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Epica - The Phantom Agony (Song by Song)

With: Mark Jansen
Conducted by: Undercraft
Published: 01.04.2004

Band profile:

Album info: The Phantom Agony

01. The Phantom Agony [single version]
02. Veniality
03. Façade Of Reality
04. Veniality [orchestral version]

01. Adyta "The Neverending Embrace" :
This is our intro of the CD, the lyrics are written by Simone. It's a prelude to the Embrace that Smothers part 4, 5 and 6. The main thought behind the Embrace that Smothers is that when mankind sees that there's just one god, all different religions melt together into one. All religious wars come to end end and so on. It's kind of an utopia but let's keep the faith!

02. Sensorium :
This is a philosophical song. Does chance exist, I don't think so. I don't belive in chance. But even without chance we can have our own free will. We are responsible for our acts, although nothing happens at chance.
It also deals about exploring minor parts in science instead of having a total overview. Creativity comes from the overlap between all sorts of knowledge and/or spirituality.

03. Cry for the Moon "The Embrace That Smothers - Part IV" :
This song deals about a priest who raped a child. When I wrote this lyric, this was a hot topic in the news. The basic idea behind the song is that also behind the doors of the church there are a lot of sick minds hidden. The basics of most religions are good but in this society there are a lot of sick people. With the phrase "In the garden of Eden, where the apple gets a youthful face" I try to say that Eva did eat the apple according to the bible story but this priest did also eat the apple by raping a young child. The worst thing is that often the church is afraid to loose their "good name" and so they pey the parents to keep it silent. This has to stop.

04. Feint :
This song deals about the murder on a dutch politician called "Pim Fortuyn". He was murdered because of his opinion. It's a highly poetic lyric.

05. Illusive Consensus :
Again a lyric which has been written by Simone, in short it's how love between two persons can die slowly and turn out into hate.

06. Facade of Reality "The Embrace That Smothers - Part V":
This song is dealing about the 11th of September NY, fundamentalism and religions. Power is the keyword, gaining power and use therefore religions. Especially in the middle east (arabic countries) religion is still very important in people's lifes. When people think it's good to die as martyr then the step is much smaller to offer your life for God. Others misuse this to gain more power.

07. Run for a Fall :
I've written this song after my departure from After Forever, I had to write down my frustrations. Fortunately nowadays the relationship between me and AF is good again J

08. Seif Al Din "The Embrace That Smothers - Part VI" :
This is the last song in the Embrace that Smothers cyclus. It's specified on fundamentalism again. Extremism is all kinds of ways is never good.

09. The Phantom Agony:
The last song on the album is dealing about dreams, sometimes it's hard to say if a memory is a dream or if it happened in real. Some people think we do live in our dreams and lifetime is a big Façade. With Lucid Dreaming you can get controll of your dreams and create a new world within the unknown.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 67 users
16.08.2006 - 04:26
The Alchemist
Really interesting to know what Mark thinks about interesting common issues in the society, and the main idea in the songs.

It's really interesting the idea of "Cry For The Moon", Adyta "The Neverending Embrace", "Sensorium", "Facade of Reality "The Embrace That Smothers - Part V" and "Seif Al Din "The Embrace That Smothers - Part VI"
Church, religions, philosophy, fundamentalism, dreams...

Now I know that Epica is a band that makes not only such a great music, but that has such a great ideas expressed through interesting lyrics

I'm not afraid to die, I'm afraid to be alive without being aware of it
Sensorium - Epica
06.10.2006 - 02:49
Bitch Boy

I love the album, especially the last track. It's really cool the way in which Mark describes the songs. "Cry for the moon" and "Feint" have both very interesting stories.
08.09.2008 - 18:08

This reflects why Epica is one of the bands with the more interesting letters, they write about things very deep, philosophical and in an artistic way...
They're not only good musicians, they lyrics confirm it...:yes:
01.07.2011 - 07:43

Thank God! This will help me A LOT. I was already thinking about opening up a thread asking if anyone knew the exact meaning and reasons for the songs on The Phantom Agony.

I can get a few things by myself, but I needed to be sure, as I am going to make my final English work about Epica, and I didn't want to say bullshit. I wouldn't have known that Feint was about a murder, while in Cry For the Moon the lyrics are kind of clear, even though in a connotative way.

Well, the more I search, the more I see how Epica is great in meaning. (as for the music itself, I've ever known it) It's not only about music, it's also about phylosophic and existential matters, and I LOVE IT!!

-Hope I find other interviews like this about the other albums too.

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