EP review: THE DARKER MY HORIZON – Phoenix Volume 1

Facebook [Release date 26.01.18]

The Darker My Horizon duo Paul Stead (lead vocals/guitar) and Mark Stephenson (guitars & backing vocals) used to be in Sacred Heart previously and on this EP they have re-recorded four songs from that band, partly as a stop gap until the band’s new album ‘Seize The Day’ due later this year and also to introduce new members Paul Hamilton (bass guitar) and Steve Hauxwell (drums).

One thing listening to these four re-recorded tunes is that a) they have upped the guitar/heaviness and b) the production is much deeper in sound. ‘Spit’ and ‘Tonight’ are top notch melodic hard rockers, whilst ‘Natali’ keeps the gentler sound of the original and still would sit well on one of these romantic rock songs collections. ‘Lost’ was always a personal favourite from the Sacred Heart days and the updated version keeps the addictive guitar riff and chorus, adding in a bigger guitar crunch.

On the physical version of the EP you get two bonus covers. First up, ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’, famously in the rock world covered by Guns ‘N’ Roses in their prime and the Darker My Horizon tone down the histrionics of the G ‘N’ R version, using more acoustic guitar although an extended guitar solo keeps the rock rolling. Warrant’s ‘Mr Rainmaker’ is a live acoustic session and Jani Laine is one of Paul Stead’s main musical influences and this is a good version and tribute to Jani Laine.

The Darker My Horizon continue to make classy modern hard rock with a new lease of life given to older Sacred Heart. Give them a go, you won’t be disappointed. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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