Dec Burke follows up his amazing debut with an even more amazing album in 2011 called Paradigms & Storylines. Dec handles electric & acoustic guitars and lead vocals. Joining him are Carl Westholm of Carptree (keyboards, keyboard arrangements), Mikael Wikman (drums, drumloops), Stefan Fanden (Fretted & frettless bass, fretless e-bow, additional guitars) and Cia Backman (background vocals). I guess you can say it’s more of a band effort than the debut.
“Days Like These” (6:39) opens the album perfectly in a grand bombastic style. Everything is upfront and fills your ears with wonderful music.
“March of the Androids” (5:15) is one of my favorites off the album. It has a very modern vibe about it. The bass is more evident in this track, giving it a futuristic groove.
“A Place For Life” (7:13) is mostly a straightforward song with an epic quality to it.
“The River” (5:56), “Yesterday’s Fool” (6:40) and “December Sun” (7:23) are all very beautiful ballad-like song where Dec’s vocals are at his most emotive. To me these three songs seem to fit very well together, at least musically, as a “suite” of sorts.
Ending off the album is Dec‘s first epic (as a solo artist) and the title track, “Paradigms & Storylines” (17:10). This song alone embodies everything that is Dec. It reminds me of what Dec was doing in Darwin’s Radio on Template For A Generation but more refined.
In closing, I have to say this was one of the most enjoyable albums I’ve had the pleasure to hear. With this album, Dec has secured his place in modern prog history even more. If you enjoy symphonic based prog with a modern edge then look no further than Paradigms & Storylines. It’s highly recommended!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on June 30th, 2012