Dutch symphonic metal giants, Epica, celebrated their 1000 show where everything began over 15 years ago for them, at Tilburg’s infamous 013 poppodium with a sold-out show that also included Lacuna Coil, Myrkur, MaYaN, Oceans of Slumber and Nightmare.
Epica‘s 1000 show was a sold out waiting to happen since the line up was announced, it even felt like a mini-festival before the festival kicks off. The doors of 013 opened at 2 pm and as the hordes of metalheads started to descend into the massive main hall and the beer started to flow around the bars within the venue.
Nightmare was the band in charge of opening the show with an amazing but short performance that included several songs from their latest album Dead Sun among them; Of Sleepless Minds, Dead Sun, Ikarus, Tangled in the Roots, Indifference, Red Marble & Gold, Serpentine and Inner Sanctum.
Nightmare‘s show felt more intimate from the last performance I catch of them a couple years ago at Hellfest in France. It also seems to be that singer Maggy Luyten has found her natural element within the band as the new songs fit her voice and stage presence much better than some of the band’s back catalog.
Following Nightmare‘s powerful opening it was the turn for new combers Oceans of Slumber to hit the stage, to be honest until that night I haven’t heard anything from this band, but they for sure put a hell of a show with an interesting mixture of progressive melodies with some extraordinary vocal work from Cammie Gilbert. Definitely, Oceans of Slumber is one of those bands to keep an eye on and following really close, there is seem to be a great future waiting for them.
Unfortunately, I had to missed Myrkur as her performance was at the same time as we were scheduled for an interview with MaYaN (soon to be published)
Coming up next was a band I wanted to see again since I saw them for the first time at ProgPower USA in 2012. MaYaN, The brainchild of Epica‘s Mark Jansen it’s currently getting ready to release their upcoming 3rd album Dhyana, and currently are on their first ever European tour with Leaves Eyes and Almanac. So this show was their pre-tour warm-up show.
I have to say that I was again impressed with how much versatility and variety this band brings to the stage, from their rawness with songs like Drown The Demon or Burn Your Witches to soft innuendos like Insano or a perfectly balanced mix of both like their new song The Power Process.
The musical talent and diversity of the band comes also from the type of artists that this band has on their roster from Mark Jansen (Epica, ex-After Forever), Laura Macri, Marcela Bovio (Ayreon, ex-Stream of Passion), George Oosthoek (ex-Orphanage), Jack Driessen (ex-After Forever), Frank Schiphorst (ex-Symmetry) and Ariën van Weesenbeek (Epica), everyone one of them delivers a different style which is part of the complexity of MaYaN‘s music.
Lacuna Coil hit the stage right after MaYaN with an amazing show as they performed a one and only show since they busy at the moment with the process of writing an autobiographical book to see the light of day pretty soon. Their show included songs like: I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name), Kill the Light, Our Truth, Blood, Tears, Dust, The Army Inside, End of Time, Nothing Stands in Our Way, Heaven’s a Lie, The House of Shame.
Obviously, the crown jewel of the night was Epica as this show also marked the end of their United Principle tour leg which saw Epica perform in the UK, Scotland, and Ireland. The show at 013 was also the number 1000 on Epica‘s travel log and a return to where all begun back in 2002 when at that time Sahara Dust (pre-Epica era) played for the first time in front of 700 people. This time around the number grow to over 3000 people who crowded almost every inch of the main hall at 013 Poppodium to see their favorite dutchies perform a night of epic metal magic.
Epica played a quite crafted set that combined all their musical eras, we got to heard classic songs like; Sensorium, Design Your Universe, Cry for the Moon, Sancta Terra and Consign to Oblivion, along with more contemporary tracks like; Edge of the Blade, Fight Your Demons, The Holographic Principle – A Profound Understanding of Reality and Beyond the Matrix.
There were, of course, special and unique moments like; Storm the Sorrow which saw Simone singing a duet with Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) or Universal Death Squad which included the violin magic of Marcela Bovio (Ayreon, MaYaN, ex-Stream of Passion). Even though the whole evening was special from the different kind of bands that played that night, but it was a really great show to see Epica cap their 1000 live appearance around the world exactly where all started for them over 15 years ago.
Edge of the Blade
Fight Your Demons
The Essence of Silence
Storm the Sorrow (with Cristina Scabbia)
Design Your Universe
Ascension – Dream State Armageddon
Dancing in a Hurricane
The Holographic Principle – A Profound Understanding of Reality
Cry for the Moon
Once Upon a Nightmare
Universal Love Squad (with Marcela Bovio)
Beyond the Matrix
Consign to Oblivion