Review by Woody
Epic are a new multinational female fronted melodic hard rock containing some very experienced musicians, although most the names are new to me the quality of the musicianship on Like A Phoenix is testament to that experience. I tend to gravitate towards female vocalists and Tanya Rizkala has a phenomenal voice. Her vocals are booming and powerful like you’d associate with most female rock vocalists a touch of Janis Joplin in there but a lot smoother and melodic.
I tend to take no notice of band comparisons in press releases as a lot of the times I don’t hear the comparison but the Headpins get mentioned and I do get that sometimes in Tanya’s vocals and in the music on occasion to. There’s little snippets of their influences dotted all around these songs, but not too similar so it’s hard to make comparisons easily as the band craft their own sound within the niche. Personally if you like female fronted melodic rock with a strong guitar bite and an overabundance of melody you’re going to find plenty here to enjoy.
On the rockier tracks there is a strong old school classic rock flavour but with a strong melodic layer, I keep thinking along the lines of Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow – that highly melodic classic rock blend. The classic rock flavour is less apparent on the ballads and mid-tempo tracks where they start to fall into more of a soft rock territory akin to eighties Heart.
One of the things that really pulls me into the most of the songs is there is some really haunting and touching musical moments that make a really deep impression and these moments whether it’s a vocal melody, Keyboard lick of some technical guitar are where a lot of the songs power and beauty comes from. There’s a lot of diversity in the flow of the songs, but while there is a strong guitar riff presence there is also some wonderful technical guitar licks that a really impressive and hook you into the songs.
Overall a very solid album and good mixture of tempo’s and atmosphere’s to make it enjoyable and memorable from start to finish. Opening cut ‘All I Need’ has a soaring chorus and a classic rock groove driven guitar riff that makes sure they grab you by the throat from the onset. ‘I Can Take You’ is a hauntingly beautiful song with an unforgettable chorus and a killer guitar lick. The emotive ballad ‘Sleepless Angel’ really made me think of Heart and how powerful their melodic ballads are. The infectious ‘Save A Little Love’ is a mid-tempo rocker which hook riddled. Believe it or not ‘Nah Nah Nah’ actually makes me think of Brit rockers Thunder with its strong guitar riff and ‘Nah Nah Nah’ chorus – yes this one was definitely aptly titled! The album closes with a really anthemic track in ‘Like A Phoenix’ which has a positive feel and a Stirling vocal performance from Tanya possibly her best on the entire album.
Like A Phoenix is a very impressive album and extremely easy to enjoy and listen to over and over, it’s driven hard rock that oozes melody at every opportunity. This is an album I’m sure that will win them many new fans!
Track Listing: All I Need / Love Will Find A Way / I Can Take You / Sleepless Angel / Angels / Save A Little Love / My Everything / I Need You / Nah Nah Nah / Like A Phoenix
Album Rating: 9/10
Woody’s Essential Track: Save A Little Love
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