Archive for Isaac Delahaye

Epica launch studio documentary, first episode online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 3rd March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Dutch symphonic metal titans Epica, who are fronted by the stunningly talented Simone Simons, have launched the first episode of their studio documentary online. The documentary gives a behind the scenes look at the recording process for the band’s sixth studio album The Quantum Enigma. It also gives fans a preview of the album ahead of its release. The first episode can be viewed down below.

The band recorded The Quantum Enigma together with upcoming producer Joost van den Broek at the Sandlane Recording Facilities in the Netherlands. The album has been mixed by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Hatesphere).

Whereas the 2013 Retrospect performance reflected on a decade of Epica as one of the leading bands in the symphonic metal scene, the upcoming sixth studio album The Quantum Enigma marks the beginning of a new Epica: modern, heavy and without compromises. Guitar player Isaac Delahaye commented:

The whole process of writing and recording TQE was extremely refreshing for us. Instead of preparing the album in our home studios separately, we rehearsed the songs together in the studio. Just like any other band, you could say, but as Epica is located in 3 different countries this is a little more complicated for us. The direct interaction between us has certainly lifted up the quality of the songs, as no detail was left unspoken. Definitely worth taking some time off from touring! As far as songwriting goes, the main focus was groove and melody.

The Quantum Enigma will be released on 2nd May (Europe), 5th May (UK) and 13th May (USA) through Nuclear Blast.

Epica online:

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MaYaN reveal lyric video for Human Sacrifice

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 5th February 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Hot on the trail of their latest release Antagonise, Dutch symphonic death metallers, MaYaN, whom are fronted by Epica guitarist and songwriter Mark Jansen, have unveiled the lyric video for Human Sacrifice. The video can be viewed below.

MaYaN online:


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Merel Bechtold announced as successor to Isaac Delahaye in MaYaN

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 16th December 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Death metal supergroup MaYaN, which features the likes of Mark Jansen (Epica) and Henning Basse (Sons Of Seasons), have announced Merel Bechtold (Purest Of Pain) as the successor to Isaac Delahaye who left the band earlier this year. Merel will make her debut with the band in January at the Antagonise release shows. Antagonise will be released on 31st January in Europe, 3rd February in UK and 4th February in the US. The full video announcement can be viewed below:

MaYaN online:


Epica w/Stream of Passion @ Corporation, Sheffield

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 20th December 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Epica & Stream of Passion
Corporation, Sheffield
12th December 2012

T’was a cold night as we waited outside Corporation in Sheffield, following our interview with Marcela Bovio of Stream of Passion [Interview can be read here], so by the time we had found ourselves in the venue we were more than excited for what was to come.

I find myself very fortunate to see every band that I do live, however I feel especially fortunate to of seen Stream of Passion not only this year but also last year while they toured with Leaves’ Eyes due to Visions of Atlantis cancelling to prepare for the festival they had a few weeks after. The band opened up with the song Lost which is the opening track to their latest album Darker Days – an energetic starting with mixes of both guitars and the violin bringing that distant Latino feeling until later in the song when they hit the first verses does that feeling come back. I was surprised that Marcela didn’t walk on and perform this song with band (like she does later) with the violin, though the energy was probably needed as not many of the audience members had heard of Stream of Passion, so with that it was probably the best song to start with and get them going.

Moving onto the next song, Passion, which belongs to the first album the band’s set takes a slower pace whilst displaying the vocals of leading lady Marcela Bovio. The performance picked up its pace with the performance of Collide. Later on in their performance, Marcela picks up the violin situated on the stage and plays the emotive introduction to Scarlet Mark while the guitars echo softly in the background. Stream of Passion continued on with songs such as My Leader and their rendition of Street Spirit (originally performed by Radiohead). I praise the vocals of Marcela on this a lot the women can really hold a tune. Over all I was little disappointed with the performance as that they had a very similar setlist to which they did with Leaves’ Eyes. On a more positive note I really enjoyed the song s that were performed and how they really were (the band connected to the music) which like I mentioned rubbed off on the audience.

