HardRock Haven review D´Ercole Dreams

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by Joe Mis


Dreams of the Heart is the third release from melodic rock act D’Ercole, and it certainly is a solid one. Never one to be caught resting on his laurels, Phil Vincent continues to produce solid music – this time in conjunction with guitarist Damian D’Ercole, bassist William Arnold, and drummer Tane DeAngelis (plus the occasional lead guitar assist from Vince O’Regan). D’Ercole’s music shows flashes of 80’s rock influence, but has a more modern sound – but like in all of Vincent’s projects, melody reigns supreme.

Damian D’Ercole handles the rhythm guitar, laying down some big riffs and catchy hooks – carrying much of the musical weight on his capable shoulders. Phil Vincent contributes vocals, keyboards, and a bit of rhythm guitar and drums. He also handled the production and engineering, as well as co-writing all the songs with D’Ercole and bassist William Arnold. Arnold’s bass is a good one, and his musical sense is excellent. He teams well with drummer Tane DeAngelis and the two make a very capable and enthusiastic rhythm section whether dishing out slow and mellow lines or manic double-bass driven riffs. Influences of the greats are occasionally obvious – Winger, Foreigner, Dokken, and maybe a hint of Bon Jovi – but the band’s music in never derivative, and they take the old school sounds and modernize them neatly. A mix of hard rock, ballads and melodic metal peppered with some keys make for an enjoyable and musically diverse release.
Light keys leading into a simple but effective guitar riff open the up-tempo rocker “Only Child.” This track features some nicely done vocal harmonies and feels a bit like Dokken meets The Beatles – only with a truly blistering guitar solo. Big bass and pounding drums drive the very modern (almost pop-metal) “Givin’ It All To You.” The complex bottom end contrasts nicely with the simple and effective guitar hooks and keys creating a unique sound. “Dreams Of The Heart” is a melodic metal masterpiece that has the band firing on all cylinders. Solid guitars, great drums, driving bass, and strong vocals make this one truly memorable. “I’ll Be There For You” is another AOR radio-friendly mid-tempo rocker with strong lyrics and good performances from all – and the outro is pure metal. “She Ain’t No Good” is a hard rock monster – intense guitars and effective double bass drumming rule the track.
“You Keep Me Waiting” has a great rolling rhythm line produced by light keys and a fluid bass, and features an amazing blues based guitar solo. Gritty hard rock returns with the very 80s style “Too Little Too Late” – some amazing shredding here. “Lies” has a little Euro-metal tone thanks to gritty passages mixed with a soaring chorus and slick, lively guitars. “A Million Miles” starts with a brooding, dark tone generated by a slow rhythm line and subdued vocals and keyboards, but then it explodes at the end thanks to the shredding skills of D’Ercole and O’Regan. Heavy keyboards and multi-layered vocals give “Hurt Me For The Last Time” a European feel, while “Wearin’ Me Down” is a guitar-driven hard rock dream.
D’Ercole’s Dreams Of The Heart has something for everyone, whether you fancy modern melodic metal or ‘80s/’90s hard rock. Well written songs and spirited delivery are the hallmarks of D’Ercole’s music, and this release certainly lives up to them. The band handles the mix of styles well – but no matter the style or influence, the underlying sense of melody is always strong. In this case familiarity breeds success, and the melding of old school hard rock with modern touches simply works. There are truly only positives here, so this release is highly recommended.
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock
Damian D’Ercole (rhythm guitar)
Phil Vincent (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, drums)
William Arnold (bass)
Tane DeAngelis (drums)
Vince O’Regan (lead guitar)
Track Listing:
1. Only Child
2. Givin’ It All To You
3. Dreams of the Heart
4. I’ll Be There for You
5. She Ain’t No Good
6. You Keep Me Waiting
7. Too Little Too Late
8. Lies
9. A Million Miles
10. Hurt Me for the Last Time
11. Wearin’ Me Down
Label: Phil Vincent Music
Hardrock Haven rating: 8.5 / 10

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