DARE – Calm Before The Storm 2 (2012)
After the recent excellent new DARE album, some of you asked for a “Calm Before The Storm 2” repost.
Among fans of AOR / Melodic Rock Britain’s DARE, formed by vocalist and keyboard player Darren Wharton (Thin Lizzy) has a legendary status, one that blurs line between cult and mystical. Every album they’ve released has been at least good, receiving critical acclaim.
But Dare’s albums were not easy to get, especially in USA. Then there was 1998’s Calm Before The Storm which was only released in Europe.
“Calm Before The Storm 2” is basically that album, completely re-recorded, with two previously unreleased tracks.
If you have the original you will love this as it sounds both familiar, quintessential Wharton and Dare, and fresh, with new life breathed into every track. For the uninitiated, it’s more than a great introduction; it will likely cause you track down other available Dare albums.
The order of the tracks on the new recording is a little different and so it’s the cover art, well somewhat if you remember the original one had a picture of a girl walking towards the sunset, it seems that girl has grown up a bit and turns herself into an exhibitionist. Nice eye candy…
These are slightly more polished versions and Darren Wharton’s voice is still as good as ever.
Opener “Walk on Water” churns with a melodic emphasis and groove, as well as the title track which solidifies the sound of the record.
The great number of “Crown of Thorns” is one of my favorites as its more fast paced Hard Rock vibe adds a nice rocking spark to the album, and it sounds even better performed this time around.
“Rescue Me” keeps its midtempo with a nice job of the guitars and smooth solos keeping the rush of groove in top notch, Wharton’s voice is particularly high rising and deliberate on this number.
The same style of moody and anthem-like choruses keep the flow of the record flowing with invigorating feel when you get to the excellent tune “Rising Sun”.
“Calm Before the Storm 2” sounds fabulous, it has the typical Dare warm Melodic Rock feeling all over, more polished than ever.
Darren Wharton’s melodious arrangements and smooth passionate vocals defines this recording, complimented by longtime partner guitarist Richie Dews, whose work adds sharpness and blister to the AOR foundation.
By very definition, Dare and “Calm Before The Storm 2” is quintessential AOR Melodic Rock. It’s hard to find better.
1. Walk On The Water
3. Calm Before The Storm
4. Crown Of Thorns
5. Precious (previously unreleased)
6. Silence Of Your Head
7. Rescue Me
9. Rising Sun
10. Cold Wind Will Blow (previously unreleased)
Darren Wharton – vocals, keyboards
Richie Dews – guitars
Paris Wharton – guitars
Marc Roberts – bass
Kevin Whitehead – drums
BUY IT !