Dutch symphonic metal act Epica have announced some big news! Simone Simons, Epica's lead vocalist for 10 years, is expecting her first child with her longtime partner Oliver Palotai of the band Kamelot.

The 28-year-old metal siren has dedicated her life to music from a very early age. After picking up the flute at the age of 12, Simons begin developing her vocal skills at 14. Simons took pop singing lessons at first, but then Nightwish's second album, 'Oceanborn,' inspired her to delve into a classical style, which served as a precursor to her technique later showcased within the music of Epica.

As a result of Simons' pregnancy, Epica will cease their touring obligations after July 1. Epica revealed the news of Simons' pregnancy through their Facebook page:

We are happy to announce that Simone is pregnant!

Simone and longtime partner Oliver Palotai (Kamelot, Sons of Seasons) are expecting their first child around the end of summer. To ensure the best possible pregnancy and considering Simone's and the babies health, we have decided to stop our live activities from the 1st of July. This means Epica will not play this years Masters of Rock festival in the Czech Republic.

However this does not mean Epica won't do anything!
Our Retrospect live-DVD will be released upcoming fall. Furthermore, during the second half of 2013 Epica will start working on a brand new record which will be released in 2014.

We are looking forward to see you all at the remaining shows this year and will be back next year with a new CD, stronger than ever!

Congratulations to Simone Simons and Oliver Palotai on their first child! Epica are currently scheduled to perform a handful of shows in Europe, Indonesia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates within the next few months. Keep your eyes out for Epica's upcoming 'Retrospect' DVD and brace yourself for a new Epica record in 2014.