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Epica with Alestorm, Insomnium, System Divide, and Destiny Potato
featuring performer Foroogh Mahafsoun
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. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi