Review – Dec Burke – Life In Two Dimensions

Dec Burke is well known as the former guitarist/ vocalist with acclaimed UK progressive rockers Frost*. As well as his work with Dilemma, Audio Plastik and Darwin’s Radio, he has released numerous solo projects and is back with this brand new solo album.

‘Life In Two Dimensions’ is an album of our times, written against the backdrop of the UK lockdown throughout 2020.  It covers themes of loss, hope, excitement, and the modern world of endless advertising and materialism.

The album features contributions from acclaimed musicians; Scott Higham – Drums (Pendragon), Kristoffer Gildenlöw – Bass (Pain of Salvation), Robin Z. – Piano (Dilemma) Guilherme Aguilar – Bass and Cello, Reiner Siemens – Bass and Robin Armstrong – Mixing, Mastering, Backing Vocals, Keys, Bass (Cosmograf).

While Dec may be best known for being in Frost*, he has developed his own unique sound and it can be heard throughout all of his solo works. Powerful, guitar driven music with large slabs of modern era progressive rock combine with his effortless vocals to deliver huge soundscapes awash with soaring harmonies, elegant keyboards and a very stylish rhythm section.

This new album delivers more of the same, the emotive draw of opening title track Life In Two Dimensions gives an idea of the sumptuous musical experience that is to come. Emergency has a frenetic, in your face, energetic vibe that carries you along in its wake, Sister X has a heavier, more complex and progressive feel to it and This Time is a superbly melodic ballad with a compelling and stirring soul to it.

Dec’s vocals are the star here, his voice can carry emotion, energy and dynamism with equal aplomb and his dexterous guitar playing delivers some fine solos.

Sunlight is a little gem of a song with a pulsing beat and rapid guitar riff that immerses you some kind of mischievous thrill ride, Love Steel takes a monstrous riff and segues into something that could have come from the Hair Metal era of the 80’s, there’s a glint in the eye and a feeling of fun running throughout this track. There’s an elaborate seriousness to Energy with it’s primeval riff, demanding vocals and vibrant chorus that shows Dec’s songwriting skills of to perfection.

Talking of perfection, Fly With Broken Wings, is, in my opinion, one of the best tracks that Dec has ever written, infused with a brooding grandeur. There’s a building tension bubbling under that is released by another fine chorus, a fine track indeed. Sophistication and refinement are at the heart of another great track, Paper Fortress, a lush and polished seven minutes plus of musical splendour. The album closes with the no-nonsense rock of Trap Door, another edgy track full of verve and energy.

You always know what you are going to get with Dec Burke, an album full of polished, quality songs that have his musical aptitude and dexterity written all over them, ‘Life In Two Dimensions’ takes this to another level.

Released 24th September, 2021

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Dec Burke – Gravity Dream Music

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