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Epitaph-Fire-from-the-Soul-CD-Review-2016

EPITAPH - FIRE FROM THE SOUL
ALBUM Review

MIG Music | Release Date: March 18th 2016




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This was a voyage of discovery for me and it ended up like meeting an old acquaintance and getting on so well you wished they’d been a friend for years. First of all let me confess that I’d never really listened to ‘Epitaph’ at all. I think I’d heard the name over the years but had always assumed that they were a Metal act with a name like that.


After listening to the wonderful hard rock of the Styx-like ‘Nightmare’ that opens and the gentler, breezier seventies-styled rock of ‘The Way it used to be’ I’m a convert!


Epitaph indeed started way back in 1969 as Psychedelic rockers who opened for the likes of Sabbath and a host of other vintage names before evolving into more Hard rock and Metal, but over the years the big break never really hit despite members going on to bigger things, and the band split in the mid-80’s before reforming in 2005.


This album sees them in fine fettle but caught between the quirkier, lighter moments like ‘No One Can Save Me’ which sounds like mid-seventies AOR meets singer-songwriter, almost folk territory and the rockier, but still slick numbers like ‘Fighting in the Street’.    


‘Any Day’ continues in that lighter, uplifting melodic vein; whilst ‘Man without a Face’ adds a bit more heat with a nice 70’s styled rocker with an almost Celtic-style refrain that quite a few of the songs here share, before the title track again takes us down a balladic side-road with quirky backing vocals that don’t sit well with me and have a folky taste.


As counterpoints go, the faster, assured ‘Spark to Start a Fire’ is another high point to almost equal the openers and the gentle ‘Love Child’ is a fine stab of soft AOR.  


‘Sooner or Later’ gets back to that singer-songwriter territory again and is perhaps the most successful of those excursions though still at odds with the best tracks here, it’s almost Smokie territory!


The album ends with one of the oddest moments in 36 seconds of ‘Rondo Alla Turca’ by Mozart before it subsides into ‘One of These Days’ a nice 80’s flavoured AOR rocker. It’s a high to end on.


The variety may confuse some, but at its best this latest from Epitaph delivers the goods even if it veers off at times and those side roads don’t always work.


 

by Leslii Phillips

 

 


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