Escape Music’s newest acquisition, Epic, delivers a wonderfully old school album with Like A Phoenix. Shrouded in mystery, with little known about this talented quartet, I was amazed at the power and energy they deliver. Formed in 2011, this is their first album with Escape Music. This talented quartet with Canadian, American and Lebanese roots took me completely by surprise. Like A Phoenix is a great first release from Epic.
Like A Phoenix‘s opening track, “Love Will Find A Way”, is a very 80’s style traditional love song. Tanya Rizkala’s vocals in this track remind me strongly of Lita Ford. She has a strength and maturity of tone not often heard these days. This is my favorite track off the album. I love the classic metal opening guitar and bass riffs. “I Can Take You” opens with Mario Agostine’s clear tempo bringing in Tanya’s matching vocals. If you desire a melodic guitar riff song, you will love this track. He reaches those super high chords similar to Winger and Poison. Tanya’s range can really be heard on this track. Her ability to stretch a note out is amazing. “Sleepless Angel” sounds like a song directly off a Heart album. Soulful and moving, this number shows the range of both Tanya’s voice and Mario’s guitar. The music seems to carry her voice smoothly to reach our hearts. I found it amazing how this group combined the soulfulness so many of us love from bands like Heart, especially Stevie Nick’s harmonic tones with the power of a traditional heavy metal group like White Lion or Winger. “Angels” is just that. An angelic ballad of Tanya’s lovely harmonies enlightened with Mario’s guitar, Mike Ganime’s bass and Souheil Moukaddem’s drums. Mario’s guitar is clear and clean through the whole album. If you love lots of sharp electric refrains, this album is for you. His riffs are incredible throughout but especially on “Save a Little Love”. The opening riffs kicks ass. “My Everything” takes it down a notch in range for Tanya. Her melodic long phrases here draw you in and capture your soul. Mario’s guitar may seem to take a backseat in this track but it actually belies her voice well, creating a wonderful polyphony with the drums and bass as well. Honestly here, she reminded me more of Cher than anyone else. “I Need You” showcases Souheil’s powerful drums. Don’t underestimate this drummer; his drums are straightforward and strong, delivering every time. And the guitar riff here kicks ass! “Nah Nah Nah” is the unusual track on the album. It switches gears and gives us an Extreme-like element, especially in the guitar. I was surprised by this one, as it didn’t seem to fit with what I had heard so far. Souheil gives us a bit more high hat and china than on others. Not once in this album did Marios’ guitar fail to cut like glass. At times Like A Phoenix seems like a love song between guitar and vocals, floating together with the bass and drums wrapped around them. Each song flows seamlessly into the next with the energy nonstop, reaching a crescendo with “Like A Phoenix”.
Epic never lets up in delivering one strong song after another throughout Like A Phoenix. Seeking an old school metal-rock band of the traditional female lead 80’s style? Then Epic is for you. I will look forward to the next installment from this talented quartet with Escape Music.