"No Escape" has been the debut of the band around guitar-wizard Olaf Lenk and vocalist extraordinaire Oliver Hardmann and was very well received, especially in the land of the rising sun, from where I also got my copy of the album.
Who knows the more recent albums of AT VANCE knows what to expect, highly melodic Power Metal with strong classical influences and excellent vocals and, in my opinion, the best song-material of the band until today. It starts with fast crackers like "Flying High", continues over the mid-paced regions of "No Escape" or "Die In Your Arms" to the balladesque sounds of "Lost In Your Love".
But what makes this album so special are the cover-versions. ABBA's "Money, Money, Money" sounds great, a bit closer to the original, just Metal-ized, in combination with Oliver Hardmann's great voice, while Vivaldi's "Summer" from the "Four Seasons" unfolds great atmosphere in the heavy sound, very well arranged one, with allowing Olaf Lenk to show his skills.
And if that was not enough already, we still have the two Japan-bonus-tracks, which had been enough to make me pay the high price for the Japan-version. SURVIVOR's "Eye Of The Tiger" is an all-time classic from "Rocky" and AT VANCE managed to tune up the song with crunchier guitars, bombastic choirs and the great rough voice of Oliver Hardmann. And even though Wes won't like to read this, the TEARS FOR FEARS-cover of "Shout" is just plainly brilliant! I had waited for years to hear a Metal-version of this song and here it is. With heavy guitars and the strong voice you hear that this track in its essence always had been a Metal-song, brilliant!
Add to that a killer-production, which gives the album just the suiting sound. All fans of this style should try out this CD, it's a lot better than many of the highly acclaimed acts of Power/True Metal!