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On disc: The Darker My Horizon

Phoenix: Volume One (EP) - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Phoenix: Volume One (EP)

Phoenix: Volume One (EP)
(self-released - 2018)

The Darker My Horizon is a hard rock band from Britain, some might know main men Paul Stead and Mark Stephenson of Sacred Heart. They teamed up with Paul Hamilton (bass) and Steve Hauxwell (drums) now and Phoenix: Volume One is out to shorten the time til their next full-length album will be out. Meanwhile they recorded 4 tunes from Sacred Heart and 2 bonus tracks which are now Phoenix: Volume One.
I have to confess that I don't know the original recordings, so I can't tell you what they changed.

The opener is Spit of their 2011 release Propaganda which is modern sounding hard rock tune, obviously based in 80's hard rock - think of Warrant, Ratt. Paul Stead's vocals are clear and powerful, when needed. The heavy riffs and melodic leads make it a pleasure to listen to The Darker My Horizon. A powerful ballad is Natali which slightly reminds me of Warrant - no surprise as Paul Stead names Jani Lane as an influence. But they aren't copycats!
A heavy rocker is Lost, guitarist Mark Stephenson and Paul Stead deliver the heavy riffs which built a contrast to the vocals and add heaviness to the melodic rocker.

Many will remember Guns'n'Roses cover version of Knocking On Heaven's Door, now TDMH has made their version of this classic. This version sounds more fragile, but.... something is missing and I don't mean the squeaking vocals. Perhaps it's too polished...

The other bonus track is a live acoustic session recording of Mr. Rainmaker. And a real highlight!

The other originals are from their 2007 release, the debut album Shake. First in line is Tonight, a melodic rocker. Once and again they offer a guitar-based part which is dominated by Stead's vocals. But there is also a part with heavy riffs where they cross the line to melodic metal.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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