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DARWIN'S RADIO

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Darwin's Radio biography
DARWIN'S RADIO is a four piece progressive-rock outfit from the south of England. Their music is described as powerful melodic rock, with thoughtful lyrics, dynamics and excellent tempo changes. The band released their debut album "Eyes of the World" in April 2006, and was written, performed, arranged & produced by Mark Westworth (Keyboards), Dec Burke (Vocals & guitars), Sean Spear (Bass), and David Pankhurst (Drums). Previously Dec Burke and current drummer Tim Churchman played in the RUSH tribute band SPIRIT OF RUSH and Mark Westworh and Sean Spear were members of the Neo-Prog group GREY LADY DOWN.

"Eyes of the World" is currently receiving excellent reviews from the prog-community - the group are scheduled to play ROSFEST 2007 in the USA with FROST, PENDRAGON and others, and are also playing Summers End festival with "THE FLOWER KINGS" in October in the UK. The band draws influences from PORCUPINE TREE, DREAM THEATER, GENESIS, RUSH, and MUSE to name a few. The live dates see a change in personal with the addition of new drummer Tim Churchman - Mark. Sean Dec & Tim are currently writing material for their second album due in 2007.

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DARWIN'S RADIO discography


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DARWIN'S RADIO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.18 | 35 ratings
Eyes Of The World
2006
4.05 | 102 ratings
Template For A Generation
2009

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DARWIN'S RADIO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eyes Of The World by DARWIN'S RADIO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.18 | 35 ratings

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Eyes Of The World
Darwin's Radio Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Strange, I listened to this band a long time ago, listened for a couple of weeks to impregnate their sound into memory, which wasn't too difficult given the familiar ingredients, even wrote a review for other album, and promptly forgot about them and to write another review. I guess that kind of sums up my impression of them and their place in prog world. Good, but not essential.

Anyway, Darwin's radioheads combine neo-proggish melodicity and prominent keys, almost-metallic heavy guitar and emotive vocals and personal lyrical themes more common to alternative rock. Their debut album (sadly, it appears as if there only gonna be two) features several well-written, if unoriginal, multi-part and multi-mood songs, a radio hit wannabe in Stronger, a pleasant instrumental in Eccentric Orbits.

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 Template For A Generation by DARWIN'S RADIO album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.05 | 102 ratings

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Template For A Generation
Darwin's Radio Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Now here's a great idea - do a prog album of one 20-minute song and a couple of 10-minute plus songs. Put this album at the top of my listening queue! Darwin's Radio Template for a Generation exists at an intersection of neo-prog (good melodies and Pink- Floydian spacey breakdowns), melodic power metal (distorted guitar and energetic keyboards) and alternative rock (soft whiny vocals and overall buzziness of sound).

Songs have a typical prog structure of long intro-energetic part-softer part-solos-return to main theme-extended finish. Melodies and solos are infectious enough to air guitar to or listen while driving long-distance, but kinda generic if you are aiming not just for listening pleasure but some new discovery. I also have a problem with the buzzy guitar sound. Declan Burke is a great guitarist and a competent singer, plays solid riffs and solos, but the constant feedback sometimes drowns out everything else and make songs sound similar to the ear, even though they aren't. And I would also cut down on the super-long burning finishes.

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 Template For A Generation by DARWIN'S RADIO album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.05 | 102 ratings

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Template For A Generation
Darwin's Radio Neo-Prog

Review by arcane-beautiful

5 stars I love to see proper independent CD releases. No record labels, no mass amounts of information...just the basics.

This band I got interested into mainly because of the name (what...it's a cool name). So, I decided to give it a listen, and...I loved it. They where the perfect formula for me at the time. Amazing vocalist, blinding guitars, amazing instrumental work and epic song structuring and formulas. So...it was obvious I was going to get it.

All in all, this is a brilliant album. Chocked full of mostly everything I love, but I think the real highlight is Dec Burke. The mastermind behind the band, his guitar playing is phenomenal and his vocals are even better.

Now, the album does have some minor flaws. Sometimes, the band can go too much into neo prog territory, and at times sound a little bit like a Genesis/IQ rip off. But I think what saves this is the metal elements of the songs. Yes, that's right...these guys seem to be a prog metal band in neo sheep prog clothing. Another of the albums flaws is the mixing. Now, I will give it to these guys...they did make this band totally self funded and the material outshines the small poor quality of sound, but...the material is enough to save it.

By the way...these guys have broken up now, and it's a massive shame because with this album, it really seems they had something very special.

