Author Topic: The Theocracy Thread  (Read 47049 times)

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Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #105 on: December 22, 2011, 09:31:36 AM »
Just got this.  Taking it all in...

Kind of amazing just how much the lead vocals and vocal melodies sound like all the guys from Stryper and Firehouse got together to do an album.

That's a hard comparison for me to see, being that I know about 4 songs from both of those bands combined... but as long as you like the Theocracy record, it's cool.  I am loving this new album; it's pretty easily my AOTY.  All of the vocals are top-notch (as was to be expected), but the real surprise to me is just how much Val Allen Wood shreds on lead guitar (he wasn't with them yet on their last album).  Well, Bosk, keep as updated on your thoughts as you continue to take it in.

Offline bosk1

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #106 on: December 22, 2011, 09:37:52 AM »
I'm on the title track (last song) on my first spin of the entire record (listened to the first four songs separately on the drive in this morning), but I can't really listen at full volume in the office.  This is going to be a tough one to rank.  I don't mean this as a slight, but in one sense, it's "generic power metal" for lack of a better term.  There are things I love about power metal, and things that I find so grating that it turns me off completely.  This album sounds like it definitely has both of those elements.  But the things that I like (the complex motifs, the heavy guitars augmented by complex keyboards, etc.) are abundant.  And the added progressive elements as well as the lyrical themes are likely to hold my attention.  So this bodes well.  Still, it's probably going to take a little bit for me to really figure out what I think of this album/band.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #107 on: January 12, 2012, 11:45:01 AM »
My take on the album so far, from a thread on another forum where I said I couldn't decide whether I like it or not:

If you have to think about it, you obviously don't.

Not necessarily.  It's more a combination of (1) haven't fully digested it yet because I haven't had it very long and I have a ton of other music I am actively listening to much more often, and (2) I don't actively dislike it, but I'm still kind of on the fence because there are things I like and things I don't.  "Undecided" about sums it up best.

Some of the things I can note: 
-Thrashy stuff:  Like.
-Big, happy, cheesey power-metally stuff:  Eh.  Some of it is cool.  Some of it just doesn't do it for me, and this is a big part of their sound.
-Singing:  Overall, I like.  There are times when the singer seems like he is outright channeling Michael Sweet, which I simultaneously like and dislike.  Other times, he sounds completely original.
-Vocal arrangements:  These leave a lot to be desired.  It bothers me when there are too many lyrics for the sonic space in a given song.  There's just too much thrown in, and there's no way a singer could pull off those vocals live because there's nowhere to breathe. 
-Lyrics:  Overall, pretty good.  But there are times when I feel they fall into the trap of a lot of bands that go for a religious message, which is they can be very cliche.  There are a lot of deep, profound messages to be found in Christianity that can be explored without throwing around shallow cliches that do not represent those much deeper ideas.  Dunno, maybe I'm being too critical here, but this is something that annoys me a bit.
-Overall song arrangements:  There is some good stuff.  They strike a nice balance between straightforward and complex.  By that, I mean that the songs generally are much more than simple verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus, but they don't just meander aimlessly all over the place either. 
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #108 on: January 16, 2012, 01:05:17 PM »
-Thrashy stuff:  Like.
Me too.  Very much so.  I wish they would do a whole song or songs in the thrash style.

-Big, happy, cheesey power-metally stuff:  Eh.  Some of it is cool.  Some of it just doesn't do it for me, and this is a big part of their sound.
Do you feel like certain songs are more in this style or that the power metal sound is so spread throughout their sound that it makes it all a little questionable?  Granted, I don't listen to a lot of power metal, actually, so I'm no expert in the genre, but the only tracks that to me come off as straight power metal are "The Master Storyteller," "Hide in the Fairytale," and "Light Of The World."

-Singing:  Overall, I like.  There are times when the singer seems like he is outright channeling Michael Sweet, which I simultaneously like and dislike.  Other times, he sounds completely original.
Never really listened to Stryper or his solo stuff, so I can't really say if this is good or bad.  I think Matt Smith is an amazing vocalist, though.

-Vocal arrangements:  These leave a lot to be desired.  It bothers me when there are too many lyrics for the sonic space in a given song.  There's just too much thrown in, and there's no way a singer could pull off those vocals live because there's nowhere to breathe.
I've never noticed this at all.  My bigger concern seeing them in concert would be that it's impossible to do all the harmonies and choirs Matt Smith so painstakingly records on the album live.
 
-Lyrics:  Overall, pretty good.  But there are times when I feel they fall into the trap of a lot of bands that go for a religious message, which is they can be very cliche.  There are a lot of deep, profound messages to be found in Christianity that can be explored without throwing around shallow cliches that do not represent those much deeper ideas.  Dunno, maybe I'm being too critical here, but this is something that annoys me a bit.
Granted, I haven't sat down and listened with the lyrics in front of me, but I think overall these are pretty good lyrics that go beyond what you typically hear on, for instance, Christian radio.  "Light Of The World" is the only song that strikes me as being close to cliche.  "As The World Bleeds" is actually quite profound, lyrically speaking.  It gives a very vivid picture of how humans decide to play by their own rules, mess up the world, and then somehow blame God for how f'd up everything is.

