Theocracy – Mosaic


American Progressive Power Metal band Theocracy debuted ages ago as their self titled album being released way back in 2003. The band is the brainchild of singer and main songwriter Matt Smith (nope, not the Doctor Who actor with the same name, trust me, I know!) who also handles the lyrics and what an excellent job he does there, let me tell you. As Theocracy is unapologeticly a Christian band there is always a danger that the lyrics is a praise-y mess with things like God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit being in every other sentence. Swedish neoclassical Christian band Narnia being an example how not to do it if you want to reach a secular audience. And here Smith nails it (no pun intended) as these words are very few and far between and the lyrics are incredibly well written and can be enjoyed by any group of people, Christian or not.

Mosaic is the bands fifth album since their inception and the fans have had to wait a whopping seven years for this record with the preceeding release was “Ghost Ship” in 2016 so they don’t rush things, to say the least. But is “Mosaic” worth the wait then? Let’s see, shall we?

Sadly the albums starts with the least strong song of the ten on offer here as “Flicker” really doesn’t do anything for me to be honest. Thankfully track number two, “Anonymous” is a very solid song with a beautiful chorus and a nice flow. And it has to be said already early on in the proceedings: Matt Smith is one of my favorite singers of the last twenty years or so. Listen to his amazingly dynamic and heartfelt vocal delivery in the magnificent ballad “The Greatest Hope” where he shows off almost every aspect of his voice, from smooth, low and soft voice to stratospheric high notes. I’m in awe of this guy.

What got me really exited was that the band had written it’s fourth epic (which for me is a song over ten minutes long) and this time with the tantalising title “Red Sea” and is placed as the album closer. Yes, we’re talking The Ten Commandment movie here, guys. And what an incredible ride this is indeed. It’s not on par with their finest hour, the 22 minute long diamond that is “Mirror of Souls” but it’s darn close.

All in all, this Theocracy’s heaviest, most mature and self confident album to date and there is so much on display her that it took your humble reviewer a couple of spins before I got my head around it. Everything is top notch here, the drums are innovative and tight, the guitars sometimes cross into thrash metal territory which is awesome (check out “Liar, Fool and Messiah”) and the solos are by far the best in Theocracy’s history. And the vocals, man, the vocals… The vocal delivery is fantastic as are the song melodies. If you like your power metal with a progressive edge this is probably the album of the year for you. It’s not for me but it is up there and most likely a candidate for my top ten of 2023.
Highly recommended!

Artist: Theocracy
Title: Mosaic
Label: Atomic Fire
Date of release: 2023-10-20
Rate: 8/10
Stand Out Tracks: Anonymous, The Greatest Hope, Red Sea
Country of Origin: USA

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Theocracy – Mosaic

October 31, 2023

What got me really exited was that the band had written it's fourth epic (which for me is a song over ten minutes long) and this time with the tantalising title "Red Sea" and is placed as the album closer.

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