Darwin's Pride - State Of Mind

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 21:04:00

Is it evolution or a gift from God? That is the question Darwin's Pride raises at their website. Recently this Progressive Rock/Metal band presented their debut album to the public in the form of a live show. This turned out to be a pleasant surprise as Darwin's Pride is an excellent live band and despite showing that some members were not used to playing live, they really rocked that night. To show the audience why their sound was a bit similar to Dream Theater, they played an excellent cover, "Surrounded" from the Images And Words album, but still maintained their own style and sound. After their impressive show I picked up their debut (mini) album State Of Mind and gave it a spin.

The album was as equally a nice surprise as the live show, with three sparkling tracks. The first track on the album, "Illusions" is a balanced song with plenty of room for keyboards and a modest guitar solo. The guitars are crunchy, but not too heavy, so I miss the metal edge a bit and the vocals by Rob Laarhoven (Casual Silence) are very good and enjoyable to listen to. The two guitarists in the band, Harald Kuhn and Danny Braat, complement each other well, without too much soloing. "Scared" shows a bit more metal and has a good bass line by Erwin Munsters, who plays a custom made bass. This song also has a slight touch of nu-metal in it, which is not annoying, but adds flavour to the song. The clear keyboard solo comes from Martijn In 't Veld and the basis is laid by drummer Robert Strijbos. "Scared" is the longest song on the album, over 8 minutes, and definitely the best, with some good solos and a strong melody. But to be honest, "Emotions" is also very good, with several changes in the melody, some heavy riffs, lots of keyboards and a good guitar solo.

For a debut album or rather debut EP, State Of Mind sounds very good, fresh even and it gets into your head as soon as you hear it! Too bad there are only three tracks on it, the running time is very short and their setlist showed they have more to offer. But the production is good, the compositions are very strong and the artwork on the album is very nice. So I say Darwin's Pride is a gift from God and I hope they will keep on playing this fantastic music and grow in their work. If you ever get the chance to see them live, do it as you will not be disappointed. Otherwise visit their website to order the album, because despite the short length, this is a great album.

bands: Dream Theater, Casual Silence, Vanden Plas

[This review originally appeared May 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Illusions (5:23) / Scared (8:12) / Emotions (7:29)

Rob Laarhoven - vocals
Harald Kuhn - guitars
Danny Braat - guitars
Robert Strijbos - drums
Erwin Munsters - bass
Martijn In 't Veld -Keyboards

State Of Mind (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NL

Added: December 12th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.darwinspride.nl
Hits: 988
Language: english


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