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Theocracy Mirror Of Souls album cover
3.90 | 34 ratings | 4 reviews | 47% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Tower Of Ashes (4:44)
2. On Eagle's Wings (4:11)
3. Laying The Demon To Rest (9:37)
4. Bethlehem (5:51)
5. Absolution Day (6:46)
6. The Writing In The Sand (6:43)
7. Martyr (7:39)
8. Mirror Of Souls (22:26)

Total Time 78:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Matt Smith / Vocals, Guitars, Bass Guitars, Keyboards, Choirs, Gang Vocals
- Jonathan Hinds / Guitars, Gang Vocals
- Shawn Benson / Drums, Gang Vocals
- Sean Conklin / Lead Guitars (A Tower Of Ashes, In Eagles Wings)
- Daniel Collins / Talkbox Guitar (On Eagle's Wings)
- Donna Smith / Piano (Mirror Of Souls)
- Seth Filkins / Gang Vocals
- Patrick Parris / Gang Vocals
- Truman / Additional Vocals

Releases information

Ulterium Records: ULTCD010

Thanks to PHME for the addition
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THEOCRACY Mirror Of Souls ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(47%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THEOCRACY Mirror Of Souls reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Powerful, melodic and very well played. Thatīs the impression this album has made on me upon hearing it. A friend told me about the song Bethlehem and I ended up downloading it. I really liked this tune with its acoustic beginning (a la Jethro Tull) and the strong epic ending. Then I got the album to hear it as a whole and I was quite moved, though the band is not very original. Their melodic power metal is hardly my favorite style of music nowadays, but still they are good enough to hold my atention all the way through the CD.

Matt Smith is definitly a talented guy. He plays great and his voice is well suited for the style. However, the most important factor is his songwriting. This is a composer to watch for! The title song is a 22 minute massive metal epic that is surely progressive with its many shifts and moods. Something that made me think of Kansas if they were more heavy metal and less prog. Still a very startling piece of music that is really worth listening. 3,5 stars.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars Theocracy have a powerful metal edge with Spiritual lyrics that uplift the soul

Theocracy are an incredibly powerful thrash prog band that have a full on Christian lyrical approach, reminding me of the huge phase in the 90s when Christian thrash bands such as Tourniquet and Deliverance were popular. Smith's vocals are terrific, very powerful melodic and easy to understand. Hinds' and Conklin's guitars thrash away with the traditional chunky chug-a-chug rhythm at times locking in to a monstrous riff or even going at break neck speeds. The lead breaks are not a key feature, rather the lead guitars are a melodic augmentation to the breakneck riffing. The bass is rather heavy at times and along with the pounding drums creates a massive rhythm machine.

Tower of Ashes begins proceedings with a moderate beat and a keyboard passage that drives it along, very melodic and then it breaks into killer speed. Benson pounds the heck out of those drums and the speed is like Helloween at their fastest. It slows for the vocal parts and then a very pacey guitar blast takes over the song, I am reminded of Dragonforce here and it is definitely one of the fastest tracks on the album.

On Eagles Wings has a catchy hook and very clean vocals that are easy to remember. This is great song writing that has a purpose, usually to teach a lesson about how to live or how to cope with pain. The chorus is memorable, giving honour to God; 'all honour, all glory, praise to your majesty on eagles wings'.

One of the best songs is the thrashy, power metal of Laying the Demon to Rest. The lyrics are great; 'As the battle rages on and on, I face the fears I put my faith to the test, The fallen angels won't leave me alone, Father come and lay the demon to rest, when the sword is broken off in my hands, When I'm about to fall please help me to stand, Father come and lay the demon to rest'. The feel is melodic power metal, sounding like a hybrid of Kansas and Dream Theater.

Bethlehem has some Jethro Tull style acoustics and quite an infectious hook and melodic balladic approach. The raucous Absolution Day is a blaster that showcases the intricate power guitar riffage.

The Writing In the Sand has a cathedral organ motif and a slow distorted rhythm guitar that chugs along at a nice pace. There is variation of tension and release for the verses that build to a strong chorus. Smith's vocals are clean and pleasant, great vibrato and register, very high at times, effortlessly reaching piercing notes. It is based on the event where Jesus told the people about to stone the adulterous woman; 'Let he who have no sin cast the first stone', and then wrote in the sand something to make each person leave the scene in shame. I always thought he wrote the name of all their girlfriends.

