but the only way to reach our ultimate goal: creating the album that could lift EPICA up to the next level."The band's quest to annihilate artistic stagnation continued with their choice of behind-the-scenes collaborators: after five albums of successfully working with producer Sascha Paeth (who still played an important role during the pre-production sessions), EPICA opted to record The Quantum Enigma with the up-and-coming Joost van den Broek at Sandlane Recording Facilities in the Netherlands. "After many years, there comes a point at which you want to try out some new methods in order to keep yourself fully motivated, and to refresh your music and mind. This was such a turning point for us. It was time to leave our comfort zone in order to explore new horizons. In producer Joost van den Broek, we found the guy who was able to get the best out of us with his patience, guru-like skills and loads of energy."The Quantum Enigma also marks the first collaboration between EPICA and mixer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Hatesphere, Amaranthe).
"Jacob really impressed us by giving the band a massive sound without compromising on all the symphonic and orchestral elements which color our music. Every detail finds its way into a perfectly balanced mix, and makes EPICA sound raw and overwhelming.”Given the boundary-defying nature of the music on The Quantum Enigma, it's appropriate that the album's lyrics were inspired by the most mind-bending scientific proof in all of quantum physics: one that posits that our physical environment is directly influenced by our consciousness. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. Ultimately, everything in the universe is energy and energy is influenced by the mind. Therefore the mind creates and controls reality. These heady themes reflect in the lyrics of both Mark Jansen and Simone Simons, the latter of whom calls The Quantum Enigma“an exploration of the subconscious mind”.Those lyrical concepts, combined with the undeniable power of the music, ensure that The Quantum Enigma is not just an album -- it's an experience. The Quantum Enigma will be released on the 2nd of May 2014 in Europe and on the 13th of May in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. EPICA plans to support its release with plenty of touring, once again bringing their grandiose, unforgettable live show to fans across the globe.

Lacuna Coil

Moving and powerful, mysterious and serpentine, the music of Lacuna Coil has always been somewhat of a mystery to nail down. Too brawny to be gothic, yet too melodic to be purely metal, the band has carved a path all its own with their unique sound and undeniable songwriting prowess. With the appropriately-titled Dark Adrenaline, the Italian sextet's sixth full length release, they once again deli
ver a dozen songs that are tinged with sadness, honed in anger and wielded with a deft touch and a brawny punch.

Never a band to repeat itself, the songs on Dark Adrenaline are undeniably Lacuna Coil, but feel more complete than the band's 2009 release Shallow Life. Co-vocalist Andrea Ferro explains, "On the last album we were looking at experimenting with our music. With Dark Adrenaline we've been able to sum up almost all of the different aspects of Lacuna Coil". There is a fluidity and maturity to the new songs that show a band that is willing to branch out while still staying true to their sonic roots. "We are aware of what we and our roots are, but at the same time we look into the future with our own vision. Dark Adrenaline is the victorious sum of 15 years of experiences", offers up front-woman Cristina Scabbia.

And a triumphant victory it is. The first single, album opener "Trip the Darkness" bursts with heft and passion. The song, about facing your darkest hours without fear, introduces a theme that runs throughout the album. Scabbia explains, "We realized that the lyrics were about sadness, rage and anger, but also power, self esteem and excitement. " The band channeled everyday life - all of the good and the bad, the bold and mundane - to create the music on Dark Adrenaline. "Our real life events have been the biggest influence for us," explains Ferro, "There isn't any one concept, just a lot of dark vibes and flowing energy." Other standout tracks include the blistering "Against You", a song about uprising, which is particularly timely given the world's current political climate, and "Intoxicated", with a degree of drama that is almost cinematic in nature.

The band once again teamed up with producer Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Duran Duran, Avril Lavigne) to record Dark Adrenaline. "We had a great time in the studio with Don. We felt that since we knew each other [having worked together on 2009's Shallow Life], we'd be able to maximize our working relationship", offers Ferro. That comfort comes across in the cohesion of the album. Initial tracking took place at bassist Marco Coti Zelati's studio with the two singers. Guitarists Cristiano Migliore and Marco Biazzi and drummer Cristiano Mozzati then came and fleshed out the songs, breathing life into them. Even the band's cover of R.E.M.s "Losing My Religion" feels truly at home in the Lacuna Coil songbook. Scabbia explains this cohesion wasn't the case when the album initially began taking shape, "We felt the songs were turning into something harder and more obscure than on previous albums, but through team work, common goals and open minds, we came up with Dark Adrenaline."

The band will once again embark on a world tour in support of the new album. Having already played on Ozzfest, Gigantour and all of the major European festivals, Lacuna Coil are a well-oiled machine on the road that deliver the goods nightly. Fans are in store for a real treat when the catch the band this time around, as 15 years into their career the band shows no signs of slowing down and they are primed and pumped to take their Dark Adrenaline to crowds the world over.

