Saturday, August 8, 2015
THE DARKER MY HORIZON: ”Acquiesce”
Label: TDMH 2015
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
Paul Stead and Mark Stephenson were the core of SACRED HEART, who put out a few of self-financed albums few years ago. The band’s sound was very much in the Firehouse/Warrant vein, although without the polished major label production. Eventually the band called it quits, but now Paul and Mark are giving it another go with The Darker My Horizon.
With TDMH, the guys have updated the style and the sound to something a bit heavier and more contemporary. Paul Stead names Chad Kroeger of Nickelback as one of his main influences and you can easily hear that, many of the songs have a strong Nickelback vibe. Thankfully Stead & Co have been more influenced by the melodic side of theirs instead of the dumb beer-driven ”dude rock”. And yeah, the ”old” influences are still lurking in the background, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
With 15 songs, ”Acquiesce” might be a bit too long an album for its own good, but it’s still the best bunch of songs the guys have come up with so far. Let’s put it this way - one can put together a solid 10 or 12 track ”four R” album out of the songs. Hence the rating.
Compared to the Sacred Heart material there’s more variety in these songs, apart from the Nickelback’ish songs there’s semi-acoustic melodic rock á la Firehouse (”Summer Time”), late eighties’ type of a power ballad (”I Can’t Save You”) and a delicate piano ballad ”In The Dark”. The weirdest song of the album is the closing track ”Rest In Peace” which fuses EDM elements with rock. It could’ve been a successful combination if the song itself had had a lot more meat around its bones, now it sounds more like an outro.
The production is pretty good, although some of the keyboard parts have been criminally buried under the crunch of the guitars.