Originally calling themselves Sahara Dust, Holland's Epica formed in early 2003 when After Forever guitarist Mark Jansen decided to break away from the group he had helped found in order to start an operatic metal project all his own. After drafting teenaged mezzo-soprano Simone Simons, guitarist Ad Sluijter, keyboardist Coen Jansen, bassist Yves Huts, and drummer Jeroen Simons, Epica entered Wolfsburg, Germany's Gate Studio with a classically trained choir and string section to lay down their ambitious debut, The Phantom Agony. Released by Transmission Records in late 2003, and licensed for American release by The End Records early the next year, the album spawned a number of singles and paved the way for 2005's sophomore LP, Consign to Oblivion. The group's first conceptual album, The Divine Conspiracy, was released in 2007. It was followed by Design Your Universe in 2009 and Requiem for the Indifferent in 2012, the latter of which proved to be the last Epica album to feature Huts on bass guitar. ~ Eduardo RivadaviaPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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