Last year, Burke surprised fans with his moody AudioPlastik project. It was a big departure from his neo-prog solo releases Paradigms & Storylines and Destroy All Monsters, but the experiment seems to have left an audible impression on his work. Although Book Of Secrets is neither pure progressive metal nor as heavy as AudioPlastik’s In The Head Of A Maniac, it does place a shiny metallic bubble around the former Frost* man’s passionate vocals and 80s-styled synths.
Each song is multi-layered and approached in a way that’s not dissimilar to Haken’s tackling of Affinity. Joining the Darwin’s Radio musician on his journey to the darker side are ex-Pain Of Salvation bassist Kristoffer Gildenlöw, Mellotron player Carl Westholm (CarpTree/Avatarium) and former Big Big Train drummer Steve Hughes adding depth to big tracks like the anthemic Everlasting, which merges a modern heavy rock sound with retro neo-prog.
The album has even been mastered by Karl Groom from prog metallers Threshold and mixed by F2 label-mate Lee Abraham (Burke recently sang on his album The Seasons Turn). Essential listening for neo-prog fans in search of something a bit different.