-Overall song arrangements:  There is some good stuff.  They strike a nice balance between straightforward and complex.  By that, I mean that the songs generally are much more than simple verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus, but they don't just meander aimlessly all over the place either. 
Yes!  I especially like how "I Am" has the Irish interlude and then follows it up with the slightly DT-ish instrumental passage.  Likewise, the title track is just a riff factory, and I love how many different ideas are incorporated into it.

BTW - does Samsara listen to/like Theocracy?  He hasn't commented in this thread in a long time, but I assume he had some interest if he was asking your opinion of the album.

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #109 on: May 22, 2012, 01:43:22 PM »
So, yeah, I know this thread is pretty old, but I recently decided to buy a couple of MP3 albums from this band:

Mirror of Souls and As the World Bleeds

Lyrically, yeah, a bit on the cheeseball side I guess, but musically this stuff is pretty cool, especially As The World Bleeds

Offline bosk1

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #110 on: May 22, 2012, 02:14:48 PM »
I'll have to listen again.  I bought As The World Bleeds, and was quickly overwhelmed by cheese overload.  :symphonyx:
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline Nel

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #111 on: May 22, 2012, 02:30:28 PM »
For me, ATWB was just a big step down from MOS. Songs were nowhere near as catchy, barring "I Am".
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Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #112 on: May 22, 2012, 04:12:02 PM »
Yeah, "I Am" is a really, really good song.  I am able to tune the lyrics.  Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to listen to Neal Morse either.  :lol


Offline ronnibran

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #113 on: May 22, 2012, 05:38:41 PM »
Probably my third favorite band, after Neal Morse and Redemption.  I like the album Mirror of Souls the best.  The newest album is great too, but I prefer the more metal/less melodic style of its predessesor.

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #114 on: May 22, 2012, 10:57:32 PM »
To me, what gives ATWB the edge over MoS is the new lead guitar parts: Val Allen Wood is a world class shredder, and he really pulls out all the stops on the new album.  I didn't think MoS could be topped in all honesty, but as of now ATWB manages to do it, and it's mainly a function of all the new solos.

As a lyricist, sure a few of his songs are cheesy ("Light of the World," "Absolution Day"), but overall I think Matt Smith is a pretty decent lyricist, especially for the style of music they play.

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #115 on: May 23, 2012, 11:57:41 AM »
To me, what gives ATWB the edge over MoS is the new lead guitar parts: Val Allen Wood is a world class shredder, and he really pulls out all the stops on the new album.  I didn't think MoS could be topped in all honesty, but as of now ATWB manages to do it, and it's mainly a function of all the new solos.

As a lyricist, sure a few of his songs are cheesy ("Light of the World," "Absolution Day"), but overall I think Matt Smith is a pretty decent lyricist, especially for the style of music they play.

I don't feel like I'm getting any kind of ecclesiastical bludgeoning from the lyrics like some bands in this genre can do sometimes.  And I don't mind a bit of cheese so it's all good.  I think I agree about the guitar solos.  They definitely kicked it up a notch on ATWB

Offline bosk1

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #116 on: May 23, 2012, 12:10:13 PM »
ecclesiastical bludgeoning

Awesome album name right there.  :tup
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #117 on: May 23, 2012, 01:51:56 PM »
 :lol   You're right! 

Offline Zook

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #118 on: May 23, 2012, 06:17:33 PM »
KrotchRaut - Ecclesiastical Bludgeoning






Offline 7thHanyou

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #119 on: May 23, 2012, 10:07:39 PM »

As a lyricist, sure a few of his songs are cheesy ("Light of the World," "Absolution Day"), but overall I think Matt Smith is a pretty decent lyricist, especially for the style of music they play.

I actually think the verses of "Light of the World" are remarkably good in terms of lyrics.  Very vivid imagery, not too much literalism.

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #120 on: May 24, 2012, 02:02:46 PM »
KrotchRaut - Ecclesiastical Bludgeoning




 :rollin

Offline lateralus88

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #121 on: May 24, 2012, 02:05:33 PM »
I actually still need to listen to ATWB  :P. But every time I almost give it a chance, I'm all like "Oh what's this over here? Mirror of Souls? Mmmmmmmmm"
I felt its length in quite a few places.

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Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #122 on: May 25, 2012, 08:50:42 AM »
I actually still need to listen to ATWB  :P. But every time I almost give it a chance, I'm all like "Oh what's this over here? Mirror of Souls? Mmmmmmmmm"



You gotta give it a listen.  Like I've said several times now in this thread, the leads and solos take ATWB to a whole different level.  The title track, especially, is just jaw-dropping.



As a lyricist, sure a few of his songs are cheesy ("Light of the World," "Absolution Day"), but overall I think Matt Smith is a pretty decent lyricist, especially for the style of music they play.

I actually think the verses of "Light of the World" are remarkably good in terms of lyrics.  Very vivid imagery, not too much literalism.

