Dare Arc Of The Dawn Legend Records/NL Distribution
Produced By: Darren Wharton

Running Time:

Release Date: Out Now


Musical Style: AOR

Songs: 88%
Sound: 94%
Never ever count the years between Dare albums it will only leave you frustrated and feeling old. But thankfully 2009 is an "on" year and Dare have returned with another accomplished dose of highly produced, super-slick British AOR to feast upon and keep your ears happy until at least 2012! Darren Wharton really is the master of personal lyrics and haunting melodies, wrapped in layers and layers of keyboards and guitar parts.
Dare's sound is unique and unmistakable. And on Arc Of The Dawn, the band has not deviated from the formula that got them this far. I really love this band, but started feeling some frustration at the lack of variety and the ever softening structure of their songs over the last album or two.
I'm thankful that Darren Wharton has turned that around somewhat and mixed up the tempo here and has also re-introduced guitar as the dominant instrument of most songs.
There was some confusion if original guitarist Vinny Burns was to record guitar parts for this album and as soon as I heard it, I presumed he had. But I'm assured that time did not allow that to happen and the duties for this album were handled entirely by Richie Dews. Congrats Richie you sound fabulous and the more prominent guitar takes me back to the excellent Calm Before The Storm album.
Dublin and Shelter In The Storm really are stand out tracks of pure Dare brilliance. When likewise.
And the huge ballad Still Waiting is just brilliant, with the guitar parts lifting the song into orbit mid-way through.
The only disappointments I have to register here is the repeat performance of the songs King Of Spades and I Will Return (Return This Heart) from the debut album. I know the reasoning behind this, but I have those tracks already and they will never be beaten. The reworking of Thin Lizzy's Emerald into a moody Dare style track is more acceptable and really very cool.
And another cover is included, with a fairly straight-forward cover of the classic Cheap Trick ballad The Flame. Some will love this, others not, but it's fair to say that the song fits Darren Wharton's voice and style to a tee and personally I rate it highly.
The Bottom Line
So not quite a completely classic album in that there are two re-workings, and two covers, but still the best Dare album since Calm Before The Storm and a great step in the right direction in reintroducing more prominent role for the guitar. The mixed tempo and punchier sound is very welcomed, but not so long between drinks next time please!
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Out Of The Silence
Blood From Stone
Calm Before The Storm
Beneath The Shing Water
Arc Of The Dawn

Line Up:
Darren Wharton: Vocals & Keyboards
Richard Dews: Guitars
Kevin Whitehead: Drums

Essential For Fans Of:
Dare - Calm Before The Storm
Track Listing
Dublin *
Shelter In The Storm *
Follow The River *
King Of Spades
I Will Return
When *
The Flame
Still Waiting *
Kiss The Rain

--*Best Tracks

ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW! (Ratings out of 100)