The moment I saw the band name “SACRED HEART”, my thoughts turned to DIO’s semi-classic, 1985 release of the same name. However, if this British troop were paying homage to the mighty Ronnie James with their band name, they certainly – and disappointingly – didn’t continue the trend with their sound. Instead, the band’s newest release, “Darkness Falls”, has much more in common with 80s Pop-Rock/AOR giants, such as ASIA or 38 SPECIAL, with occasional nods towards something more Hard Rock (think FOREIGNER).
However, unlike the bands SACRED HEART is obviously strongly influenced by, this batch of songs lacks much life, packing about as much punch as an after-school special (those in the right age-group will know what I mean). The vocals are rather bland and powerless; the guitar tone is watered-down and dripping with saccharine; and the mix is dry and flat. What all that equals is an album that all but the most die-hard of genre fans shouldn’t take a second look at. I have to respect a band that chooses to play a severely dated style, and clearly does so from the heart, but “Darkness Falls” is lacking in too many areas to be worth much.
(Online May 30, 2010)