DARK HEART – Shadows Of The Night

DARK HEART - Shadows Of The Night
  • 7.5/10
    DARK HEART - Shadows Of The Night - 7.5/10


Metal Mind
Release date: January 26, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The box labeled “England In The Early 80’s” is a cornucopia of hardly known gems for the traditional Hard Rock and Metal fan. There have been so many bands which can be categorized NWoBHM, one of the hotspots for Heavy Metal, and although everybody knows a few of those bands like Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, Raven and Saxon (no, not Motörhead and Judas Priest, those were a lot earlier), there are literally hundreds of bands that are worth discovering, but difficult to do so. During the last years, some albums and works of those bands were rereleased, often through Neat Records like Jaguar, Hellanbach or Avenger, and in this case by Metal Mind, a very active label from Poland.

A short detour is necessary for this: The Metal Mind guys are really active. Every month several re-releases hit the shelves along with original music, mostly from Poland. Metal Mind does not mind (oops, no pun intended…) to mix Death Metal, Thrash and Hard Rock in their catalogue, so it is probably a good idea for everybody to check out the label’s catalogue. There is surely something for everyone, something he has been searching for a while. The link to their website is given below.

But back to the album at hand. Dark Heart from Northallerton, Yorkshire, has been one of those many short lived bands that released only a handful of songs or two, but unlike many of their contemporary collegues, Dark Heart did not put it on several 7” singles but were signed by Roadrunner records right away. So their main legacy is this one album, consisting of nine very strong songs. From the opening title track to the last note of the ballad “Turn Of The Tide”, Shadows Of The Night delivers straight, catchy Metal based on simple, but effective riffing and memorable refrains. With the exception of the last track, all songs keep it fast. This band must have rocked Yorkshire quite nicely during their time.

As for the compositions, there is no doubt that this a must have for everybody interested in the NWoBHM, even if the time has left its mark on the music. It breathes the 80’s, it screams “original”, and it also waves the banner “old fashioned”. Singer Phil Brown is not the greatest of his art, and sometimes sounds a bit unexcited, but Shadows Of The Night is nonetheless an essential album for everybody’s collection, if he is at least a bit interested in Metal history. Rockers like the great “No Time For Turning”, mysterious “Don’t Break The Circle” and the fast “Shout It Out” or “Coming Home” are still able to satisfy even.

The re-release comes in a digi-pack on a 24kb gold CD, and even though the sound was merely okay on the album itself, this release sounds quite good without losing the original, bass based sound of this famous English music movement. A short history of the band is provided, but the release cannot boast to have bonus tracks or lyrics. Both were probably just not available, but the latter is no real problem anyway as one can easily hear the lyrics, and it is mostly plain forward Metal lyrics anyway. Although there was a 1987 single with two songs which maybe would have made a nice addition to this album. Judged by the fact that almost all other Metal Mind re-releases have bonus tracks, it seems they could not lay their hands on either the music or acquire the rights.

This release, which is the first time the album is published on CD, is limited to 2.000 numbered copies, so the only recommendation can be to get this album while you can.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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