Dave Bickler - 'Darklight'

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Dave Bickler - 'Darklight'

An essential purchase for anyone who has an interest in Survivor or simply good Melodic Rock.

Everyone who reads Fireworks Magazine and Rocktopia will have heard Dave Bickler sing before, even if the name isn't recognised by all. As the lead vocalist for Survivor's first four albums, including 'Eye Of The Tiger', and as the singer for the "Real Men Of Genius" adverts for a certain American beer, you can't fail to have heard Bickler before.
As a complete self-confessed Survivor anorak, it came as a total shock to me when a social media post from Bickler stated that his long-awaited solo debut was being released. His loyal band of fans have been waiting nearly ten years for this, ever since some tracks first appeared on Bickler's website. At present, it's only available as a digital download, but hopefully, by the time you actually read this, physical copies will also be an option.

The album opener, 'Hope', is a slow-ish mid-paced rocker and the first thing you notice is how good Bickler's voice sounds, although it's probably not the best track to open with as it doesn't really go anywhere. 'Kaleidoscope', however, is an excellent song that has a nice guitar intro and is much more melodic; in fact, it was one of the first tracks we heard many years ago.



One particular highlight of the album is 'Fear Of The Dark' with its dark intro preceding an interesting drum beat and guitar riff which build into an epic rocker. The guitar work from Steve DeAcutis is excellent throughout, and he's also responsible for producing the album too. 'Magic' is a different kind of song with an eighties-type vibe that wouldn't sound out of place on a Survivor album.

Bickler is certainly rocking out on this release, no more so than on 'Time'. For him, it's a really heavy track with a pounding guitar riff throughout and a great solo from DeAcutis. The album has only one ballad, the brilliant 'Angel Heart', which again features a great vocal; this could easily have appeared on the infamous Survivor 'Fire Makes Steel' unreleased record.

Overall, 'Darklight' is a real grower; it's not an immediate album full of eighties-inspired, keyboard-based AOR, but more of a guitar-driven Modern Rock release. Dave Bickler sounds great and it has certainly been worth the wait. This legendary artist is most certainly back, and he's even touring in support of this record.

This is an essential purchase for anyone who has an interest in Survivor or simply good Melodic Rock.

Richard Epps

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