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WEBCounter by GOWEB    

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   THEOCRACY
Theocracy
2003
MetalAges Records
http://www.theocracymusic.com


rating: 5/5

1. Prelude
2. Ichthus
3. The Serpent's Kiss
4. Mountain
5. Theocracy
6. The Healing Hand
7. Sinner
8. New Jerusalem
9. The Victory Dance
10. Twist Of Fate

There is value for money guaranteed at this record of the one-man-band Theocracy. The debut album of mastermind Matt Smith contains ten tracks, three of them longer than ten minutes, and only the introduction is less than 4 minutes. Of course, these facts do not guarantee good music, but it is a good thing, when you think about bands, who publish CDs with a total playing time of about half an hour.

After the classical intro, the song "Ichtus" is the complete opposite - a speed-metal-song of great class, catchy and good, so the first impression is positive for sure. Next on ice "The Serpent's Kiss", with about twelve minutes one of the longer songs. It starts calm, but developes to a mid- to up-tempo-song with a bombastic chorus. A long and very melodious part, sounding quite progressive later on, is being replaced by a confusing spoken part, where several voices seem to talk in a disturbed way. In the final part, the instruments come to light again and finish the song. Also the mid-tempo-song "Mountain" is being dominated by bombastic music and monumental choires and persuades through its great chorus. The titletrack of the record and band starts symphonical, one could imagine a huge army going into battle. But soon, the electric guitar & co. join the song and convert it into a song full of melodies and speed. Just the bridge seems a bit confusing, the different vocals (antiphony) loses a bit of its effect. But the song continues more clearly structured and a bit slower. After a calm middle part, the song continues a bit boring, the usually great vocals seem a bit indifferent, but the singing gets "normal" and better towards the end. Another masterpiece is "The Healing Hand", starting off with an unusual guitar-sound, some kind of raw and rocking, but soon the usual bombastic elements join in. The song is devided into five parts, in the beginning clearly more down-to-earth than the one before, but the bombast never completely disappears, at latest in part IV it returns. The last part ist he fastest, another way to play a finale, not the usual orchestral way. "Sinner" is a bit toting, almost a bombastic ballad, "The New Jerusalem" stands in contrary to that, it is another fast song, that slows down a little bit during the bridge just to accelerate even more within the chorus; and bombast as usual, especially at the end of the song. Different is "The Victory Dance", some folky influences within the mid-tempo-sphere, reminding a bit of bagpipes, but the bombast must be here too, otherwise it wouldn't bet he same band. "Twist Of Fate" is the third song longer that ten minutes and the final song of the stunning album. Also this song is no exception, quite catchy metal, not really different from the other songs, but somehow a bit more various than the other songs.

It is really remarkable, that Matt Smith recorded the Theocracy-debut completely on his own. All instruments played by himself, though the drums are programmed by a computer, and the bombastic sounds are keyboards, of course. To my wondrousness, the drum-computer doesn't bother me at all, I even didn't really recognize it. Of course you do, when you listen really hard, but through the great variety of the record, the drums don't attracts attention in any negative way. On the Theocracy-homepage are four MP3-songs the download for free, so go there and load them, especially when you like bombast-sounds such as Blind Guardian or other epic-monumental music. But anyway, just buy the CD, you'll like it !!

submitted by Paddy 29.12.2004

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