[4/5 – Danielle Eley]

Having seen Epica on their last UK tour in March 2011, it’s safe to say I was overly excited to see them again which would explain the lack of sleep I had for several days before the show. The crowd were already more than warmed up from Stream of Passion’s performance which I sadly missed most of it as I was interviewing Isaac Delahaye from Epica [The interview can be found at this location]. While this was the second time I would see Epica, it was the first time I had seen them with their new bassist Rob van der Loo [ex-Delain] who did a brilliant job on bass duties throughout the night.

Opening up with the mystifying Monopoly On Truth, the band moved onto Sensorium which garnered a huge reaction from the crowd as it displayed the emotion in Simone’s voice. Symphonic medleys were blasted out aplenty by Coen throughout Epica’s set as the staunch combination of thundering bass and snarling guitars tore Sheffield a new one. Mark and Isaac certainly are a dynamic duo when it comes to guitar playing. The emotive performance of The Obsession Devotion went down well with the crowd as the beautiful mix of Simone’s and Mark’s vocals shined out while Epica’s performance of Cry For The Moon was very soulful. One thing that did catch me off guard was the disco rendition of The Phantom Agony – Which was performed after Ariën’s heavy but acutely played drum solo. It was an entertaining part of the set indeed as most of the band had their own little rave on stage. The encore was comprised of Sancta Terra, Storm The Sorrow (taken from Requiem for the Indifferent) and Consign to Oblivion. All three of which were powerfully performed and were a truly epic(a) end to the show.  Hopefully Epica will be back in the UK next year!

[5/5 – Nico Davidson]

Interview with Isaac Delahaye [Epica]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , on 18th December 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Nico Davidson has a last minute interview with Epica lead guitarist and co-songwriter, Isaac Delahaye at Corporation, Sheffield. The two discuss the next Epica album, Requiem for the Indifferent and other things.

Nico: Hi Isaac, it’s an honour to meet you. How are ya doing?

Isaac: I’m doing great, thank you.

N: Good, good. How’s the tour gone so far then?

I: Well, it’s still starting. We went to Switerzland and then France, did a couple of shows there, so yesterday was really the first one in the UK.

N: Requiem For The Indifferent was released earlier this year, what are the main concepts surrounding the album?

I: You mean lyrically?

N: Yeah.

I: Well, basically, it’s not a concept album but the main topics are concerning like if you look around at what’s happening. It seems like the world is going down, it’s not going that well with the financial crisis, all the oil leaks and tsunamis, other natural disasters and all that kinda stuff, dictators and stuff and all that is very present lately. To us, it seems like the concept, the title; Requiem For The Indifferent and the people who are just like “ah, I don’t care what’s happening around me” and “it doesn’t make a difference if I do this” and that’s being indifferent, basically, so that’s a very big part of people who basically don’t care what’s happening around them and because of that, the people who have the power, which is a very small amount of people, they just get more and more power. Even if, say the financial bubble explodes, and if we wouldn’t care about anything, these same people will take power again and the whole thing will not change eventually. So basically, it’s sort of a wake-up call for people to actually do something about things, if they don’t agree on what’s actually then maybe it’s time to just do something about it. It’s basically the same theme as Design Your Universe [2009], like if you design your own universe you can’t really blame yourself for trying and if your motives are right then eventually you’re gonna live your dream or gonna get where you want to be, if you do it with the right attitude and the right goal.

N: How would you say Requiem For The Indifferent differs from the previous album, Design Your Universe?

I: Well, thing with Design Your Universe, it was seen, to many people, as a sort of masterpiece within the genre, so that obviously puts quite some pressure on our shoulders. Therefore, the first thing we agreed on was to not try do something similar, so it’s obviously still Epica and still has all the same elements, but we wanted to start really fresh and with new ideas and not really compare it to what we did in the past and I think one of the main differences was writing the album, incorporating the vocal lines really early in the whole process and I think eventually in the whole album, the whole music supports more and more of the vocal lines and therefore, they appear to be a little bit more catchy, I think and the overall atmosphere of the album is more dark than ever before. I think that’s also due to the lyrics because we wanted it to match. So yeah, it’s a little darker and there’s a little more grunts and more heavy parts, so the dynamics are a little wider. But apart from that, it’s still the standard Epica stuff – choirs, symphonic orchestras, grunts, normal vocals. So, it’s not that we’re a different band.

N: What would you say is your favourite track from Requiem For The Indifferent?

