Review Summary: More keyboards are included in this album which makes it a bit more special. Unfortunately there is a lame cover song here that lowers the album's overall rating.Theory In Practice
must be one of the best metal band names I have ever encountered, and the name also describes this band's qualities nearly exactly as well. Theory In Practice
happens to be a technical/progressive death metal band that hails from Sweden. I have been thinking like this for awhile now: How do I know if this music is technical since the band is labelled that way?
Well I can tell you that there is a big big difference from a technical band compared to a "non-technical" band if I say so. I would describe Theory In Practice's
music as extremely technical and complex, heavy and quite intriguing death metal. They were formed somewhere in 1995 and they released their last album in 2002. With three full-length albums in their backpocket they have come to a temporary hold up but their current albums are definitely worth to check out. Two members from this band have also made a small side-project where they perform black metal, but unfortunately that project is currently inactive.
Colonizing The Sun
is their latest album which was released in 2002 and I tell you that this album while not dissapoint those looking for unparalled skill! When I first looked for technical music, I browsed for technical death metal because I have already encountered technical thrash, so I was curious of how technical death would sound like. Most bands I found were playing a more brutal directed form of tech death so went for Theory In Practice
(mostly because of the cool name). I looked at their website where I downloaded a sample from this album that I'm about to review. This track was called Shapeshifter
and it simply struck my mind out of balance even if it was less than one and a half minute long. It was very technical, very barbaric, catchy and not as "old-school" as many other death bands. Death metal lyrics are often focused on death, violence, gore and more death and stuff like that but Theory In Practice
does not rehash the old stuff. Apocalyptic and universal themes are this band'scup of tea, but just because that this band happens to have a bit different lyrics, you will still experience words that are very typical for the death gerne. At least these lyrics has a higher intelligence level than your average death-metal poetry, however.
Apparently, the band members appear to play different instruments from time to time. As with many death metal bands, these vocals sound very strained and quite harsh with a raspy touch. Definitely not a standout voice, and these vocals could've been stronger because they are somewhat overwhelmed by the guitars at times. But if you can get past the vocals, you're in for a treat with the guitars! This type of guitar work will definitely lower your self-esteem if you thought that you could play guitar; this is technicallity up your ***. Never before I have experienced guitar work of this kind, as everything is excuted with perfection, precision and tight skills. Riffs and solos have all complex structures which are pretty catchy and have a hook to them, of course. Tremolo riffs are heard at times and insane shredds can also be heard throughout the songs. If you are digging for solos than this album is a solo gold mine, as every solo are more or less chaotic, fast and a bit melodic too I would say. But the bass, however, lacks far behind. The bass still adds a good sound that backs up the mighty guitars, and you can hear a few bass notes here and there though. However, the bass works pretty damn good because it follows the guitar work with excellence, you just don't hear it. One unusual instrument in death-metal is a keyboard, depending on the death genre. Here we have a keyboard that puts extra texture and flavour on the album material, and I have to tell you that these keyboards are nearly as fast and complex as the guitars. Blast beats and mid-paced action are often the main course in death metal but they're not so much death in the drums in this album. Most of these drum patterns are basically structured to flow alongside the guitars, but it still sounds great since there's lots double bass kicking and other sorts of crazy drum parts. There is nothing too insane or lame in the drum performance, to be honest.
Interesting, mind blowing and awesome are just a few words that I want to use to describe this album and band. I found a lot of good stuff in this album, first of which being the musicianship. This is the first time I have experienced this kind of technique and complexity in such large amounts, from basically all of the instruments. Even if there is total controlled chaos you will notice that melodies ring out quite often, and this is one factor that makes this album eaiser to accept or "get into". Sometimes when you listen to technical music and especially metal you might think that everything would cross each others ways and the "controlled chaos" becomes "uncontrolled chaos", but not here. Every song in present has a solid flow and posses their own distinctive structures, riffs solos, etc. I expected the keyboard to really ruin the music but it was actually better than I thought, but there are a few tunes and notes here and there that annoy me sometimes, but most of the time I really enjoyed it.
Some things didn't quite work out, however. One thing that turned me off was that on a few occasions, there where some acoustic guitar patterns and some cheesy keyboard tunes that kind of lowered the coolness on some of the songs. This does, luckily, occur quite rarely so you don't have nessecarily worry about that. As for the vocals, I really enjoy demonic, deep or really guttural growls but these vocals felt a bit weak in contrast to the intense music. These raspy and strained throaty vocals will probably bore you after a while. This Town Ain't Big For Both Of Us
is a cover from a band called The Sparks
, and it is horrible. This is the album's most terrible track, and it has a really quirky keyboard and is the total opposite the other aggressive tracks. Skip this unless you happen to like the original version of the song.
Enough of the good and the bad, here is the real deal: I enjoyed this album but not as much as I want to and that's most because of the vocals, the slight reduction of technique and the unnessecary and lame cover song. Other than that I really enjoyed almost every second of this album, and Shapeshifter
, Colonizing The Sun
and The Clockwork That Counts Aeons
are some tracks that became instant favourites to me. Real fans of the death metal genre might back off from this band since their type of death music has a bit more melody and occasionally catchy moments rather than old-school ingredients. But if you happen to like any
kind of death and especially technical stuff than you should aim at Theory In Practice
. This band is not at the same level as other technical death bands such as Necrophagist
, but bands like Neglected Fields
would be a better similarity to Theory In Practice
. Although the band still manages to keep some of the traits from death metal they posses unmatchable skill, complexity and precision, which is mixed with aggression, brutality and speed.
+ The level of techniallity is very
+ Quite catchy and melodic death metal
+ Great sound quality
+ Superb musicianship
- The vocals could've been stronger and deeper
- The cover song is just a waste of your time
- This album is pretty much perfected but the technicality is somewhat lowered a bit
-- Colonizing The Sun
-- Conspiracy In Cloning
This album will be given a solid 3.5/5