Matt Smith and I go way back, he started his one-man band Theocracy around the same time I began putting Powerofmetal.dk together and when he released his first album on MetalAges Records it was one of the first albums to feature on the site and when I interviewed him in the fall of 2003, it was also one my very first interviews.
A lot of water has run under the bridge since and Theocracy has grown into a full scale band and the site has also grown and both have become more than a one-man project. And both have benefited a lot from the ageing and growth, and just like good red wine, we’ve aged for the better (I think).
Matt described his music in 2003 as Epic Metal with occasional progressive tendencies, these days I would call them a melodic power metal band with occasional progressive tendencies. The pace has gone up, and the symphonic tendencies have also gone up, and “Ghost Ship” is a magnificent powerful and fast melodic metal album.
Have they been able to top their very strong predecessor “As the World Bleeds” released 5 years ago, with this new album? They sure have; this is their best and most complete album to date. Matt has really grown as a vocalist, and the guitar duo consisting of Val Allen Wood and Jonathan Hinds delivers one great riff, lick and lead after another, and the harmonies and hooks are spot on. The influences are many and diverse, from the obvious European power metal influences, bands like Queensrÿche, Crimson Glory and Iron Maiden do also rear their ugly head occasionally, even Queen makes an appearance.
They have managed to master the amount and combination of melodic pieces, powerful pieces and symphonic pieces better than on their previous three albums and the result is a great album. Ten well produced and delivered songs, only “Stir the Embers” falls a bit short , is what “Ghost Ship” offers us.
And when the album reaches its conclusion with the epic album closer and best moment with “Easter” all you want to do is to push play once more and listen to the album all over again…
- Paper Tiger (5:12)
- Ghost Ship (4:39)
- The Wonder Of It All (6:37)
- Wishing Well (5:01)
- Around the World and Back (4:56)
- Stir the Embers (4:07)
- A Call To Arms (4:39)
- Currency In A Bankrupt World (4:40)
- Castaway (4:42)
- Easter (9:52)
Playing Time: 56:15
Release date: October 28, 2016
Label: Ulterium Records