Review Summary: I have never heard this type of guitar performance before in the death-metal genre. Ever! The guitars here are fast, extremely technical, catchy and heavy at the same time. An album of true guitar skills!
When you encounter bands that play technical music the result can both be amazing and horrible. What do I mean by horrible" What I mean is some technical bands tend to mix their instruments in a way that kind of destroys the whole song. Like say one guitar plays a riff while a second guitar plays another riff that really doesn‘t go well with the first riff, or the drumming is too overpowering and really any number of things can go wrong. However, remember I said the result can also be amazing. Case in point, Theory In Practice
. In 1995 there was a band called Theory In Practice
that came to life among Sweden’s other metal giants this little band came and showed the people how technique is truly performed. Theory In Practice
played death metal, but not just death metal, they played real high-tech sort of death metal. And what I mean when I say ‘’played’’ is that the band is currently on hold, but no worries, the band has released three full-length albums that are highly recommended to technical metal fanatics.
So here we are then, this review will give you a closer look at their second achievement entitled Armageddon Theories
. Armageddon Theories
was released in 1999, despite the rather moronic album cover we will go deep into the album material. I will tell you right here that there are no individual standout tracks because almost every track is
a standout! That’s true, if you happen to like fast shredding, very thrash-catchy and incredibly technical guitars then this band would suite you perfectly. Here you have riff maniacs like Dehumanized
, you’ve got Meshuggah
flavored tracks such as the incredibly heavy The Visionaire
and more insane tech assaults such as Prophecies
, or Posthuman Era
. Compared to other death metal bands Theory In Practice
don‘t follow the usual lyrical trends. Everyone knows that death metal and other extreme forms of metal focus in mostly on death, gore, anti-religious and hateful themes. But Theory In Practice
have taken an alternative path in their lyrics, still not exactly foreign to death metal, this band sings about world endings, apocalypses, universe and other things of a similar nature.
How about the vocals" Well the vocals here are quite strained and forced, reminds me a lot of Raise Hell’s
debut album entitled Holy Target
. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with that album, the vocals feel are somewhat raspy black metal-esque vocals, you will experience a few deep growls as well, but they are very few to be heard. Trust me, this album is a goddamn guitar orgy! Both guitars consistently pour out immense amounts of technical and advanced riffs on top of more complex riffs. Very aggressive, heavy stuff. I don’t want to add the word thrash too much but I feel somewhat compelled to, since there is so much insane, ferocious thrash structured riffs as well. Even during the album’s more chaotic parts you will hear some melodic and most of all incredibly catchy moments. If you like solos then this album has you covered, but believe me, the rhythms and leads are enough to make you drop your jaw all by themselves. Most solos follow the riff structures, chaos, skill, complexity and extraordinarily fast paced. Now, let’s not forget about the bass! Yes, you can actually hear a few lonely bass lines when the guitars come to a halt, but when the guitars are doing there thing the bass in entirely inaudible. Keyboards are also worked in to the album, Departure
(the shortest track) would be one of two tracks with lots of keyboards. The keyboard puts a bit more depth and structure to the material, which make it a more interesting listen, but even if there are keyboards in the song you will just be captivated by the superb guitars. Double bass that seem to has the rapid pace of machine guns are often included in the drum patterns, even if this is a death metal band you will not experience lots of mid-paced or blast-beat patterns. The drums are pretty much structured to follow and back up the guitar performance and it sounds mighty fine since the drums are just as intense and heavy as the guitars.
I definitely did find some good things in this album; we start with the thing I loved the most, the guitars. Sometimes you really wonder how much a human being actually is be capable of doing, every metal head knows that you can program drumming but could you do it with guitars" I doubt it, only a human with passion, skill and incredible hand dexterity can put out these kinds of performances. Man, I have never experienced such controlled riff chaos. Although, this is my first tech death album, so I guess I may be praising these guys to much but it is hard to not do it. Every time I listen to a song from Theory In Practice
I actually get a small adrenaline rush, and that is thanks to the sound quality. Everything sounds perfect, of course the guitars are the loudest part of the album, but the vocals and drums have a good sound level that doesn’t interfere with the other instruments. If you compare this album to their latest Colonizing The Sun
this album has more of a death metal atmosphere, which is a very good thing. Here you also have the best vocal performance too, these raspy and harsh death/blackish vocals flow well with the frantic metal madness.
I’m serious now people, there is hardly any negative stuff to be found on this album. Even if I were to single out negatives they would just be personal things. For example I thought that it could be a few more songs, or that the band should’ve skipped the short Departure
track, generally things like that that don’t really effect the album largely. Let’s end this now; I’m still ecstatic after listening to this album twice. I love this album. It’s definitely the greatest technical death metal album I have heard yet. It wasn’t that brutal, or too old-school which I usually try to avoid at times, but of course there are exceptions. People who love complex, fast shredding and highly technical guitar work would love this album as much as I do. If you love more insane music as Necrophagist
, or Nile
this might appear a bit weaker, still this album kicks major ***. My last words: Get this album, turn up the volume on your stereo and head bang for the love of metal music!
+ Completely outstanding guitar performance
+ Great songs that flows extremely good
+ This album still feels quite death-like
+ Even if the songs has the same structures you will not get tired of them
+ Great sound quality
None! It is up to you if you like it or not, very simple.
-- Embodied For War
This album receives a rock solid 4.5/5