24 Mar 2017

Theory: "The Art of Evil"

Far away from the usual dime-a-dozen prog bands of today
On a personal note, the only progressive metal band that ever truly spoke to me is Symphony X, and even so it is probably their power metal side that speaks the loudest. Oddly enough, I'm a huge fan of 70s and 80s prog rock, but the vast majority of progressive metal just hasn't appealed that much to me.

It's my experience that progressive notes are handled best when serving as something that builds on an existing foundation of something else - Like Voivod, whos sound builds on the traditions of thrash metal, or Death, a band where Chuck Schuldiner continued to elaborate upon the sound throughout the band's existence.

Theory already sounds like a band that has refined their sound through several albums, and indeed many of the members have been active in several other bands before. Their sound is groovy, crisp, and portrays a form of songwriting-wise depth that, for the most part, only seasoned musicians can produce.

"their grooves speak their own gruesome language,"

Their debut album, The Art of Evil, doesn't overly rely on cheap thrills such as hyper-technicality or dumbed down start-stop riffs. Instead, their grooves speak their own gruesome language, their heaviness contrasted by lead singer Nicklas Sonne's clear-cut power vocals.

The young Danish band does exactly what it needs to do with the 'progressive' label; The quintet use awkward rhythms and unusual melodies to give depth to and to elaborate on the sound of powerful groove metal.

There are times where Theory's hypothesis doesn't quite add up, though. A few times the groove stalls like a soaring airplane; But it never quite ends as complete disaster. There is no question as to the adequacy of their skills as perfomers, but the instrumentation meanders at times and is for the most part carried on Sonne's exceptionally strong vocal wings.

The Art of Evil is strong, and surely it blows most competitors clear out of the water, but on an international level it cheaps out on a few guitar or keyboard melodies to compliment Sonne's vocals, as the contrast between voice and instrumentation leaves a gaping chasm in its current format. The dual guitars and the incredibly strong rhythm section has character, but the band's personality currently is heavily reliant on the singer's voice.


Released in 2017 independently


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