Review: Dare – Sacred Ground
Legend Records (15-07-2016)
Reviewer – Stephen Brophy
Back with a brand new album of there own particular brand of Melodic Rock tinged with Celtic undertones are British stalwarts Dare. It’s quite a common criticism leveled at the band over the years, the Celtic influences in their music, it’s certainly not something that has ever bothered me, in fact it’s something I quite enjoy, gives the band a unique sound in a genre that has a lot of similarities between many of the artists. On this new release it’s not very prevalent on a lot of tracks. Darren Wharton (Vocals) and Vinny Burns (Guitar) have teamed up with the rest of the band that have performed live in recent years, featuring Nigel Clutterbuck (Bass), Marc Roberts (Keyboards) and Kevin Whitehead (Drums) and I have to say this version of the band is extremely solid and works so well together.
Sacred Ground is an eleven track collection of often eclectic Rock songs, and the bands first studio album of new music in seven years, since 2009’s Arc Of Dawn, which was a really good album, if a little top heavy with covers and reworkings, so it’s really great to have an album of new material from Darren and the guys, there’s always been something very smooth and classy with how they produce Rock music and this album is no exception.
One thing that is common throughout the album is the quality of Vinny Burns guitar playing, in places just beautiful, and classically rock, some of the solos just scream out, add in Darren’s vocals which always sound like they are coming straight from the heart, in reality I’ve always thought of him as being a very underrated rock singer, there’s always a touch of class to Dare’s music and that follows through here, the highlight for me is ‘Like The First Time‘ which is just a sweeping ballad, the guys have certainly lost nothing in their story telling abilities, when you get a track that brings you back over and over it’s clearly a good sign. Other album highlights are some songs like ‘I’ll Hear You Pray‘, ‘Strength‘ and ‘All Our Brass Was Gold‘, songs about love with Darren’s slightly melancholy vocal over the floating melodies has always been a recipe for success.
Sacred Ground is proof that there’s plenty of life left in this band and they have the ability to continue to create meaningful music in modern times, certainly a release with music that still has an audience to appreciate it and a relevance in the Melodic Rock world. Looking forward to hearing some of these songs live later in the year, Dare will be supporting FM in Warrington on the 1st Oct and hopefully more dates to be added soon. Another album well worth your while getting to know, spend a little time with it and enjoy it’s a really nice piece of work from a band that appear