Review: DarWin – ‘Origin Of Species’

”The world is fucked, and so am I”. ‘Origin Of Species’ is a mammoth, musical concept album that deals with the outcome of what happens when the world is well and truly fucked. Set in the not so distant 2028, a world ravaged by the effects of global warming, climate change, and nuclear war. The human population is diminishing, and the story’s protagonist DarWin awakes, unaware of where he is, or how he got there. The essence of the story is; can one person make a difference? Can one person restore the planet? Musically, it’s like a heavier version of Jeff Wayne’s ‘War Of The Worlds’. It has a lot of the same attributes, sweeping orchestral arrangements, intriguing storytelling, and a cast of top-notch performers. ‘Origin Of Species’ features legendary drummer and producer Simon Phillips, who engineered, mixed, and drove the production on the album. Simon Phillips, perhaps one of the most revered drummers, ever. Period. If Phillips is part of the project, it demands your attention. He forms the core of the “band” along with Matt Bissonette on vocals and bass, as well as DarWin on guitars and pianist Jeff Babko. ‘Origin Of Species’ is lengthy, it is a progressive concept album after all, so kiss the family night-night and settle down with a decent pair of cans. It’s definitely not an album to drop in and out of, you need to be along for the long haul, nearly ninety minutes in total, but inside you’ll find lots of intricate playing, as well as some face melting riffage. It takes you on a journey guided by Bissonette’s dreamy vocals, trippy as hell in places (‘For Humanity), lighter than light in others (‘Gummy Bear’ and ‘Cosmic Rays’), modern funk/rap-meets-electronica (‘Modern Insanity’) as well as total all-out-rock in others (‘War Against My Mind’). ‘Escape The Maze’ is the first video release from the album and asks; “Can humanity be saved?”, all played out over seven glorious minutes with stunning cymbal work from Phillips during the intro. I have no clue who DarWin really is, but his playing is impeccable. Even on an airy moment like ‘Modern Insanity’, he still delivers a jaw dropping solo, leading into a frantic closing few seconds as the band really go for it. The orchestral arrangements are spellbinding, with incredible work from The Origin Of Species Quartet, The Reykjavik String Quartet, and The Chamber Orchestra Of London (Conductor Matt Dunkley). The string arrangements in particular will blow you away, especially on ‘The Last Chance’. ‘Origin Of Species’ will not be for everyone. It’s an investment of your time, and sometimes in this maelstrom world that we live in, it pays to take time to stop for more than a minute once in a while (or in this case, nearly ninety minutes). Available now, more information here. Review: Dave]]>

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