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Theocracy - Theocracy CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.47 | 19 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
3 stars Originally Theocracy was a one-man project of Matt Smith, and this the debut album was released in 2003. Now, while Matt is a multi-instrumentalist he wasn't a proficient drummer so instead used a dreaded drum machine to fulfil that part for him. The album gained acclaim, so for future releases he brought in Shawn Benson to undertake that role. Now, after being unavailable for some time, he has decided to revisit the album and Shawn has recorded new drum tracks. Musically that is the only change to the original, but he has taken the opportunity to re-mix it and then brought in Mika Jussila (Nightwish, Stratovarius, Children of Bodom) to remaster it. In addition, he has provided new liner notes and track comments.

This album was originally released back in 2003 through Metal Ages, and I didn't hear it at the time, but am really glad to have the opportunity now as this really doesn't sound like a project but like a full on band. Given my personal hatred of drum machines I am sure that using Shawn to go over the previous tracks has had a huge impact as he is a large part of the overall sound. Also, Matt has a very powerful voice while also being a very good guitarist, which definitely adds to the band feel. Keyboards are used sparingly and are not really a key part to the overall sound, and this comes over much more as a melodic metal/power metal outfit than a prog metal one.

Influenced by bands as diverse as Edguy, Iced Earth and Savatage, this is an incredibly solid debut and certainly doesn't sound 10 years old. Well worth investigating.

kev rowland | 3/5 |


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