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Ghost Ship by Theocracy  | CD Reviews And Information | NewReleaseToday

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Ghost Ship [edit]
by Theocracy | Genre: Hard Rock/Metal | Release Date: October 28, 2016
 

After finally gaining some momentum with As The World Bleeds, Theocracy is ready to blast into the mainstream with their newest release.

Track Listing
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01. Paper Tiger
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02. Ghost Ship
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03. The Wonder of it All
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04. Wishing Well
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05. Around the World and Back
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06. Stir the Embers
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07. A Call to Arms
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08. Currency in a Bankrupt World
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09. Castaway
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10. Easter
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Entry last edited by JJFrancesco_NRT on 11.01.16

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The Musical Voyage of the Year | Posted November 01, 2016
All aboard the best rock release of the year that you've never heard of. We saw top-notch albums from the faces of Christian rock this summer, and they were fantastic (Skillet may still hold the crown for my personal favorite of the year for Unleashed), but there's one more gem 2016 has to offer--and you probably know nothing about it. 

Theocracy is one of the industry's best-kept secrets. With a huge fanbase in Europe and a radical approach to the power metal scene, Theocracy has an instantly recognizable presence with a musical style largely underappreciated in the United States. Theocracy is slowly changing the perception that metal always means gruff screaming through at least half the song. You'd be hard-pressed to find a droplet of vocals that aren't entirely crisp, and yet the riffs and thunderous drums can melt faces with the best of the Solid State roster.

The ferocity of cuts like "Paper Tiger" and "The Wonder of It All" is nothing short of intense, and the energy rarely lets up through the 10 tracks on Ghost Ship. But melodic choruses that could rival any pop outfit drive even the heaviest of tracks, and slower tracks like "Currency in a Bankrupt World" and "Around the World and Back" prove even catchier still. The former just screams classic rock goodness with its slick guitars against soaring melodies. The latter is almost tender at times, arguably Theocracy's take on a power ballad--a stark contrast to the intensity, but not surprising for fans of Theocracy who know of the band's dynamic extremes. 

If your fists aren't pumping to the gang-vocals of "A Call To Arms," nothing will get them moving. The title track welcomes all the misfits for the musical journey of a lifetime, and "Wishing Well" mixes a medieval sounding synth opener into a signature Theocracy romp. There's no song lacking a heart-melting chorus full of delicious harmonies. Piano and orchestral effects back the guitar solos and drumquakes many times throughout the album, giving it a truly full feel. 

Epic album-closer "Easter" personifies what it means to be an epic album-closer. Previous albums were full of tracks that exceeded the 7-minute mark. One noticeable quality of this new offering is that almost all the tracks pull back in that area. "Easter" is the lone exception, clocking in at nearly 10 minutes, most of which comes from the bombastic instrumental interlude in the middle. But far from a disappointment, "Easter" is one of the most rousing retellings of the Easter story ever set to music. 

Theocracy is a dynamic band and vocalist Matt Smith is an extraordinary vocalist. Whether it's driving harmonies, gritty rock, or soothing soft and reflective moments, Smith nails it all. And "Easter" gives us all of the above in a single 10-minute epic smash of a track. The worshipful chant of the chorus captures every ounce of the joy of the resurrection.

When you get Theocracy, you won't get even a hint of watered down lyrics. Theocracy is bold about their faith and will pull no punches in calling out believers and unbelievers alike on hypocrisies and failings. "Paper Tiger" calls out our victim culture, while "Wishing Well" calls out those paying lip service to problems instead of working to fix them. But it's not all admonition: there's plenty of hope and encouragement as well. The theme of the album is Christ being a home for the misfits, with Christ as the haven for those rejected and wearied by the world. Agree or disagree with any theological statement, the band still offers the challenging depth most artists wouldn't even go near.

With a unique and powerful musical signature, a dynamic mix of sonic styles, some of the best vocals in the business and some of the most meaty lyrics anywhere around, it's probably safe to say that this album may not be everybody's cup of tea, but I truly think they've hit a sweet spot that can appeal to both the metal heads and the pop lovers alike. This is Theocracy. This is Ghost Ship. If you haven't climbed aboard yet, what are you waiting for? "There's a place for you here." 

The Bottom Line: Ghost Ship is simply a stunning musical achievement, a musical voyage that little released this year can compete with. At minimum, this is a strong album of the year contender. 

Song to Download Now: 
"Easter" (Get it on iTunes here.)



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