Something is evolving in LACUNA COIL. We want to thank all of you coilers around the world for being such awesome supporters. We are hoping to please your ears and fill your hearts again.

Hailing from the land of thousand lakes, boasting with a thousand melodies and spawning a thousand emotions comes “Shadows Of The Dying Sun”, sixth studio album of Finland's melodic metal magicians INSOMNIUM. An album born of the melancholy, sorrow and dreariness of long winter nights, as relentless and overwhelming as an autumn storm and yet as refreshing as the first sunbeams of a spring morning and as peaceful as a mild summer's eve.

Two and a half years after their acclaimed masterpiece “One For Sorrow” the Finns return with an album that brings them one step closer to the Olympus of melodic metal where their established countrymen Amorphis shouldn't ensconce themselves too comfortably. “Shadows Of The Dying Sun”, which once again immerses deeply into stirring abysses of melancholy, is even more varied, intense and dynamic than its predecessor – with each new album INSOMNIUM seem to bring their songwriting craftsmanship closer to perfection. “We haven't changed our style dramatically”, vocalist and bassist Niilo Sevänen explains the general approach of the new album. “Fans can rest assured that it is still classic INSOMNIUM. Of course there's also some new flavors here and there, and maybe it's even more diverse compared with the last album. The easy stuff is easier than before, the heavy stuff is heavier. The contrasts between the songs are probably bigger than on any of our previous albums.”

Exhibit A for the impressive sonic range INSOMNIUM cover on “Shadows Of The Dying Sun” is placed right in the centre of the album: While the beastly “Black Heart Rebellion” features brutal blast beats and even ventures into black metal realms, the ensuing gut-wrenching semi-ballad “Lose To Night” may be the softest song INSOMNIUM have ever written. An emotional roller coaster the listener cannot flinch from. Of course it takes some reruns to fully grasp all the subtleties and details of the majestic compositions gathered on this tantalizing opus, however, those are the kind of records that outlive the rush of fresh excitement and finally become something bigger than just another new album, aren't they? “That's what we aim for, to have an interesting, diverse, long-lasting album that you don't get fed up with”, Sevänen describes the musical self-conception of a band that has evolved impressively since their foundation in the Finnish university city of Joensuu back in 1997.

Inspired by bands such as their legendary countrymen Amorphis and Sentenced, early Paradise Lost or Swedish genre pioneers à la In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates or Opeth, 17-year-old Sevänen buried his grunge band and asked his metalhead schoolmates Ville Friman and Markus Hirvonen if they wanted to form a metal band with him. From that point, the only direction for INSOMNIUM was up: album by album – from their 2002 debut “In the Halls Of Awaiting” via “Since The Day It All Came Down” (2004), “Above The Weeping World” (2006) and “Across The Dark” (2009) through to their Century Media debut “One for Sorrow” (2011) – also introducing Markus Vanhala as the new fourth member. And tour by tour the passionate musicians edged their way to the very top of the scene and have by now become the spearhead of melodic death metal made in Finland.

Even the departure of longtime guitarist Ville Vänni shortly before their tour supporting “One For Sorrow” at the end of 2011 couldn't knock INSOMNIUM off course. With new guitarist Markus Vanhala, who has contributed considerably to “Shadows Of The Dying Sun”, they found an equal substitute for Vänni who left the band amicably for personal issues.

Maybe an album title like “Shadows Of The Dying Sun” might sound cliché for a melodic metal band from Finland at first. However, once you are lost in the fascinating sonic realms that INSOMNIUM conquer here, “Shadows Of The Dying Sun” suddenly becomes the only title possible. Branding the band as cliché Finns would be quite superficial anyway, especially as melodic monsters like “While We Sleep” or the album's first single “Ephemeral” exude an immensely positive aura. “Somehow our music has always something sad, dark and dreary, and our lyrics just fit the music. It's the kind of music we love and want to make, the kind of music that makes us feel good. It doesn't mean that we are depressed or sad in our lives”, Sevänen muses. “And we do have empowering, hopeful and uplifting songs as well, even though at first sight some song titles may appear quite sad and melancholic. But there is an optimistic vibe hidden somewhere in our lyrics, some hope that not all is lost.”

An optimistic vibe becomes INSOMNIUM anyhow, seeing that they are about to conquer new frontiers with their manifold sixth studio album whose cover was once again designed by Ghost Brigade guitarist Wille Naukkarinen who had already done such a great job on “Across The Dark” and “One For Sorrow”.

Fearlessly and wakefully, INSOMNIUM now dispel the shadows of a dying sun – and head into a new tomorrow: The dawn of musical majesty.

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