I've given Epica more than enough tries, and I enjoy them plenty, but something just doesn't click. And Jansen's growls don't help. I just keep thinking "why am I not listening to Nightwish, or Xandria, or Anneke or Delain, or ... " I'm not gaga (as Kramer would say).
My reasons, Simone is the best singer of all of them. She is easily my favorite female vocalists and Im just talking about vocals, not looks . But I mentioned this in the Epica thread, the growls are the best they've ever sounded on this album. I couldn't stand them before, but they were actually enjoyable here.
She's definitely my favorite female singer these days. She's matured so much since Phantom Agony.
I have never been able to get into Xandria or Delain that much. I can listen to them, but they don't click as much for me. I love Anneke, Nightwish, Tarja, Within Temptation, Sirenia, After Forever, etc.