THE DARKER MY HORIZON – No Superhero (2016)
We presented here on the blog the recommended debut from UK rockers THE DARKER MY HORIZON, and today July 22, the band are releasing their new album “No Superhero“, almost exactly one year after. It’s relatively unusual to see a follow up so quickly but this is a band that is obviously on a creative peak at the moment and they want to get their songs out there and heard.
If you are new to The Darker My Horizon, just as reminder vocalist/guitarist Paul Stead and Mark Stephenson (guitar) are former members of Sacred Heart, the very good act already presented at 0dayrox years ago.
Their style draw influences from classic bands (they are touring with Nazareth, to give you an idea) but with a quite modern sound, something like 2000’s Bon Jovi yet more powerful in the guitar riffs.
New album “No Superhero” continues in this vein displayed in the band’s debut, but after a couple of tracks you realise this is a much deeper body of work, dare I say it, more mature. This is a band that is finding its stride.
Debuts are often that initial enthusiasm and as a result can produce some classic records but it’s not until a band has found its groove and spent some time together that sometimes they really hit that creative peak.
Opening with the sharp and melodic title track, next ‘Diablo’ adds heaviness and a deeper bottom end, but it’s track 3 which clearly represents The Darker My Horizon’s style; ‘Dear Olivia’, one of the most catchy songs on the album. It has a great opening riff up into a well done verse with great lyrics and a bursting sing-along chorus. The album is full of this type of songs, but ‘Dear Olivia’ is our first good example of it. Earnest, simple, catchy.
Speaking about lyrics, this is band that pay attention to story-telling. If you heard the debut album you’ll already know that The Darker My Horizon are very much in this vein when it comes to lyric writing, every song is a story in its own right, there are no simple phrases thrown around and general songs about love, each song tells its own story.
Another catchy as hell track arrives with ‘Outside The Lines’. This could easily be a huge single for the band. Definitely a highlight on the album and there is a lot of competition for this title. Uplifting lyrics and a rhythm that builds into a Bon Jovi-esque big chorus .
‘I Remember’ is a slow song (not ballad) that builds into a crescendo creating the atmosphere which explodes with a really fine guitar solo. ‘Change’ is another catchy hard rocker with a modern sound, driven by the band’s signature riffs and another catchy chorus.
The real ballad on the CD, and one of the highlights, is titled ‘Feels Like Home’. It’s a classic topic, about loneliness and missing a partner / ex partner. It has a classic acoustic guitar intro whilst slowly building the band to introduce a bigger and more emotional sound.
Solid, modern but classic sounding at the same time, “No Superhero” is another firm step in The Darker My Horizon career. The band feels confident, tight.
Throughout the record Paul Stead’s voice come strong clear and really well presented, the riffs are melodic and the guitar solos compliment but don’t overwhelm, while the rest of the band create that atmosphere in an easy style so that they never dominate but only help build the bigger picture.
You know when a record has worked when you find yourself humming and feeling a vibe whilst doing something else and wondering what it is… some tracks here work at this level, and you find yourself looking forward to getting to listen to it again.
01 – No Superhero, Pt. One
02 – Diablo
03 – Dear Olivia
04 – Outside the Lines
05 – Feels Like Home
06 – Functional Dysfunctional
07 – Top of the Class
08 – Change
09 – I Remember
10 – We Are, We’re One
11 – No Superhero, Pt. Two
12 – Closure (Acoustic Version)
13 – No Superhero, Pt. One (Radio Edit)
Paul Stead – lead vocals, guitar
Mark Stephenson – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Gavin Tester – drums, backing vocals
Max Notaro – bass, backing vocals
Alan Kirkham – rhythm/acoustic guitar, backing vocals
BUY IT !