The riff in the excellent Martyr is superb and one of the best I have heard, very cool effective riffing throughout. The acoustic Spanish fills are quite effective. The vocals are incessant, with some gang backing vocals. Christians will pick up all the Biblical references, others need not worry as the music is so speed metal it will appeal to those who love melodic metal with a fast heavy distorted edge and double time drumming. Really, this is old school thrash metal style, in the class of the early albums of Symphony X, Queensryche, Dream Theater or Helloween.

Mirror of Souls is an amazing epic metal suite consisting of 22 minutes of very innovative prog metal. It starts the tale softly and then launches into a power metal riff worthy of trying to emulate on guitar. This track is dynamic metal taking many twists and turns and full of instrumental sections of inspired excellence. The story is a weird one, with some unusual lyrics, but it seems to follow the tale of a protagonist who sees many mirrors with different names and faces, to judge his life, the mirrors are the people that he must face in judgement. Interesting story that is an allegory of the last days of judgement when the world is to face the wrath of God, and the individual will be judged.

I love the way the song builds into a very loud drum beat from Benson, and some keyboards trigger along with machine gun speed riffing. The time signature switches into a steady beat and loud intricate guitar work. The keyboards are orchestral in places. The vocals at times are more like James Labrie. The lyrics continue with 'Caught in the fury of God' the protagonist sees 'suddenly shining in the distance' a bright light and is drawn to it, we may assume it is a heavenly light beckoning, but he is taken down to a place of nothingness. A speedy breakneck riff is heard and it settles in to a gentle guitar, and softer vocals; 'Somehow I can tell that he means me no harm, it is like he has known me all my life, why are you crying the stranger asked, as I wiped away the tears, I am going towards the great abyss the source of all my fears.'

A beautiful soaring lead guitar follows and is truly uplifting to the stratosphere. The protagonist crosses the bridge towards the light and the stranger, till he gets to the other side without the guide where he must carry on. The song changes again in feel with a choppy riff and darker menacing vocals. The piece continues to build and then stops only to change time sig again, in to a melodic, and moderate riff. The lead guitars are terrific and the tale continues; 'as I step inside I get to see another mirror so bright that my eyes must turn away, as I stand here in the hall of truth my heart can only say show me the truth.' The next section features an ascending riff growing in intensity and organic blasts of drums and bass give a darker feel. The protagonist sees some horrific visions, gory creatures, wicked demons, and he runs away in terror back to the stranger. He has tasted hell and questions; 'Tell me what I saw in the mirror, that face of sickness and decay, that left me terrorised, was it the demon, the undead, that left me paralysed', and the stranger tells him, 'the man that you saw in the mirror is you'.

With this revelation the man realises he must turn to the truth to escape damnation; 'I have seen my soul in the mirror and its broken me, so much clearer than I had ever seen, can't you take away all the sickness from my soul and set me free, you can save me I believe'. With this the stranger that we may assume is Lord Jesus says; 'arise my child your faith has made you reconciled,' close to the Biblical scripture. They walk through the door and the protagonist looks in the mirror and the only one reflected back was him. A very heavy riff starts up into a slow crawling chord structure with a majestic feel, multi layered vocals and guitars. A grand finale to an epic classic. The piano playing of Donna Smith is a divine revelation on sweet piano that caps off the piece.

Overall I was very pleased that Theocracy had produced a quality album that is true to traditional metal but also injects uplifting Christian lyrics without holding back their faith. This is one album that has the power to lift up the soul and enter the spirit. The riffs are heavy, it moves from speed metal to intricate riffing and Smith's vocals are dynamic. An excellent album on every level.

Latest members reviews

4 stars My favorite of the three THEOCRACY albums, "Mirror Of Souls" contains some high quality progressive metal music. The title track and epic, "Mirror of Souls", is the highlight of the album. Clocking in at 22:26, this song is very long and it is seldom boring. I'm finding that the common theme o ... (read more)

Report this review (#981366) | Posted by SevDawg | Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Theocracy is an American power metal band with prog tendencies. Matt Smith's passionate vocals bring to mind classic, American prog and pomp bands bands like Styx, Kansas, and Starcastle. The music, however, is hard hitting, melodic power metal in the vein of Helloween, Gamma Ray and Edguy. Each ... (read more)

Report this review (#210700) | Posted by sixpence-guy | Tuesday, April 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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