Theory – The Art Of Evil

Well, I didn’t see this one coming. A colleague of mine asked if I would be interested in reviewing a debut album of the Danish progressive power metal band Theory. Although I still only have 24 hours in a day, I grabbed this opportunity. I went in completely blank and the first thing that struck me after the intro was the vocals, they sound so familiar and so damn good! Then I took a look at the info and found out that Nicklas Sonne (Evil Masquarade, Defecto and Malrun) is the frontman. An other thing that immediately got me is the sound of the guitars. They sound very crunchy and a bit low tuned, which sees to it that the songs sound rather heavy. Responsable for that is founding member Odin Laugesen Madsen, also known as guitar teacher at the Danish Metal Acadamy. He is a fabulous shredder and riffmonster. Esben Dueholm is the other riff master in the line-up. The band is completed by the other founding member and drummer Martin Killic (Death Comes Pale) and bassplayer Kim Mikkelsen. Kim played in Twilight and was responsable for the bass parts on one of my favorite albums Eye For An Eye.

All this experience of this great musicians explain the high level in song writing and execution. The music is a kind of mix of Symphony X, Nocturnal Rites in their Shadowland era, Defecto and Nevermore (the riffing). The title track is immediately one of the highlights, a midtempo song with a nice refrain, a sporadic grunt and a low tuned bass that gives it a real heavy vibe. Nicklas shines in ‘Sea of Damnation’ and puts the level high for everyone calling himself a metal singer. The tribal part makes me think of Sepultura and the shredding guitarsolo is phenomenal. ‘Demon’s Domain’ starts as a  Dio track with a slow riff, but then speeds up, some shredding in Zakk Wylde style follows. Again a very strong track with roots of Black Sabbath, Dio and Ozzy in it. Thoughts of Symphony X return with the song ‘Stranger Descent’, the guest part of Derek Sherinian is the icing on the cake.

After that I can mention every song because they all have the same high level and I enjoy them from the first note till the last. Everything is valid on the album, the drums sound tight, the bass fits perfect in the mix, the guitar riffs have the right heavy crunchy tune and the singer is one of the best in the genre. If I have to choose a favorite song it would be the heavy track ‘In Silence We Ride’, with fast drum parts, some great riffs half way and a nice solo near the end. The song I have to get used to the most is the ballad ‘Our Journey’, not a bad song, but it just misses something really special. The grand finale with ‘Skies Are Falling’ ends this album as great as it started.

I don’t think there will be a lot debut albums this year that are going to top this. I would have given the band almost the perfect ten devils, but I am not, just because I want to challenge them to even make a better second album in the future. First there will be only a digital release, but a physical one will follow soon. I can’t wait to lay my hand on that one.

Tracklist:

01. Awakening
02. The Art Of Evil
03. Sea Of Damnation
04. Demon’s Domain
05. Strangers Descent
06. Frozen
07. Liquid Order
08. The Escape
09. In Silence We Ride
10. Catch-22
11. Our Journey
12. Skies Are Falling

 

Playing time: 53:00

Release date: 20 February 2017

Label: Digital release through Gateway Music

Website: www.theorymetal.com

Reinier de Vries
About Reinier de Vries 188 Articles
Once a metal head, always a metalhead. My parents thought it would only be a period, but they were wrong. I quit to explain the beauty of metal music to others that are not into metal, because it is something you can't tell in words... It is like explaining to a teetotaller why a cold beer is so nice on a hot day... I started with bands like Accept, Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Metallica in the eighties and I think I will still listen to them when I'm stone deaf and old...

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