ESCAPE – Fire In The Sky (2021)
British AOR outfit ESCAPE has been away for quite some time but now guitar player Vince O’Reagan (BOB CATLEY, LEGION) starts a new version of the band including a new line-up. New effort “Fire In The Sky” released via AOR Heaven Records is a collection of re-recorded and freshly, much better produced songs from earlier ESCAPE records and some of his solo stuff as well as two songs previously recorded by BOB CATLEY but written by O’Reagan (“Blinded By A Lie“ and “Walk On Water“).
This is classic UK AOR with lots of majestic keyboards however driven by sharp guitars and big vocals. If you dig the likes of TEN, NEWMAN or SERPENTINE, you can’t go wrong here.
‘Heroes In The Night‘ offers a good representation of what this band typifies in 2021. An inspiring song about not giving up and coming back strong (a message that sums up the tenacity of this band), it’s easy to see why this track was selected as the representative first single.
‘Something To Believe In‘ is another great track that switches from midtempo in the verses and picks up the pace with a catchy chorus and an impressive solo from Vince O’Regan. His guitar work is outstanding on this album. Tracks ‘Coming Home‘ and ‘Destiny‘ also feature smoking solos from O’Regan and both songs are some of the best that this album has to offer.
The standout tracks for me are the two previously released Bob Catley songs. Featuring a great melody and harmonies, ‘Blinded By A Lie‘ is an uptempo rocker and produced with the right amount of emphasis on keyboardist Irvin Parratt at just the right times.
The other Catley track ‘Walk On Water‘ is a welcome change of pace and melodically stands out from the other tracks. A big, bombastic sound provided by drummer Bob Pears and Parratt punctuate the song at various times but allow the melody of the verses to breathe. This makes the song impact at all the right times without overwhelming the listener.
Finally, the album concludes with the title track ‘Fire In The Sky‘, an epic 9:28 minute exhibition. It starts as an acoustic mid-tempo ballad. After the 4:30 mark, it then progresses to a heavy, grandiose track and is the most “metallic” number on an otherwise mostly AOR album. Showcasing once again the talents of O’Regan, it’s an outstanding track.
This album sounds fantastic and all of the band members bring their “A” game. If this is the start of a new era for the band, then fans of this genre are sure to love what comes next.
01 – Lost and Found
02 – Heroes in the Night
03 – Temptation
04 – Restless Heart
05 – Something to Believe In
06 – Blinded by a Lie
07 – Coming Home
08 – Borderline
09 – Destiny
10 – Walk on Water
11 – Fire in the Sky
Graham Beales – Vocals
Vince O’Regan (Bob Catley, Legion, Paul Sabu, Eden, Pulse) – Guitars
Bob Pears – Drums
Pete Betts – Bass
Irvin Parratt (Blood Red Saints, Blanc Faces, Kevin Chalfant) – Keyboards