1. The Illusion Is Freedom - A very dramatic Genesis like song. It easily could have been split into parts. It is a song of constant and quite epic build ups. Musically wise it's flawless. Would have liked to have heard Dec belt a good bit in the song, but it was still a great performance. I do think it's the weakest track on the album, but still a pretty decent and well crafted epic. 9/10

2. Breathe It In - One of the heaviest songs on the album. Great hooks and some really powerful vocals from Dec. The guitar sound in this song has quite an industrial feel to It as well. 10/10

3. The Age Of Broken Reason - Ok...this has to be one of my favourite prog rock/metal songs ever. Whenever that mellotron intro hits, I get shivers up and down my spine. The hook gives me some good oul shivers as well. In many ways, this song gives me the same impression Porcupine Tree's Anaesthetize does...and if your a fan on that song, you need to hear this one. This is just spellbinding. 10/10

CONCLUSION: The recording isn't the best yes...the band aren't a massive name...they will probably be forgotten about...but...this album rules. I really don't know why these guys didn't get a lot of attention with this album, because they had a lot of talent and where one of the most interesting prog bands to come out of England in the past few years. It's so sad these guys broke up, because I really think this album was a stepping stone for what could have been another underlooked prog classic.

8.6/10

RIP Darwin's Radio

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 Eyes Of The World by DARWIN'S RADIO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.18 | 35 ratings

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Eyes Of The World
Darwin's Radio Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Another British new entry in the Neo Prog field, Darwin's Radio were found in 2003 by ex-Grey Lady Down keyboardist Mark Westworth and debuted the same year with the private 3-track EP ''Pictures''.Featuring also ex-Grey Lady Down bassist Sean Spear, vocalist/guitarist Declan Burke and Unlimbo's drummer David Pankhurst, Darwin's Radio focused on writing material for their first full-legth album.This was recorded at The Lodge Studios in Northampton and released in 2006 under the title ''Eyes of the World''.

A great debut indeed, ''Eyes of the World'' falls into the category of modern Neo Prog with strong symphonic and heavier leanings as proposed by bands such as SUBSIGNAL, FROST, ARENA or MTSYERY.A compilation of eight short and semi-long tracks with a fantastic production, nice vocals and bombastic still melodic musicianship is there to satisfy any fan of the genre.The longer compositions are trully interesting, full of impressive heavy breakouts, keyboard/piano- led symphonic leanings, expressive lyrics and plenty of changing moods, not far from Westworth's previous attempts with Grey Lady Down ,albeit with a more intense atmosphere overall.The inspired changes between grandiose moments and calmer, vocal-based material are another one of the band's positive assets.The short ones are satisfying as well, definitely with catchier arrangements and powerful rhythmic parts, still played with a professional sound and artistic approach.The guitars become almost metallic, the synthesizers are more sharp, Burke's singing becomes more crunchy and the material is quite rocking and highly memorable.

Very good debut with solid musicianship and some impressive moments as well.Strongly recommended to all fans of modern Progressive Rock, Neo Prog and Heavy/Symphonic Rock...3.5 stars.

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 Template For A Generation by DARWIN'S RADIO album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.05 | 102 ratings

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Template For A Generation
Darwin's Radio Neo-Prog

Review by Gallifrey

5 stars A truly fantastic piece of work

Darwin's Radio's second album is a record containing only three songs, each over 10 minutes, but none of them feeling the length at all. A spectacular display of how neo-prog is really not just an 80's fad of synth solos and flashy vocals.

The opener, "The Illusion is Freedom" is the longest, at 19 minutes, but seems to swing through it without boring, like much of the album. Piano leads the way through this one, with a nice opening section, and little touches of virtuosity throughout. A middle section has a couple of nods to Neal Morse, with a very symphonic feel in places. The lyrics are another sort of anti the machine sort, but more classy and less angry, like most songs with those themes. A very good song. Replayable, despite it's length, and some great vocal melodies for those who love singing as loud as they can (which I do, a lot)

The next is "Breathe It In", the shortest (lol, short) at 11.5 minutes. This song has a heavy guitar feel throughout, as opposed to the piano and synths of the opener, and would fit well in the heavy prog category on its own. I suppose it's good Darwin's Radio have made each song a different style, since there are only 3. This song is the best melodically, although the distorted riff can be a bit distracting at times. More nice piano touches and the classic neo-prog synths give this one a nice layer. Probably my favourite on the album, but maybe just because this is the best to sing really loudly.

Finally, "The Age Of Broken Reason", which returns to a softer style done in the opener, but is more guitar/synth based as opposed to piano. Some more nice lyrics, for those who like dystopian sort of stuff, and has probably the best solo of the album.

An easy 5 stars, and I know I only really give 5 star reviews, because I only review albums I adore basically. Get this if you like neo-prog, catchy melodies, piano, long songs or just if you want something new.

