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Epic – Starlight

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 22 April 2022, 9:39 AM

EPIC is a labor of love by the band's three core members that have come together for over a decade of Rock' n Roll.  The band is known for their contemporary heavy Melodic Rock genre, their lead singer's powerhouse vocals, their blazing edgy guitar riffs and their hard-hitting drum grooves which define their Rock sound. After years of international experience, songwriting, touring and sharing the stage with some of the biggest international acts, lead vocalist Tanya Rizkala, guitarist Mario Agostine, and drummer Souheil "Sous" Moukaddem were recently joined by renowned soulful bass player Chris Childs. Together, they pour their passion for music into EPIC's latest album "Starlight.” The album contains twelve tracks.

“I Want” opens the album. A sleazy guitar riff takes me back to the 1980’s almost immediately, and Tanya’s vocals are soulful and energetic. This hard driving Rock sound shakes the ground and rattles the dew off the trees. “Carry On” begins with some phaser effects in the guitars before the mid-tempo sound approaches. The music is very accessible and the hooks are strong. “Can’t Get Over You” begins with a softer opening, allowing the vocals to really shine in the opening sequence. As the title suggests, it’s a tale of that aching feeling in your stomach when your lover goes elsewhere and parts ways.

“Crazy” is a striking emotional song that oozes with nostalgia. Here vocalist Tanya Rizkala sounds part Kim Carnes, part Ann Wilson. She gives her all in this poignant song, coupled with a moving crescendo leading to the guitar solo. “Stars” is a darker song that begins with a mid-tempo pace. The layering in the chorus is ten pages thick with guitars and vocals. “Face the Storm” opens with clean guitars and thick bass notes. The vocals are pensive at first, then lash out with pain. The storm must be referring to a rocky relationship. That smoking guitar solo really allows the pain to sink it, and it will take everything you have to ride this out. “Hold On” is a short little number thick with energy and resolve. The bluesy footprint here oozes out of every crevice.

“Invincible” begins with a flurry of bass guitar notes followed by guitar, keys, and drums. A big chorus comes your way, followed by a soulful guitar solo. “Starlight” is the title song of the album. It’s a mid-tempo rocker that begins with heavy drum notes before the melody arrives. This melody is very sweet and catchy, and what a chorus! This is the best song on the album for me. “Mais Lui” brings the album to a close. It’s in French, I assume, because this is a Canadian band. The vocal layering in the chorus allows the melody to come through stronger. It’s a somewhat sad song that focuses on the emotional power of a good Rock ballad.

Although the riffs aren’t necessarily ones that you haven’t heard before, the band performs them with energy and passion. Their vocalist is an absolute beast, and no doubt the best part of the band. Her bandmates are no slouches either. One thing that I know about the overarching genre of Melodic Rock is that it will never die, because it is closest to the Pop genre as can be. Let these twelve songs seep in and lift up your spirits.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. I Want
2. Carry On
3. Can’t Get Over You
4. Groovin’ for You
5. Crazy
6. My Way or the Highway
7. Stars
8. Face the Storm
9. Hold On
10. Invincible
11. Starlight
12. Mais Lui
Tanya Rizkala – Vocals
Mario Agostine – Guitars/Keyboards
Chris Childs – Bass Guitar
Souheil "Sous" Moukaddem – Drums
Record Label: Escape Music


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