The guitarist and founding member of one of symphonic metal’s most accomplished bands details the health of the genre and importance of balancing identity with progression.
The last record from symphonic metal titans Epica has finally surfaced and to mark the occasion, the band’s guitarist Mark Jansen sat in for a session on Mosh Talks to dissect the significance of the album five years in the making.
Discussing how the band has evolved in nearly the half a decade that has transpired since their last outing, Jansen said that ultimate the fans would make that determination. What he seems to take pride in is being able to showcase some patience in making Omega. The band didn’t hustle to get something out for the sake of staying active, this album only happened after a thorough reset and thus, a refreshed creative outlook.
Staring down the band’s 20th anniversary, Jansen was ask what the dynamic is with regards to songwriting for a band that has such an established track record. How important is it to keep the integrity of the band’s identity with the fans, while still soothing that creative itch to explore new sounds, new avenues, new means of progress.
Jansen shared that the goal is find balance – after two decades, it is important to understand the identity of the band and stay true to that. However, there is a way to expand on what that identity ultimately is so as not to repeat yourself.
That willingness to experiment is at least part of why the band unveiled the acoustic version of the album’s title track, showcasing the diversity of the band’s songwriting efforts.
Jansen would also address Omega‘s epic overarching themes – exploring the Big Bang and concepts pertaining to our genesis during a time when people are chiefly conscious of their greater role in society. Though he explains that the album’s lyrical content was completed prior to the pandemic, he does find how the words resonate so well during such a tumultuous time.
Remaining optimistic, Jansen feels that while our current climate is in fact as the album is aggressive, this era of uncertainty and chaos will inevitably usher in a new era where people thrive showcase their resilience. Referring to the apocalypse as more of an unveiling rather than a complete collapse, Jensen’s outlook is an auspicious one.
Touching on the band’s tentative 20th anniversary plans, the changing landscape of symphonic metal with the prevalence of bands like Unleash the Archers and Within Temptation, and the evolution of Epica, the discussion with Mark Jansen offers real insight and from one of the genre’s biggest players.
Omega is currently available via Nuclear Blast Records. Order the album – HERE.
Watch the complete interview with Mark Jansen of Epica on Mosh Talks below.