THE DARKER MY HORIZON – Acquiesce (2015)
THE DARKER MY HORIZON may be a new band from UK, but the guys involved are not newcomers at all into the scene: vocalist/guitarist Paul Stead and Mark Stephenson (guitar) are former members of the now disbanded Sacred Heart, the very good act already presented at 0dayrox years ago.
Add to the line-up former Crimes Of Passion bassist Simon Fearn and experienced drummer Gavin Tester, and you have a combo of seasoned musicians here.
“Acquiesce” is the debut CD from The Darker My Horizon, a very welcomed band to the Melodic Hard Rock world.
One thing that is apparent with The Darker My Horizon is that although main songwriter Paul Stead has kept the melodic side of Sacred Heart, there is a distinctive edge to most to the songs on here.
Drawing their influences from modern arena bands like Hinder and classic hard rock artists such as Warrant or Bon Jovi, The Darker My Horizon bring you melody, power & catchy choruses.
You can hear a modern approach on some tracks, like the get up and go riffery of “Can’t Stop The Rain”, but most the material here waters from early ’90s melodic hard rock.
Just check the instant, straight ahead melodic rock of “Summer Time” (title says it all) with a wonderful uplifting chorus perfect for airplay. Or “OK”, a fun rocker with some Waltham on its infectious chorus.
There is even some classic ’80s party rock in the shape of “Perfect”, think Warrant meets the rocking side of early Winger!
Seriously, Paul Stead’s vocals will remind you several times the late Jani Lane (Warrant).
“Rest In Peace” is an interesting one, with a synth arrangement and a catchy beat underpinning the song and a high end vocal. May surprise some listeners but adds more variation to the album with its coolness. The instrumental part melds synths and a few guitar solos to great effect.
The harder edge of The Darker My Horizon shows on “Gasoline & Opium” (loving the Zakk Wylde approved riff on this one), the sharp riffs of “There’s Gotta Be” – where melody meets hard rock resulting in a powerful melodic hard rock tune.
Then “The Road” is a clever song, starting quietly with a bass, percussion and synth before the full band kicks on the chorus. One of the album’s guitar solo highlights on this song.
There are a couple of ballads, pick of them is “In The Dark”, with a reflective lyric and where the piano adds to the overall feel of the song.
After seeing the name The Darker My Horizon on the CD cover I was expecting a ‘metallic’ band from this new venture by Paul Stead / Mark Stephenson, instead on their debut “Acquiesce” I found a powerful, kicking Melodic Hard Rock album.
Taking inspiration from bands which made the genre big at their time but with a potent & vibrant modern production, “Acquiesce” results damn catchy and melodic, plenty of substance.
If acts like 7th Heaven, Waltham, Degreed, Find Me, the great Dion Bayman, etc – that is bands with a strong late ’80s / early ’90 influences but a modern sound – are your thing, then The Darker My Horizon are right up your alley.
01 – Closure
02 – Can’t Stop the Rain
03 – Ok
04 – Summer Time
05 – Paradise
06 – There’s Gotta Be
07 – I Can’t Save You
08 – Such Is Life
09 – Perfect
10 – Gasoline & Opium
11 – The Road
12 – Afraid
13 – In the Dark
14 – Beware the Wolf
15 – Rest in Peace
Paul Stead – lead vocals, guitar
Mark Stephenson – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Simon Fearn – bass, backing vocals
Gavin Tester – drums, backing vocals
BUY IT !