EPICA guitarist/vocalist Mark Jansen has offered an update on the recording sessions for the band's new album. The follow-up to 2016's "The Holographic Principle" was once again produced by Joost Van Den Broek (POWERWOLF, AYREON) in part at Sandlane Recording Facilities in Rijen, Netherlands.
Speaking to SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser and frontman Derrick Green for the weekly "SepulQuarta" Internet series, Jansen said (see video below): "We are basically done working on it. All the album has been recorded, mixed, mastered. The artwork is finished. It's just because of the COVID situation that we release it a bit later than the initial plan was, because the initial plan was, I guess, September, so this month. But due to the whole situation, we postponed it to early next year. And luckily, we could finish all the recording just because the quarantine, like the choir recordings, orchestra recordings, that was really literally finished just before the whole quarantine situation started. And after the shit was over — a bit back to normal — we could go to Poland to shoot some videos and do the photo shoot in Belgium. So everything is ready to be released. It's just waiting for the date now."
Jansen went on to say that he has "never had to wait so many months" before an album release. "We've been working so hard on it, and then you want the people to hear it," he said. "And now that we have to wait months and months and months, it's sometimes hard to keep the focus."
Last October, Jansen told That Drummer Guy that there was a simple explanation for why EPICA had taken this long to begin work on new material. "[The wait for a new album is] longer than usual, but in the meantime, we also released an EP, and a second EP, and also the ['Design Your Universe'] re-release, and also a book — we worked on a book," he explained. "So there's a lot of stuff still that happened in the meantime. But if you just take a look at the albums, then it's longer than it usually has been. So I think the fans are really eager to hear new material. And as eager are we about writing the stuff.
"When I started writing myself, I felt really a big motivation again to write a new album," he continued. "And that's exactly what we needed. We didn't want to start writing an album at the point that we felt like we just had to write an album. We only want to write an album when we really feel hungry to write an album. And that's the case now… It has to be one hundred percent or nothing; there's nothing in between. I wouldn't be happy with an album that has just a few good songs and the rest are fillers. I would feel ashamed about it. There's no one that's gonna be happy about such an album. It has to be as good as we can get it."
Last fall, EPICA celebrated the 10th anniversary of its milestone album "Design Your Universe". To mark this special occasion, EPICA re-released this fan-favorite LP as a "gold edition" through Nuclear Blast. This edition contains the album remixed and remastered by Joost Van Den Broek with updated artwork and a second disc containing newly recorded acoustic versions of "Design Your Universe" songs.
November 2019 saw the release of "The Essence Of Epica", a lavishly designed and fully illustrated, high-quality hardback which tells the story of EPICA in bandmembers' own words. The book is available in two distinct editions: the Classic is a 208-page, hardback with foil detailing, filled with over 200 images; the Signature hardback is signed by the band and comes in a deluxe clamshell box with three exclusive, original art prints created by Stefan Heilemann.