Calm Before the Storm 2

1. Walk On The Water
2. Someday
3. Calm Before The Storm
4. Crown Of Thorns
5. Precious
6. Silence Of Your Head
7. Rescue Me
8. Ashes
9. Rising Sun
10. Cold Wind Will Blow
11. Deliverance

Darren Wharton - vocals, keyboards
Richie Dews - guitars
Marc Roberts - bass
Kevin Whitehead - drums

Vinny Burns - Guitars (live)

Out of silence (1989)
Blood from stone (1991)
Calm before the storm (1998)
Belief (2001)
Beneath the shining water (2004)
The power of nature (directo, 2005)
Arc of the dawn (2009)

Paris Wharton - guitar
Sue Quin - backing vocals

Front cover design by Darren Wharton Model: Whitney Alyson Ribbins Photographer: Beth Ashton

Released 8/10-2012
Reviewed 12/10-2012


So, this guy was in Thin Lizzy once long ago, now you know that. I am of course talking about Darren Wharton who very young came into Thin Lizzy a long time ago, but he also has his own band Dare who are now releasing a new album which once again is accompanied by that Thin Lizzy reference even though it hardly bears any resemblance to what Thin Lizzy did. This new album, Dare’s eighth, is called Calm Before the Storm 2 and is not a sequel to their 1998 effort Calm Before the Storm. It is a remake of sorts with all songs rerecorded and also rearranged in the tracklist, plus some added excellence with two new tracks they have never gifted us with before. Are you excited, I know I am, I like Dare.

Anyone who knows Dare from before will recognise the style, it is melodic rock with a sort of laid back attitude often centred around calmer songs or ballads and the tempo is most of the time held quite low. The production is polished and polished and polished and polished until any kind of rough edge is gone. The difference between this and the first version is that they have filed away the rockier parts from the originals. It is an excellent production, the soundscape is brilliant and almost magical. Darren also sings with the same kind of emotional smooth voice as he has always done, and he is as good as ever. So it is not only the cover art that is attractive, the musical side is as well although you could ask for a bit more variation considering that the eleven tracks of the album plays for well past 50 minutes.

It is an impressive album with several great songs like the opening song Walk on Water, the fourth one Crown of Thorns and the new song Precious, and five tracks in I feel that a fiver would be an appropriate score but the more I listen to the album and the further into it I get, the more diffuse that fiver becomes before it vanishes in a sleepy haze due to the lack of tempo and variation. Now, note that I am not meaning that it is bad because I say it like that, just that it has a problem with similitude and also that it should have been a bit less perfect as well, rock should have some rough edges even if it is melodic and polished rock. Perfection is never as fun as perfect imperfection.

So, it is a bit overworked this album and a bit long which could have been solved by removing two or three of the songs making it a shorter album of around 40 minutes rather than well past 50 minutes. It is still a really good album and an enjoyable one to play at least for a while, even though I think they should have made some more high paced songs and have a little fewer calm songs as that would make those songs stand out better. But in the end I still think that we can call this a really good album even though it will not make me walk on water from the joy of hearing it.



Label: Legend Records/Germusica
Three similar bands: Thin Lizzy/Gary Moore/Richard Marx
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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