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

· Running Time:

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: AOR

· Links:
91%
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
· Belief
· 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
· Emerald
· When *
· The Flame
· Still Waiting *
· Kiss The Rain
· Remember
· Circles

--*Best Tracks


20/03/10: Larry Laffer - larry783@gmail.com
Rating: 90
this is one of the best albums from Dare, i own all their albums and i can say the quality and songs are awesome.

my favorite albums of Dare are :

1)out of the silence

2) beneath the shining waters

3) Arc Of The Dawn

the songs are very lush, emotional, dreamy, intense.

my favorite has to be "Still Waiting" , "Follow The River", "The Flame" but they're all great except maybe for Shelter From The Storm which is imo the weakest.

the new KING OF SPADES is a lot better than the original, love it, while I WILL RETURN is worse.

all in all, one of the strongest late albums by DARE

highly recommended. :)

10/02/10: Tom - thomas.oelze@gmx.net
Rating: 95
Love this Album. Amazing sound and production, great Songs and Lyrics.
What else could i say.

Buy it.

08/02/10: Mark Donnelly - mark@journey.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 95
Dublin opens the album and immediately indicates that the direction of the album is similar to the previous three: Belief, Beneath The Shining Water & Calm Before The Storm, i.e. super smooth AOR with a Celtic feel. The main difference with this album, however, is that there is more guitar and the latter is very prominent in the mix. Personally, due to the lack of a standout chorus I think Dublin is not the ideal opening track.

Shelter In The Storm is typical Dare and one cannot be too impressed with the silky smooth vocals of Darren Wharton.

Follow The River continues with the Celtic theme; acoustic based like lots of the songs but with lots of electric guitars on top – superb!

King Of Spades & I Will Return are re-recordings from their awesome debut Out Of the Silence and are not too different from the originals. The one thing that can be said is that they fit as well on this album as they did on the original. I wonder if Darren Wharton is trying to make a point?

Emerald is a breathtaking and haunting cover of the Thin Lizzy classic from The Boys Are Back In Town. Darren Wharton has made some outstanding covers of Lizzy tracks in the past and this is no exception.

When is more super smooth AOR with some great guitar.
The rendition of The Flame, originally recorded by Cheap Trick, is very similar though more suited to Dare’s sound.

Still Waiting is a great ballad.

Kiss The Rain and Remember are further great laid-back AOR tracks.

Circles is a power ballad and absolute classic Dare and finishes the album off in fine style.

Like Foreigner’s recent release, you are not going to find any hard rock anthems here, however, if you are looking for super smooth AOR, with a Celtic twist, this is just the deal.

Guitarist Richie Dews puts in a stunning performance throughout the whole album, however, it’s Darren Wharton’s lush vocals that are once again the real highlight.

In my opinion, despite featuring four covers (though two are of their own material) Arc Of The Dawn is the best Dare album since their magnificent debut Out Of The Silence, arguably the greatest British AOR album of all time.

08/01/10: Santi - I_love_music@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Another gem from Darren Wharton... though it is not a masterpice as Beneath the Shinning ater was (100/100).

Arc of the Dawn is the best AOR release in 2009 (at least in my opinion) with some superb songs like Shelter in the Storm (what a song !!!), Still Waiting (breathless), Remember or Circles (amazing). My congrats to Dare and Darren Wharton... and just a few words to the people climing for more guitars or more 'speed': you have plenty of bands our there giving you that. This is DARE and this is the way we love them. Please, never ever change the way you understand 'touchy' music. Happy New Year from Spain !

05/01/10: Paul - pgborden@hotmail.com
Rating: 94
While there are still a few highly rated cds from 2009 out there that I haven't picked up yet, for me Dare's Arc Of The Dawn stands as the best cd of the year. The opening tracks of DUBLIN and SHELTER IN THE STORM are simply stunning... the best opening of a Dare cd since the first 3 tracks of BELIEF. While FOLLOW THE RIVER is not as strong as those first two tracks, it is still an instantly enjoyable third track. KING OF SPADES and I WILL RETURN are, as Andrew noted, remakes from the debut album. However, I strongly disagree with Andrew's dismissal of these new versions. To my ears, KING OF SPADES is far superior on this cd for the more organic production (sorry, but OUT OF THE SILENCE now sounds dated because of it's 80's style production) and the clarity of Darren's vocals... they are more upfront and emotive than the original recording. I do prefer the original RETURN THIS HEART over I WILL RETURN (same song, different title) because of the synth/horns background in the original, but this new version is in no way diminished because of it. If you're going to remake or cover a song, deliver something new. Dare does this with both of these remakes, and they both work... to the degree that that they are both highlights of this cd. Next up is EMERALD, a cover of the Thin Lizzy tune. Again, it is different from the original, and imo, better, although not a highlight of the cd. Neither is WHEN, which, although very listenable, harkens back to the CALM BEFORE THE STORM(CBTS) cd, which imo is the weakest Dare cd to date. Nevertheless, it is still another above average song. The only weak song on the cd is the cover of Cheap Trick's THE FLAME. In all fairness, I should say that I have never liked Cheap Trick's take on this song. I was curious to see what spin Dare would put on it. The answer is: none. It's as if Darren was showing everyone, "Look, I can sound just like Robin Zander." If you like Cheap Trick's version, you'll like this. It's just not for me. STILL WAITING is then next track, and it's a beauty. KISS THE RAIN returns to more CBTS territory, and again, although very listenable, is not a highlight. Then comes REMEMBER, and for the life of me, I can't figure out how Andrew missed this one as a highlight. This is one of the best AOR songs of the year... intense, dramatic, and just plain fantastic. CIRCLES is yet another amazing track that wraps up the cd, and immediately has me hitting the play button to start the whole cd all over again. I will say that although there are a couple of tracks that are reminiscent of CBTS, I believe that Arc Of The Dawn is much closer to BELIEF in overall sound. Regardless, if you are a Dare fan or a fan of AOR or just beautifully performed and produced music, this is a MUST BUY, and the BEST CD OF 2009!

05/01/10: Nun Yo Business - nun_yo_business_1@yahoo.com
Rating: 85
Another solid if unspectacular release by Darren & his sidemen known as Dare, would be nice to have some uptempo bashers, or even some mid-tempo tunes. Don't get me wrong I love Dare I just wish they would speed things up a bit. I will continue to purchase their releases but I just want some speed from them, Thanks for all the great music now get back in the studio and lay down some bashers.

05/01/10: Ton - o.herwijnen@chello.nl
Rating: 95
The first one (Out of the silence)will always be the best, for me the best aor-record before Walk the wire. This is is the same vein as the last 3, more guitar-orientated. The vocals as always 100% warm and full emotion, Yes, this record is not a heavy one, it's Darren Wharton's one musical universum and that's unique. 2 songs from the older record?Darren better choose for 2 new songs. For the fans of aor lite with celtic influences. A great band, I love them; it's a shame that so few know this band.


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