Winkelrant Records [Release date 01.11.19]
The Darker My Horizon are back with their third album and one that sees them produce their best album to date. The core duo of Paul Stead (lead vocals, guitar) and Mark Stephenson (guitars, backing vocals) are joined by a new rhythm section Paul Hamilton (bass) – who was previously in Sacred Heart with Paul & Mark – and William Knox (drums). To be fair the Darker My Horizon seem to have been through more drummers than Spinal Tap, although luckily none have exploded!
‘Sleaze’ and the title track see the album start off with hard rocking riffs and memorable choruses. Then we have ‘Still Alive’, a monster of a tune from the guitar riff through to the positive lyrics. Quite rightly chosen as one of the lead songs off the album as it is a very catchy tune. Mind you ‘My Song’ has the potential to appeal to an audience outside of the rock world, featuring another positive lyric and strong melody.
‘Mum & Dad’ is deeply personal to the writer Paul Stead, yet is something that will resonate with many. The intro does remind me of Def Leppard, in a song that mixes heaviness and a bit of balladry, impressive from start to finish and a good example of how the band have progressed over the years. This progression is also heard on ‘No Turning Back’, a song that features piano, strings and some lovely gentle, guitar playing. A fine example of how a good ballad should sound.
Elsewhere there is ‘On My Way’, a classic the Darker My Horizon tune in that it has a big riff and even bigger chorus. They also rework ‘Dear Olivia’, this time in acoustic mode and it actually sounds better in this style.
‘Seize The Day’ indeed as the band have gone big on the production, penned some songs made for the live arena, given it their best shot and if any album is going to win them over new fans it is this one. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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