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Design Your Universe

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Title: Design Your Universe  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Epica (band), Kingdom of Heaven, Tony Kakko, Ariën van Weesenbeek, Consign to Oblivion, Simone Simons, Mark Jansen, List of rock instrumentals, List of songs with Latin lyrics, Sascha Paeth
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Design Your Universe

Design Your Universe
Released October 16, 2009
Recorded Gate Studio, Wolfsburg, Germany,
The Huts Studio Antwerp, Belgium,
The Iceman Studio, Ypres, Belgium,
March-May 2009
Genre Symphonic metal, progressive metal, gothic metal
Length 74:50
Label Nuclear Blast
Producer Sascha Paeth & Epica
Epica chronology

The Classical Conspiracy
Design Your Universe
Requiem for the Indifferent
Singles from Design Your Universe
  1. "Unleashed"
    Released: September 25, 2009
  2. "Martyr of the Free Word"
    Released: October 30, 2009

Design Your Universe is the fourth full-length studio album by Dutch symphonic metal band Epica, released on October 16, 2009. It was the first album to feature officially new band members Isaac Delahaye on guitar and Ariën van Weesenbeek on drums.


Pre-release and production

The band entered Gate Studio in Wolfsburg, Germany on March 2, 2009 to start recording the album with usual collaborators Sascha Paeth, Amanda Somerville and Michael 'Miro' Rodenberg.[1][2]

The band's previous album, The Divine Conspiracy, was dealing with the idea that God created many religions and that it was to man to understand that they are all the same, and this album will be dealing with the power of thoughts and imaginations, as Mark Jansen stated:

The album title, Design Your Universe, deals with new breakthroughs in quantum physics. It proves that we are all connected to each other on subatomic level. Also, it shows that we can create or at least influence matter with our thoughts… a very interesting fact. Because it changes everything for us, our whole worldview collapses once you accept these facts and integrate them in your lives. So this had to become the new album title.[2]

Three songs of this album continue the A New Age Dawns saga, which started on the album Consign to Oblivion of 2005.

Sonata Arctica frontman Tony Kakko announced in an interview with La Grosse that he would duet with Simone Simons on the album.[3] His vocals for the song "White Waters" were recorded in Finland and later mixed with the other sound tracks.

The song "Resign to Surrender" was published on the MySpace website of the record label Nuclear Blast on September 23, 2009.[4] and the video for "Unleashed" premiered on the band's MySpace site on September 25, 2009.[5]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating 4/5 stars[6]
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[7]
Lords of Metal (90/100)[8]
Metal Storm 8.5/10 stars[9]
Papel Mag (favorable)[10]

Reception has been positive from both critics and fans. The album debuted at No. 8 in the Dutch charts, being the highest position an Epica album has reached. The album remained on the chart for five weeks, and re-entered in No. 94 for one week due to the band's performance at the 2010 Pinkpop Festival.[11]

Design Your Universe World Tour

After the release of Design Your Universe, Epica set out on a World Tour to support the album. They did a CD release party at The Paradiso in Amsterdam. They performed at some summer festival concerts in the summer of 2010 and returned to the United States and Canada in late fall 2010. Several dates in Europe, specially in the Netherlands, were sold out. The band also did a South American Tour, performing in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Uruguay. They played also in many important rock and metal festivals in Europe, such as Wacken Open Air, Pinkpop and Masters of Rock, in front of very large audiences.[12][13]

Track listing

No. TitleLyricsMusicNotes Length
1. "Samadhi (Prelude)"  Mark JansenJansen  1:27
2. "Resign to Surrender (A New Age Dawns, Part IV)"  JansenJansen, Jack Driessen, Simone Simons, Isaac DelahayeFeatured on JamLegend video game. 6:19
3. "Unleashed"  SimonsCoen Janssen, Jansen, Delahaye  5:48
4. "Martyr of the Free Word"  JansenAriën van Weesenbeek, Janssen, Jansen, Delahaye  5:03
5. "Our Destiny"  SimonsJansen, van Weesenbeek, Yves Huts, Simons, Delahaye  6:00
6. "Kingdom of Heaven (A New Age Dawns, Part V)"  JansenJansen, Delahaye  13:35
7. "The Price of Freedom (Interlude)"  InstrumentalJanssen  1:14
8. "Burn to a Cinder"  SimonsJanssen, Jansen, Delahaye, Simons  5:41
9. "Tides of Time"  SimonsJanssen  5:34
10. "Deconstruct"  SimonsHuts, Jansen  4:14
11. "Semblance of Liberty"  JansenJansen, Delahaye  5:42
12. "White Waters"  SimonsJansen, Simons, DelahayeFeat. Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica on vocals. 4:44
13. "Design Your Universe (A New Age Dawns, Part VI)"  JansenJansen, Delahaye, Janssen  9:29


Band members
Guest musicians
  • Tony Kakkoclean male vocals (on "White Waters")
  • Amanda Somervillesoprano vocals (on "Unleashed (Duet Version)"), backing vocals, vocals production, engineer, vocal coaching and lyrical editing
  • Epica Choir:
    • Linda van Summeren, Bridget Fogle - sopranos
    • Amanda Somerville, Cloudy Yang - altos
    • Previn Moore - tenor
    • Melvin Edmondsen - bass
    • Simon Oberender, Olaf Reitmeier, Coen Janssen - additional baritone and bass vocals
  • Sascha Paeth - producer, engineer, mixing, backing vocals
  • Simon Oberender, Olaf reitmeier - engineers, editing
  • Miro Rodenberg - mastering, orchestral arrangements


Country Peak
Austrian Albums Chart[14] 70
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[15] 66
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallony)[16] 40
Dutch Albums Chart[11] 8
Dutch Top 30 Alternative Chart[17] 1
French Albums Chart[18] 31
German Albums Chart[19] 37
Swiss Albums Chart[20] 27
US Heatseekers[21] 12


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