Review Summary: A very heavy, technical and promising debut album from one of Sweden's best technical death-metal bands.
It is hard to define the term "technical". Sometimes, I think an 80's thrash metal band is far more technical than a modern technical death metal, for example. Man, I can even say that blues musicians possess greater techniques than metal musicians! My first technical metal experiences was probably Megadeth
, though they are not labelled as a technical band but I still think that they were far more than the rest of the "Big Four" during the raise of thrash metal. Later I came a across Denmark's tech thrashers called Atillery
, who are indeed technical in their music. I started to look after technical death metal bands when my interest of thrash started to bleak; I wanted something new. I looked until I came across a band that reeks of technical and complex musical skills. Theory In Practice
is my current number one technical death metal band, and it's just too bad that people don't realize how technical this band really is. Unfortunately the band is on hold, but that hold has been going for over five years now so you could almost fear the worst: that the band is no longer active. The good news is that the band has put out three more or less amazing albums filled with deathlike technical and complex music.
I got all three albums almost at the same time, and all of them had a unique and distinctive sound, song collection, vocal performances, technique level etc. Armageddon Theories
is probably the band's most greatest album I have ever encountered when it comes to extremely well-executed guitar work, and Colonizing The Sun
displayed fine examples of technical music even if the band had lowered the intensity level a bit. However, we have to focus a bit on their first album too you know. Third Eye Function
was released in 1997 and this album was better than I thought it would be. This album is definitely the only album from this band that deserves to be called death metal since the vocals are evil death grunts. Heavy, dark and complex would be enough to describe this album. We have definite highlights like the fast shredding Worlds Within Worlds (The Etheral Withdrawl
and The Third-Eye Function
. We have some slower and darker songs like Submissive
and The Expiring Utopia
. There is also an instrumental track Void Of Origin
; it's a short one but here you will experience some sweet finger dexterity on acoustic guitars.
In this album the vocalist was Johan Ekman
, and he also happens to be one of the guitarists. Johan
does a good job to deliver real death vocals, still nothing fairly amazing in terms of vocal performance but he adds a different atmosphere to the music. As a guitarist he also does a great job, and it still appears that he is more focused on the rhythm sections and not the lead section. Either way the riff have a clear Meshuggah
influence to them since they have a staccato and choppy structure. However, on this album they are heavy, catchy at times, complex and of course technical. Peter Lake
, the other guitarist, is one of my new personal guitar heroes. People don't realize how skilled he really is with a guitar. He follows along in the rhythm sections but he also performs the solos and the acoustic parts as well. Sometimes during the songs small sections of fast picked acoustic patterns are played. Good or bad, you have decide that, but I think that it is a great thing since it creates a extra flavour to the tracks. These acoustics are very fast, very technical and they have a small Spanish influenced sound as well. Solos? Yes we have solos in this album but I can only think of one thing when I hear these solos: San Francisco's Bay Area thrash bands like Testament
, especially Testament
because the solos sounds very familiar to Testament's
prime days; fast, high-pitched, melodic and technical solos. Mattias Engstrand
handles the bass and the keyboards. As a bassist he follows the rhythm sections like a shadow, and this is not a sloppy half-a**ed bassist that just stands in the background and watching the scene. Here you hear a clear bass that has a mechanical and destructive sound, and there are also some parts throughout the album where you can notice some small standouts. He also handles the keyboard, and even if the keyboard isn't played in every song you will notice that this is a man who also has some serious finger skills. The keyboard creates a small atmosphere to the songs at times but when he really kicks off the keyboard, it's at the same level as Children Of Bodom's
keyboarder. Henrik Ohlsson
is also a vocalist but here he functions as a drummer and backup singer (screamer). His drum patterns have nearly the same structures as the guitars, such when the guitars are slow, and then the drums are slow and so on. The drum patterns are technical (of course), as you have some double bass kicking and other types of heavy metal beats. Either way the drums work fine alongside the guitars and bass.
I actually had to raise my rating after listening to this album, but, there were still some flaws that I will bring up. The good stuff I found in this album was the sound production; the songs had a dense, thick and hefty sound, almost crunchy. The death grunts added a totally new atmosphere to the music, the guitar performance was flawless and most of the songs had a good song structure that didn't felt too similar to other songs. Some things I thought were slightly bad were the flow of the music, as there was too much staccato moments. Like troops during WW1, first they move forward, then they stop, move forward again, then they are pushed back and so on. The guitars didn't have the right flow that I like, as I prefer fast rampaging shredding instead of choppy and staccato riffing. The album tends to be a bit repetitive at times and might be hard to enjoy, and if you want to enjoy this then blast your stereo to max volume, sit back and admire the wonderful sound of technical death metal. This album should suit most death-sters, most because of the heavy music, the vocals and the guitar solos. People who like bands like Death
, Neglected Fields
would enjoy this album. If you like death metal of any kind you should give Theory In Practice
+ Awesome sound production, every instrument is heard
+ The backup screams creates an extra touch of extremeness
+ Very heavy death metal music
+ Awesome guitar performance
+ The keyboards creates a good atmosphere in some of the songs
- More speed should've been used
- Can be a bit repetitive
- This album might be hard to enjoy, especially if you are going to listen to it from start to finish
Recommended Favourites, In Order
-- The Third-Eye Function
-- Theoretical Conviction
-- Astral Eyes
A very strong debut album with lots of heaviness and technique, this album will be given a 4/5.