Title - 'DarWin 3: Unplugged'
Artist - DarWin
For those not in the know, DarWin first grabbed attention with the epic 17 track double album Origin of Species in 2019. It won over fans and critics alike with its mix of virtuoso playing, heavy guitars, and symphonic rock, co-produced by Simon Phillips.
The punchy follow up album DarWin 2: A Frozen War took the concept a stage further, adding musicians Billy Sheehan, Guthrie Govan, Greg Howe and Derek Sherinian to the mix.
Now comes DarWin 3: Unplugged, a collection of orchestral and stripped back versions of tracks from the first two albums.
Indeed, the songs first appeared as a bonus addition to the limited edition DarWin 2: A Frozen War double vinyl LP, and are now being given a stand-alone release here as DarWin 3 (on April 23rd, 2021).
1. 'Escape The Maze' (Orchestral)
2. 'Nightmare Of My Dreams' (Orchestral)
3. 'Slowly Melting' (Unplugged)
4. 'Forever' (Orchestral)
5. 'One Horizon' (Unplugged)
6. 'Rise' (Orchestral)
7. 'Last Chance' (Orchestral)
8. 'Another Year' (Acapella)
Opening with the sweepingly beautiful instrumental 'Escape The Maze' and the wondrously orchestral 'Nightmare Of My Dreams,' DarWin backs those up seamlessly with the ornate unplugged version of 'Slowly Melting' and then gives us one of the stand out highlights here (IMHO), the cinematically magnificent orchestral version of 'Forever.'
Next up is the unplugged, and gentle foot-tapper version of 'One Horizon,' which is backed by the orchestral versions of the gossamer of 'Rise' and the more forthright 'Last Chance,' with this third album closing on the hand-clapping euphoria found within the pop hipsway of the acapella track 'Another Year.'
The album, once again produced by Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who, Santana), features DarWin (guitars), Matt Bissonette (Elton John, Jeff Beck) on bass and vocals, The Chamber Orchestra of London, and The Reykjavik Quartet across its eight tracks. Phillips also adds his signature percussion and effects to the album.
DarWin says, “Upon completing our first and second albums, we quickly realized that completely different interpretations of the songs were possible by isolating the strings or acoustic instruments as much as possible."
"Indeed, they sounded like completely different songs, although the fundamental concepts and spirit of the songs remained intact. Simon went to work on doing new mixes with the exact same instruments and tracks from the recordings in the earlier albums to create these ‘unplugged’ versions of the songs."
"Matt Bissonette also recorded two new solo versions of ‘Slowly Melting’ and ‘One Horizon,’ with just his voice and bass. Simple and pure. ‘Slowly Melting’ was recorded on a live take with the voice and bass parts simultaneously."
"Many of these songs were deeply emotional journeys, and that character tends to shine through in these unplugged versions.”
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