New Wave of British Heavy Metal band Dark Heart originally formed in 1983, out of the ashes of Tokyo Rose, releasing a very good debut album “Shadows Of The Night” in 1984 on Roadrunner Records. Unfortunately, as happened with so many bands back then, it somewhat flew under the radar and the band eventually fizzled out in 1987. However, if you are a collector of such albums, it’s well worth getting hold of.
Fast forward to 2017 when original guitarist, and sole remaining member of the line-up Alan Clark, revived the name and at the end of 2021 Dark Heart released their second, self-titled album. Alan recently, and very kindly, sent me a copy of the album and after many listens I’m here to tell you it is a damn good piece of Classic Heavy Metal/NWOBHM with modern production.
Alan Clark now handles lead vocals/keyboards and I have to say, WHY hasn’t this man been fronting bands for years? He has an excellent voice and it is perfect for this style of melodic but thumping Metal. He is joined here by extremely good guitarist Nick Catterick, who lets fly with some impressive solos and riffs throughout, ex Eden’s Curse drummer Pete Newdeck (who has also done a fine job producing and mixing) and, the always good, Josh Williams on bass.
Kicking off with ‘Darkest Eyes’ is a fine move as it’s an up-tempo stomper of a track, showcases everyone’s ability, got me air drumming and nodding my head immediately and ends with a blistering solo that I wanted to go on for at least another two minutes as I was enjoying it so much. ‘Cast In Stone’ begins with an almost Pink Floyd guitar vibe before kicking into a crunching mid-tempo track that screams Tony Martin era Black Sabbath, which is a fine thing as far as I’m concerned as I always think the albums Tony Martin did with Sabbath are unfairly overlooked. ‘Edge Of Dreams’ continues that feel but other influences creep in. ‘Degrees Of Separation’ is up next and is another good track, even if the main riff sounds a little too close to Dio, but they aren’t the first band to do that and won’t be the last. It still contains an awesome guitar solo. ‘Wings Of The Night’ brings the tempo down and it’s the nearest thing there is to a ballad on the album. “Dark Heart” the album, continues in this vein across the eleven tracks. It mixes up the tempos, every song, fast or slow, is catchy and the, nearly one hour running time goes by pretty damn quickly.
I’m predominantly picking up the 80’s Sabbath/Dio influences the most and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are others and I’m sure you’ll hear your own, but, Dark Heart have managed to release a great album that sounds like Dark Heart! It’s not saying anything new but this is the type of stuff I was brought up on and I think they’ve done a bloody good job
‘Alan, can you not wait another 38 years until we get album number three please?’ Thanks!!
01. Darkest Eyes
02. Cast To Stone
03. Edge Of Dreams
04. Degrees Of Separation
05. Wings Of The Night
06. House Of Usurer
07. Break The Chains
08. Time To Fly
10. Night Won’t Let Me Go
11. Shadows Of The Night
Alan Clark – Vocals, Keyboards
Nick Catterick – Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Pete Newdeck – Drums, Backing Vocals
Josh Williams – Bass
This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and The Metal Asylum