"The Phantom Agony" marked the start of the now decade-long and world-wide career of the Dutch group EPICA. The album was recorded at The Gate Studio in Wolfsburg, Germany, under the leadership of the renowned producer and engineer Sacha Paeth (a.o. Aina, After Forever, Rhapsody, Kamelot) and at its release it was critically acclaimed to be one of the most impressive Dutch Epic Metal debut albums ever. The classically trained mezzo-soprano vocalist Simone Simons is a true revelation, confronting a complete choir & orchestra just as easily as she battles the shrouds clad grunts. But it is the incredible arrangements and production, this band of ex-After Forever guitarist Mark Jansen gives a unique place in Dutch rock history. "Pain and beauty blend into a musical experience that will saturate all the listener's senses", one critic wrote after listening to the overwhelming CD. He could not have put it better.
Ten years after its original release, "The Phantom Agony" is back in store. Remastered from the original digital masters, as a double CD. The expanded edition comes in a deluxe digipack and contains 15 bonus tracks, including 7 previously unreleased versions and one previously unreleased song. The 20 pages thick booklet will provide unique photos and memorabilia, plus liner notes by guitarist Mark Jansen.