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As the World Bleeds

4.9 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 21, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Theocracy is a metal band from Athens, Ga. whose melodic style has more in common with their European contemporaries than with most of their U.S. Counterparts. Characterized by huge choruses, epic arrangements and progressive elements, Theocracy s music is both immediate and deep, managing to be instantly catchy and memorable, yet revealing new levels of intricacy and depth with each subsequent listen. The self-titled debut album from Theocracy was released at the end of 2003 on MetalAge Records, to fantastic reviews and worldwide acclaim within the metal community. After the release the band started playing shows (including the prestigious ProgPower USA) and working on new material. After years of hard work, Theocracy signed with Ulterium Records and released their second album Mirror of Souls. Mirror of Souls was definitely a huge breakthrough for Theocracy and it received fantastic reviews from press around the world, and it was released in Europe, North America and Japan. The European live debut took place at the Elements of Rock festival in Switzerland 2009 in front of 500 crazy fans. Besides playing shows in the US opening up for bands like Sonata Arctica, Blind Guardian and circle to circle, Theocracy also did their first European headliner tour during fall 2009. Theocracy now present their third magnus opus entitled As The World Bleeds. The album is mastered by Mika Jussila and features artwork by Felipe Machado Franco.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ulterium
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,690 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Theocracy is somewhat of an anomaly. A Christian progressive power metal band hailing from Georgia is news worthy in and of itself. That Matt Smith & Co. delivered Mirror of Souls, an album defined by remarkably intelligent and inspired song crafting that conveyed an overarching message of faith and forgiveness served as a much needed shot in the arm for this genre. I'm not over-selling it by saying that "Souls" is possibly the best sophomore album from any band since Nevermind. The problem with truly magnificent records is that they raise the bar for the band, often times too high for them to properly follow it up. Sure, The Beatles made a career of it (Yellow Submarine not withstanding) but they're not simply elite company, The Beatles are royalty. Is the comparison warranted? How can As The World Bleeds possibly measure up?

The album fades in with a war-march drum and synth intro; fitting given some of the darker thematic elements the band explores on this album. The rest of "I am" features everything Theocracy does right: two and three part vocal harmonies, choirs, walls of chugging guitars and Shawn Benson's fantastic drumming. New influences can be heard all over this record. James Hetfield would be thrilled to write a riff as good as the bridge in "The Master Storyteller", while the middle section of "I Am" features a breakdown straight from the Dream Theatre playbook. Smith's impossibly high vocal intro on "Nailed" calls to mind the hay-days of Iron Maiden and the best Bruce Dickinson had to offer. Just as there were no throw away tracks on its predecessor, Bleeds is an album filled with songs not so much written and recorded as expertly crafted.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I was reared on the true metal of the 80s, bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and old school Metallica. While I find some of the nu-metal that grew to prominence in the 90s and 2000s palatable, I continue to long for that special something from the DNA of the music I grew up on. Just recently, I stumbled across Theocracy.

Let me confess something up front: I am a Christian and a pastor. I am always on the lookout for good Christian music...especially good Chrsitian METAL. Alot of it is simply a cheesy knockoff of secular stuff. But Theocracy defines what true metal is - they are not a cheap imitation, they are modern day innovators of the genre.

My first thought after finishing "As the World Bleeds" with my ears still ringing was, "This is the sound of a love child between early Metallica, Dickinson's 1st era of Iron Maiden, a dash of Triumph and Rush with a large dose of Queensryche...without being a knockoff of any of them." The vocals are soaring - Matt Smith's range is incredible. I confess, the guy gives me chills, and it has been a long time since that happened. The band is tight and technically awesome. Guitar solos are impressive, and not just noodling around for the sake of saying "We had a solo." Theocracy is a band - the instrumental portions are as important as the vocal portions. It's an epic, operatic production. If I had to define them by a genre, it would be Progressive Power/Thrash Metal.

This album has NO filler songs. No track is wasted and it clocks in at a meaty 63 minutes. The first track, "I Am" is an 11 minute epic about the Lord Jesus Christ. It sets the tone for the whole album and is a standout track with multiple movements.
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Format: Audio CD
It's so good to have another album by Theocracy. I love their music! They're the standard by which I judge all other groups.

Theocracy's previous album, "Mirror of Souls", took me a little while to really warm to. Many of the songs sounded similar, with a few towards the end all running together. Eventually though, I grew to appreciate it and it's now one of my favorite albums. "As The World Bleeds" did not have to grow on me--I loved it from the first play. It has great diversity and originality combined with killer lyrics. Even after numerous plays, I can't pick a favorite track; the songs are not all equal, but they are all excellent.

I'm not a musician, so there's little insight I can provide in terms of production quality, etc. However, from an uneducated listener's perspective, it sounds great. The music instantly grabbed my attention and is quite memorable. My best description of the style is power, melodic, progressive metal. Within most songs are changes in speed, sound, mood, and intensity which keeps the album engaging throughout. There are parts within some songs ("Nailed" for example) which stylistically really don't appeal to me, but these sections tend to be short with the rest of the song being very enjoyable.

The strong progressive influence helps make this a solid album. The progressive elements are cohesive, adding depth while keeping things interesting and without falling into the trap of aimless, rambling (progressive for the sake of being progressive). There are no short, cookie cutter songs on "As The World Bleeds". Each is diverse and gives the listener their money's worth.

I have come to expect incredible lyrics from Theocracy. Matt Smith writes the lyrics for the group and has an amazing talent for it.
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