Declan Burke – Destroy All Monsters

Declan “Dec” Burke is a guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was one of the leaders of the English neoprog band Darwin’s Radio before becoming a part of prog “supergroup” Frost*. Darwin’s Radio dissolved with the individual members going on to do their own things, and Dec Burke‘s “own thing” was to begin a solo career with the release of his debut Destroy All Monsters.

Even Burke‘s web site calls Destroy All Monsters “a more pop take on the prog genre”, so I suppose he won’t be offended if I agree. To be more specific, this is an album of heavily orchestrated rock anthems and metal ballads calibrated to make your head bob and … well, I suppose people don’t wave lighters in the air any more, but you get the idea. The sound is thick, sizzling with high-end EQ, massively overdubbed and heavily compressed to gargantuan fatness. It sounds cool for a while, but my ears start to weary of the sameness of the production after the first couple of songs. And, after multiple listenings, I find there’s not much I didn’t get on the first listen. Not that it’s a bad album for all that, but it also doesn’t really stand out in my mind, at least not for my tastes. A qualified “thumbs up” if you like your prog on the “easy” side.

On the other hand, if you like this sort of thing (and I know many people do), Burke is just putting the finishing touches on a follow-up album, Paradigms & Storylines, slated for release sometime this summer (2011). Keep on the lookout. — Fred Trafton


Click here for Dec Burke‘s web site
Click here to order Destroy All Monsters from ProgRock Records

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