Dare - 1998 Calm Before The Storm

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ALBUM: Calm Before The Storm
SERIAL: 199649
YEAR: 1998


LINEUP: Darren Wharton - vocals, keyboards * Andrew Moore - guitars * Martin Wilding - bass * Julien Gardner - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Walk On The Water * 02 Some Day * 03 Calm Before The Storm * 04 Rescue Me * 05 Silence Of Your Head * 06 Rising Sun * 07 Ashes * 08 Crown Of Thorns * 09 Deliverance * 10 Still In Love With You



Prior to this, British band Dare had been in hiding. Not so much 'out of the silence', but hiding behind a wall of silence.

Castigated for changing lanes with 1991's 'Blood To Stone', Darren Wharton went to ground for a few years, keeping his head low as the grunge scene flew overhead.

He returned seven years later refreshed, recharged and de-electrified, Dare emulate British contemporaries Iona and Irish favourites Clannad in a celtic flavoured melodic style.

Listeners still pining for a return to their stunning 1988 debut 'Out Of The Silence' get half a return on investment, as Dare revisit the flowing gentle celtic melodies, but leave out the more rockier aspects of that classic debut.

Anything resembling that album is better than nothing in my books, and now having reviewed this years later (rather than at the time), I approach it with more respect, whereas previously I could have written things I may later have regretted.

The Songs

The opening strands of the title track features near Pink Floyd guitar work, before settling into a rather compelling slice of melodic rock. Mesmerizing stuff.

There is so much to choose from here, and though it might appear to segue from one track to the next with little deviation in style, that doesn't mean it's one big bore-fest. Far from it.

Whether it's the deep melodies of the title track 'Calm Before The Storm', the heartwarming flow of 'Silence Of Your Head', the acoustic backwash of 'Ashes' or the 'pick me up' urgency of 'Crown Of Thorns', these will all find a home in the consciousness of the typical melodic rock fan.

Thin Lizzy's classic 'Still In Love With You' is one of my favourite tracks ever, and to hear this updated in a wonderful melodic style of Dare is an absolute treat. A great way to finish the album!

In Summary

Without doubt, a beautifully constructed album, which would lay the foundation for their two subsequent albums: 'Belief' and 'Beneath The Shining Water'.

Though many Internet critics have labelled the album 'soft', they still can't get it into their heads that Dare is very much a classy band, and they've never really made a bad album.

You can still pick this up on Ebay easy enough, despite the fact that their label has since disappeared off the map.

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