I: I think the opening track, after Monopoly On Truth, is really cool because it basically has what any opening track from any album has – For an Epica album, it contains all the elements right there, it’s aggressive, it’s pretty intimate sometimes, a lot of orchestration and choirs and a song like Deter The Tyrant is cool because it’s a little different from what Epica has done so far because there’s guitar melodies, which are still kinda new to Epica’s music, so there two are cool. I think it’s always hard to pick one because Epica makes albums, not songs. So, it’s like the whole album is seen as one thing.

N: Epica has had a really busy schedule this year touring Europe, the US, South America, Australia and now, obviously, the UK. So far, for you, what’s been the best show of the year?

I: It’s hard to say. The thing is if you do festivals, like in the summer, it’s good weather, you see your friends from other bands, other bands you’ve toured with in the past and it’s kind of a holidays feeling and you play for a shit load of people at once, so that’s cool but by the end of summer season, “oh, I’m looking forward to these club shows again” but at the end of a tour, it’s the other way round like now, with it being the end of the year, you’re like “yeah, it would be cool to play a big festival again”. So, it’s really hard to answer that question because it all has a certain atmosphere, good or bad. I think that basically, if you go to a show or if I go on a stage, people are enthusiastic, even if it’s ten people or ten thousand people, as cheesy as it sounds but I’m not picky when it comes to having a good time on stage and it’s not always perfect, but I learn to deal with it. Yeah, as long as the people are having a good time and are basically happy – Lately, most of the shows are like that, luckily, so I can’t complain. I’ve had a really good year touring. Apart from that, it’s also about the production. The UK, for instance, like this tour, we’re in a market where we still have to grow – It’s not our main market but we still try to bring as many things as we can like little details for the stage, the lights and we have our own light engineer and stuff. So we always try to do something special and I really like it when you can see it coming alive during the show and you hear afterwards from people who are like “I really liked the lights” or this or that element. So yeah, I can’t complain. I like playing more than being in a studio. They’re all cool in a certain way.

N: Even though Requiem For The Indifferent was released earlier this year, does Epica have any plans for new material?

I: We’ve almost wrote a whole new album ready. We have kind of a crazy schedule but still, like in the meantime, when we’re home, especially me and Mark [Rhythm guitarist]. We write a lot. We sit sit down and start writing more and more ideas, one after the other. For some reason, it matches really well when he composes starting from the orchestration while I compose starting from the guitars, so the match is really good. So far, we have something like ten songs but with really basic structures. I guess after this tour, we have some rest but then we start doing pre-production and then I think we’re gonna start recording somewhere late summer next year, for end of the year release, maybe or early 2014 or something like that if we survive, because you know, the whole world is gonna go down.

N: Like you’ve just stated, you’ve pretty much wrote an entire new album, is there any lyrical themes surrounding the new material at this point?

I: We don’t really have anything lyrically yet because that’s the next step. With the basic structures, we’re gonna start incorporating vocals and all that, so concerning lyrics, we don’t know yet. From what I hear now and from what we have now, it’s gonna be like what I said with Requiem For The Indifferent, a little dark, you know, it has some quite progressive elements. Sometimes, over-the-top elements but I think with the new album, from what I hear now, it will be a little less dark and more catchy and easier to grab. Requiem was an album that if you didn’t listen to it ten times, you didn’t get it. It’s not something you pick up right away, which is what we like but some people just listen once and they go “ah, it’s shit” and they just leave it for what it is. So I think the next album is gonna be a little more straight forward, so we’re probably going back to the beginning for next album. But there’s still so much pre-production to be done, so it’s hard to say. That’s how I see it right now. You know, you’re never gonna do the same album twice and it’s a good counter for what we did with Requiem.

N: If you could replace the soundtrack to any film with your own music, which one would it be and why?

I: Well, I wish I would have made the one for Gladiator. But replace? I wouldn’t replace it, it’s brilliant. I don’t know, I guess if I don’t remember the music then it’s to be replaced. If I don’t like it then I don’t really notice the music.

N: Last question then. What song do you feel defines Epica as a whole?

I: I don’t know. I guess if you put all the opening tracks together, like I said, and the last tracks of every album then that would basically be every song that represent Epica, like all the elements and stuff.

N: Thanks for your time, Isaac and good luck with the show tonight.