Broken Road Records [Release date 22.07.16]
The Darker My Horizon (TDMH) have been busy since releasing their enjoyable debut album ‘Acquiesce’ last year, including supporting Nazareth (twice), Geoff Tate’s Operation:Mindcrime and US AOR legend Terry Brock (Strangeways). The line-up is Max Notaro (bass/vocals), Paul Stead (lead vocals/guitar), Mark Stephenson (guitars/vocals)and Gavin Tester (drums/vocals).
The album starts off with a double whammy of two riff heavy monsters, namely ‘No Superhero Pt.1′ and ‘Diablo’. If you like Pretty Maids and Gotthard you will love these two. TDMH have a good knack of mixing heavy songs like these with more mainstream melodic rockers like the excellent ‘Outside The Lines’.
TDMH take everyday stories to craft memorable melodies and lyrics like on ‘Top Of The Class’. A song like this has crossover potential to a wide audience and is melodic rock, without all the cliches that some bands use.
Paul Stead and co. like a cheeky lyric, none more so than on ‘Functional Dysfunctional’, a song that also allows Mark Stephenson to let fly on a widdly solo – nice. Interesting start to ‘Change’ with a little techno before those distinctive guitar riffs kick in.
There is a ballad, ‘Feels Like Home’, which like many a good ballad is based on a failed tale of love. Their best to date building nicely to a big chorus and it has piano, harmony vocals, guitar solo midway through and an emotive lead vocal – what’s not to like?
A couple of bonus songs with a radio edit of ‘No Superhero Pt.1′ and an acoustic version of ‘Closure’ from the ‘Acquiesce’ album.
An album to crank up loud, open up your windows and enjoy with friends, or at the very least convert one of your neighbours to decent modern melodic hard rock. TDMH pass the second album syndrome with ease, a marvelous effort. ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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