I listened again yesterday to think on this, and I agree the verses aren't bad, but they are not particularly memorable to me, either.  I think partly it's the style of the song, with the "woah-oh-oh-woh-oh-woah-oh" intro vocal, and then the repeated "light of the world" refrain in the chorus, that make it seem a little cheesy.  I still like the song, though.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 08:57:05 AM by contest_sanity »

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #123 on: May 31, 2012, 09:20:07 AM »
So I'm going to see the band tonight as they play their (and my) hometown of Athens, Ga.  It's gonna be a short set b/c it's a benefit for a studio with lots of bands on the bill, but I'm still supes excited.  I also kind of got an invite from Matt Smith himself.  Remember last year when I shared the story of meeting him at Target (see here).  Well, one of my fellow coworkers approached me yesterday and asked me if I was a Theocracy fan?  I was like, "yeah, and why do you ask?"  She said that Matt was her cousin and that he remembered there was a tall dude who worked at Target who was a fan of the band.  He wanted me to know about the show.  Now I don't think I am particularly memorable or anything; I just think there are very few power/prog metal fans in Athens, so anybody who would actually stop him in public would naturally stand out.  Anyway, cool story bros.  I'll let y'all know how the concert goes.

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #124 on: May 31, 2012, 10:33:00 AM »
Yup, awesome story.
They need to tour!
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #125 on: May 31, 2012, 11:01:26 AM »
Yup, awesome story.
They need to tour!
They do tour...











































Europe  :tdwn

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #126 on: May 31, 2012, 11:35:55 PM »
The show was really great, although it was only about 45 minutes long. There were lots of bands on the bill, so nobody got a lot of time. The band also chose (wisely) to play mostly shorter songs rather than the epics. Setlist was:

Wages of Sin
Martyr
The Master Storyteller
Mountain
Light Of The World
Hide In The Fairytale
Drown
30 Pieces Of Silver

Every song was great, although HITF was a particular favorite. Thrashing to 30 Pieces was also amazing. I forgot, though, that I am no longer in my 20's and will definitely be feeling sore from the headbanging.

So yeah: cool story bros. Lastly, here's a pic of myself and Matt:


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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #127 on: June 02, 2012, 06:58:42 AM »
Great pic, man! :tup
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #128 on: July 11, 2012, 12:09:03 AM »
Found some instructional guitar videos Matt Smith & Val Allen Wood have released for some songs.  These are pretty cool:

Altar To The Unknown God

Laying The Demon To Rest

I AM part I

I AM part II

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #129 on: August 04, 2012, 11:32:59 PM »
Matt Smith just confirmed via Facebook that the video (Theocracy's first) for "Hide In The Fairytale" has been completed.

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. New Album IS OUT
« Reply #130 on: September 05, 2012, 03:59:12 PM »
Video is here:

Hide In The Fairytale

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. 1ST MUSIC VIDEO
« Reply #131 on: September 06, 2012, 07:25:24 PM »
Very nice.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline Unlegit

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. 1ST MUSIC VIDEO
« Reply #132 on: September 06, 2012, 07:37:37 PM »
Amazing band. Mirror of Souls is one of my favorite albums ever.

Offline Soldier777

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. 1ST MUSIC VIDEO
« Reply #133 on: September 16, 2012, 08:32:51 PM »
Glad to see there is a Theocrayt thread. I have all 3 CDs. The first one is out of print and the band is rerecording parts of it to be rereleased in the coming months. A great band with some great inspiring songs.

Offline Nel

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. 1ST MUSIC VIDEO
« Reply #134 on: September 16, 2012, 08:58:40 PM »
Glad to see there is a Theocrayt thread. I have all 3 CDs. The first one is out of print and the band is rerecording parts of it to be rereleased in the coming months. A great band with some great inspiring songs.

Intriguing. I like the first album but if they rerelease it with some better production as well, I'd definitely double-dip.
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Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. 1ST MUSIC VIDEO
« Reply #135 on: September 16, 2012, 10:11:35 PM »
Not only will the first album be better produced, they (re)recorded real drums for the whole thing.  I'm definitely buying when it comes out.

Offline Nel

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. 1ST MUSIC VIDEO
« Reply #136 on: September 16, 2012, 10:30:40 PM »
Then a double-dip it is!
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Offline Unlegit

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. 1ST MUSIC VIDEO
« Reply #137 on: March 05, 2013, 11:15:46 PM »
https://www.metalunderground.com/interviews/details.cfm?newsid=89297

So apparently the debut album has been finished! Can't wait.

Offline Unlegit

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. 1ST MUSIC VIDEO
« Reply #138 on: March 05, 2013, 11:16:20 PM »
https://www.metalunderground.com/interviews/details.cfm?newsid=89297

So apparently the debut album has been finished being remixed and rerecorded! Can't wait.

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The Theocracy Thread v. 1ST MUSIC VIDEO
« Reply #139 on: March 06, 2013, 02:41:47 PM »
^ Cool interview.  Looking forward to that reissue of the first album.