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Epica The Phantom Agony album cover
3.92 | 89 ratings | 5 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Adyta (The Neverending Embrace) (1:26)
2. Sensorium (4:48)
3. Cry for the Moon (The Embrace That Smothers, Part IV) (6:44)
4. Feint (4:19)
5. Illusive Consensus (5:00)
6. Fašade of Reality (The Embrace That Smothers, Part V) (8:12)
7. Run for a Fall (6:32)
8. Seif al Din (The Embrace That Smothers, Part VI) (5:47)
9. The Phantom Agony (9:01)

Total time 51:49

Bonus tracks on 2013 expanded remaster:
10. Veniality (4:37)
11. The Phantom Agony (Single Version) (4:33)
12. Triumph of Defeat (3:54)

Bonus CD from 2013 expanded remaster:
1. Adyta (Orchestral Version) (1:28)
2. Sensorium (Orchestral Version) (4:53)
3. Cry For The Moon (Orchestral Version) (6:40)
4. Feint (Orchestral Version) (4:18)
5. Illusive Consensus (Orchestral Version) (5:02)
6. Basic Instinct (4:07) (*)
7. Run For A Fall (Orchestral Version) (6:26)
8. The Phantom Agony (Orchestral Version) (9:00)
9. Veniality (Orchestral Version) (4:35)
10. Feint (Piano Version) (4:53)
11. Cry For The Moon (Single Version) (3:30)
12. Run For A Fall (Single Version) (4:29)

Total time 59:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Simone Simons / vocals (mezzo-soprano)
- Mark Jansen / guitar, vocals ("grunts & screams"), orchestral arrangements
- Ad Sluijter / guitar
- Coen Janssen / synths, orchestral & choir arrangements
- Yves Huts / bass
- Jeroen Simons / drums, percussion

- Amanda Somerville / soprano vocals & vocal coaching
- Annie Goeble / soprano vocals
- Melvin Edmonsen / bass vocals
- Previn Moore / tenor vocals
- Bridget Fogle / alto vocals
- Cinzia Rizzo / alto vocals
- Olaf Reitmeier / acoustic guitar (4,7)
- Joris van de Kerkhof / keyboards (9)
- Annette Berryman / flute (7)
- Robert Hunecke-Rizzo / orchestral arrangements
- Thomas Gl÷ckner / violin
- Andreas Pfaff / violin
- Tobias Rempe / violin
- Marie-Theres Stumpf / viola
- David Schlage / viola
- J÷rn Kellermann / cello
- Cordula Rhode / cello
- AndrŔ Neygenfind / contrabass

Choir samples taken from "Symphony Of Voices"

Releases information

Artwork: Carsten Drescher with Angelique van Woerkom (photo)

CD Transmission Records ‎- TM-036 (2003, Netherlands)
2xCD Transmission Records ‎- TMD-071 (2013, Netherlands) 24-bit remastered by Peter Van 't Riet with 3 bonus tracks plus CD including alt versions & a previously unreleased orchestral track (*)

2xLP Transmission Records ‎- TMV-071 (2013, Netherlands) With 12 bonus tracks (as above)

Thanks to MikeEnRegalia for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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EPICA The Phantom Agony ratings distribution

(89 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

EPICA The Phantom Agony reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars 24 carat symphonic prog metal! One of the best debut albums I have ever seen in a long time. When I first heard about the band I was not very enthusiastic about it. Back in 2002 it was common place to find prog metal bands with female vocalists. Besides, I was never a big fan of After Forever, Mark Jansen's previous band. That band was good, but not really exceptional. So I was quite surprised when I heard Epica's CD being played in a record store I was just passing by. I was completely taken by that incredible and tasteful music. I bought the album hoping the remaning of it could be as good as what I listened there. Fortunalty my senses were right.

The songs were very well crafted, arranged and performed. The orchestral arrangements (with a real orchestra) and the choir (with real, professional classical singers) were not really a novelty, but man, were they good! They work as a part of the overall sound of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals. the result is stunning! Great symphonic, powerful, melodic and beautiful music that is hard to label. It's simply wonderful! And it gave the world the first taste of the fantastic singer Simone Simmons. She not only has a great, classical trained, voice, but she is also a strong and unique perfomer. She is really Epica's s most outstanding figure, in a group full of outstanding musicians.

All tracks are ecellent, very powerful and inspired. It's difficult to point some highlights here, since there is not fillers or even weaker tracks, but my favorites are Illusive Consensus, Sensorium and the poignant power ballad Feint, among others. The only parts I really don't like are some of the death metal vocals by guitarrist Mark Jensen, but they are few and far between. With a superb production and great booklet, this is one of the most surprising debut albums by any band in the new millenium.

I was not really goind to give it 5 stars, but upon hearing it again after all these years, it would be unfair to rated The Phantom Agony anything less. It is a masterpiece of prog music, IMO. And I recommended it to any prog lover that does not care for labels, but for great symphonic music.

Latest members reviews

5 stars 20 years ago, a new album came out like a bomb and revolutionized the musical world in the classico-opera hard-rock space; EPICA with a mezzo-soprano Simone was hitting the molehill; prog one day, prog always to deflower a new concept, not only prog metal, EPICA. I had to talk about it since it's a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2577059) | Posted by alainPP | Wednesday, July 7, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This gets 4 stars. I think it deserves more than that, but the only thing after that is 5, and to be 5, at least in my rating system, it needs to be an absolute landmark of the progressive rock genre... something like Dark Side of the Moon. I will begin by saying that this album is amazing! I ... (read more)

Report this review (#220432) | Posted by HammerOfPink | Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album, quite frankly, is terribly overrated. Even Epica themselves have said that their second album is better (of course, that was right after they finished their second album, so maybe they had bias towards it). For those who were fans of After Forever's first 2 albums, the guitarist is t ... (read more)

Report this review (#200742) | Posted by Nuke | Monday, January 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The symphonic gothic metal band Epica’s debut album is a fairly good start of their career. This album is a stepping stone to what they would achieve later with ‘Consign to Oblivion’. I won’t really compare ‘The Phantom Agony’ and ‘Consign’ because t ... (read more)

Report this review (#130290) | Posted by kazansky | Thursday, July 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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