Album review: DARE – Sacred Ground

DARE - Sacred Ground

Legend Records [Release date 15.07.16]

Dare return with their first all new album since 2009′s ‘Arc Of The Dawn’ – although we did have ‘Calm Before The Storm 2′ in 2012 which was a re-recording/revamp of the 1998 album of the same name.  Darren Wharton still helms the band, joined by guitarist Vinnie Burns, drummer Kevin Whitehead, keyboardist Marc Roberts and returning bassist Nigel Clutterbuck.

Unlike some of the band’s fans who didn’t enjoy the band’s more mellower Celtic leanings on the albums from ‘Calm Before The Storm’ onwards, I have always liked this side of the band. This new album continues in that vein, however does hark back to the classic AOR sound of ‘Abandon’ in parts. This is mainly down to the blissful guitar solos of Vinnie Burns – check out ‘Along The Heather’ for proof.

In fact the opening  song ‘Home’ (a classic Dare melody and lyric if ever there was one) is a classy, hook filled melodic AOR tune. Nothing too heavy mind, with Darren Wharton’s voice still sounding a rich and melodic as ever. ‘I’ll Hear You Pray’ builds nicely on a big guitar riff once the wistful vocal intro has finished.

‘Days Of Summer’ will have you singing along in no time and perfect for a rainy British summer’s day to brighten up your mood. Dare have always been the kings of ballads and ‘All Our Brass Was Gold’ is another fine one to add to their musical canon.

It has been a long time coming a new album from Dare and they seem to successfully done enough on this album to please those after the band’s classic 80′s AOR sound and fans who like their mellower, Celtic leanings. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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