'The Epic Struggle' is the freshman album from The Apprentice. The Apprentice began as a solo project of Eric DeLong while taking a break from another musical endeavor. In December 2001, Eric took a last minute retreat to the beaches of North Carolina on Christmas night. It was at that time that Eric decided to go for his dreams. Eric had compiled a multitude of lyrics by this point that served a the perfect fuel for the passionate guitar parts that seemed to flow from his heart. The lyrics often tackle the issues of humanism, faith, love lost, and love regained; this music serves a higher purpose than sheer entertainment. The music is created in hopes that he can point people in the right direction by sharing his life experiences that include moments of failure, illumination, desperation, and most of all his underlying hope to be reconciled through grace. The Apprentice draws influences from such acts as Pedro the Lion, Ryan Adams, Coldplay, and The New Amsterdams.