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 Eyes Of The World by DARWIN'S RADIO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.18 | 35 ratings

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Eyes Of The World
Darwin's Radio Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Darwin's Radio combines veterans of UK neo-prog act Grey Lady Down with members of a Rush tribute band, but to me their debut album resembles Spock's Beard more than anything else - particularly in the vocal harmonies. The album is pleasant enough if you like accessible, poppy neo-prog of the Grey Lady Down type with a bit more bite to it than usual; I admit that this style of neo-prog isn't exactly my thing but Darwin's Radio have managed to produce a decent enough album which captures some nice performances which should satisfy those who are in tune with their particular style.

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 Template For A Generation by DARWIN'S RADIO album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.05 | 102 ratings

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Template For A Generation
Darwin's Radio Neo-Prog

Review by FarBeyondProg

5 stars Wow, well if this band isnt just the breath of fresh air that prog rock needed, Darwin's Radio are a Neo-Progressive rock band from England with a prog metal touch here and there, now being a huge fan of Neo-Prog myself they looked like an excellent wee band, so i bought this album online, and i was not dissipointed at all. The album itself has only 3 songs in it, all over 10 minutes one nearly 20 minutes, and what we have here is a powerfull, beautiful progressive album full of lights and darks and some fantastic playing. Overall there is nothing bad i can say about this band, vocalist/guitarist Declan Burke has got an unreal voice, i put him right up there with Geddy Lee of Rush and Daniel Guildenlowe from Pain Of Salvation as my favourite prog vocalist, not only that but he has to play all the guitat parts as well, (which are perfect), bass drums and keyboards all the same, and the production is incredible, every song just as catchy, powerful and epic as the last. There are no highlights as everysong is as i said an epic journey;

The Illusion Is Freedom - 10/10 Breath It In - 10/10 Age of Broken Reason - 10/10

My Concluusion? I think this is the first time i ever gave every song on a band's album 10 out of 10 and rightly so, prog fan? you NEED to hear this band.

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 Template For A Generation by DARWIN'S RADIO album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.05 | 102 ratings

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Template For A Generation
Darwin's Radio Neo-Prog

Review by Dunn Khan

5 stars There was so many releases this year that I had almost forgotten about Darwin's Radio. So today I sat down and listened to this album and I was pleasantly surprised! The strength of all the three songs is fantastic, they flow extraordinarily well together, all-in all a great release. The opening track, "The Illusion is Freedom" sets the mood early and it tells you immediately that the entire album will be a journey, very strong guitar all throughout and Burkes' vocals, grandiose, reminding me strongly of Neal Morse. The second track, "Breath It In", continues the great mood and the general feel created in the first track. Same as in "The Illusion is Freedom", Burkes' performance is leading the band into perfect harmony, great keyboard in here too. Finally, the last and third track of "Template for a Generation", "Age of Broken Reason". All the mood buildup and the emotions expressed in the last minutes of the song are so impressive that it makes me repeat the entire album to feel it again. A definite five stars for me, I have yet to find a single flaw in this release.

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 Template For A Generation by DARWIN'S RADIO album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.05 | 102 ratings

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Template For A Generation
Darwin's Radio Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Neat sophomore effort from this UK act, sure to please most anyone with a love for long, epic tracks and the heavier part of the Neo-Prog universe.

And while the opening track The Illusion Is Freedom is a bit too much prog-by-numbers for my personal taste, a nice but predictable multisectioned epic with distinct Genesis influences, the following two numbers was much more interesting as far as I'm concerned.

Blending in metal elements in a pretty similar (but better!) manner like Sylvan did a few years ago, these two ventures explore a darker musical universe. With a distinct guitar theme shared with the bass on Breathe It In and several intriguing instrumental motifs for final effort Age of Broken Reason, both these numbers are very well made affairs. Somewhat unpredictable too, which is a nice bonus.

And while there's nothing truly original to be found here, this is an enjoyable effort nontheless. Especially if you're fond of metal-tinged Neo, obviously.

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 Template For A Generation by DARWIN'S RADIO album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.05 | 102 ratings

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Template For A Generation
Darwin's Radio Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Just did the review of Darwin's Radio's debut Eye of the World and already revealed that this successor was more spectacular in my believe and that's the best way to put it I guess. The firm sound of the band was already shining through on the debut but is even much more obvious on Template ... Besides this the songs are more epical and slightly better worked out here though I really believe this was already very much ok on Eye of the World.

The opening song The Illusion is Freedom is pretty mindblowing at first few listens but after 10 times I started to doubt if it would stand the test of time but that could also be a personal thing. It's a slightly overwhelming track at the beginning, starts to calm halfway but then it appears to be building up for an impressive finale. I'm really curious right now what I will think of this one in two years time or so. The other two tracks are a bit shorter and somewhat less impressive but still of roundabout 4 star level to me.

I can conclude with more or less the same statements as with the debut: if you like heavy accessible neo prog this one ought to be checked out. If you want more original and challenging prog you can leave it though. Still an excellent release in my book. 4 stars.

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Dec Burke. for the last updates

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