Album Reviews

Theocracy – As The World Bleeds Review

Released by: Ulterium Records

Release Date: November 25th, 2011

Genre: Progressive Metal

Links: http://www.theocracymusic.com/


Line Up:

Matt Smith: Vocals

Jon Hinds: Guitar, Vocals

Val Allen Wood: Lead Guitar

Shawn Benson: Drums

Jared Oldham: Bass


Tracklist:

01. I AM

02. The Master Storyteller

03. Nailed

04. Hide in the Fairytale

05. The Gift of Music

06. 30 Pieces of Silver

07. Drown

08. Altar to the Unknown God

09. Light of the World

10. As the World Bleeds


I can’t remember where I was or how I ran across the natives from Athens, Ga Theocracy;  one of the best kept secrets in the genre of Progressive Metal. Let’s face the truth here no need to beat around the bushes, back in the day I was deeply embedded in the genres of Power Metal and Progressive Metal which led me to stumble to bands like Kamelot, Pagan’s Mind and yes Theocracy. At the beginning of the band’s early career in 2003, they we’re labeled as a “Christian” power metal band, odd but yes the music had those elements in it’s core as it dealt with christian issues. Also if I remember correctly lead singer Matt Smith was responsible for most of the recordings and instrumentation if not all on the debut, but please correct me if I’m wrong? okay? Whatever this entailed, the production and the task of recording an epic like the debut caught my eye and ears needless to say, thankfully the band came together a few years after their debut and now have a full working line up with plenty of capable musicians.

Jump to 2011 and the band releases here their upcoming third album and second through Ulterium Records titled “As The World Bleeds”. They have grown up a bit and as intricate as the music itself is, these guys do a superb job of paying attention to the lyrics because they are mighty thoughtful and provoking. And yes I have to label these young mates as one of America’s best hidden talents not only because of the obscurity of the national spotlight for a genre that sometimes gets a bad rep for being unoriginal or too intricate, but because they are still fairly new when it comes to releasing albums.  With Theocracy you get a polish sound with plenty of layers of undertaking that will leave a mark in a good way of course.

Big chorus opuses are a trademark that the band has featured in their previous albums, and here you pick up on this grandiose trait on songs such as the speedier bombastic groove of “The Master Storyteller”. Some songs here still deal with those same Christian themes, but not in a preachy type of way, is a fair and balance interpretation which makes for some solid and epic songwriting at times. Hint: just take a look at the song “Nailed” and it’s beneath the surface lyrics, but you add that to an already explosive rhythm section and you have one hell of an intense opus. The mellower menacing drums of “Drown” lead way to a thunderous super charged melodic guitar solo in this building uptempo cranker, packing a heavy punch in the storytelling department.

If you don’t mind the religious lyrical undertones in it’s core, then you will find a boastful of deep musicianship that filters it’s way like a complete band should. I think in my honest opinion these guys  and from this album on forward have the capability to shine as bright as some of the icons of the symphonic structured metal side of things, think of bands like Savatage circa “Wake of Magellan” but with stronger riffs and more power metal laden lead guitar hooks. I feel that the group can run miles around other bands in the way they write music and you add this to an already powerful rhythm section and one can only dream of the future.  The band has always been more closely compared in resemblance to their European counterparts like Blind Guardian or Angra from Brazil,  but whichever band I can compare Theocracy to, the bottom line is that is refreshing to have these guys back with a powerful new record, full of bombastic hooks and melodies. The most complete album to date and full of unforgettable tracks.

 

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   8/10

Theocracy – As The World Bleeds Review

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One thought on “Theocracy – As The World Bleeds Review”

  1. Nice review, Theocracy is my favorite band. Though I had to correct you… Angra is from BRAZIL, man!

     

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