Theory In Practice

Third Eye Function

Theory In Practice - Third Eye Function ©1997 Pulverised Records
1. Submissive
2. The Third-eye Function
3. Astral Eyes
4. Self Alteration
5. Worlds Within Worlds (The Ethereal Withdrawal)
6. The Expiring Utopia
7. Theoretical Conviction
8. Void Of Origin (Instrumental)
9. Inexplicable Nature

For some reason there hardly ever seems to be more than maybe five superultramegaduperbunny technical death metal bands active at the same time. Nowadays one of the ones hopping around in that somewhat awkward polyrhythmic fashion is Theory In Practice. Take some big chunks of Atheist and Meshuggah, mix in some black metal influences and you're in the right ballpark for this album. Or the right sport anyways.

Theory In Practice tend to whack you over the head with fast (and furious?) guitar solos, crazy rhythms and clever little arrangements. But to keep the listener's attention, they'll throw in neat little melodic breaks and generally keep their riffing as fun as possible to listen to, without just becoming an endless barrage of over-the-top speedy chord changes that make no sense whatsoever. To keep things a bit fresh, they throw in some new factors here and there, like the melodic sci-fi like synths in "Astral Eyes", or the acoustic guitar solo in "The Third-Eye Function". And while the music is quite danged technical, it never strikes me as embarassingly and pretentiously so. These guys want to show off their chops, but they're able to use them to make something enjoyable to the death metal fans and not just the guys who sit at home with a slide rule and calculator trying to figure out all the crazy intricacies.

Lyrically this is amusing, but not exactly exciting fiction or emotional statements. Though they do try to throw in a philosophical slant to lyrics that otherwise like to throw hokey phrases like "Plunging into an eerie abstract dimension" at you. 90s heavy metal, ahoy! Oh well, the screechy, almost black metal-like vocals don't exactly force you to pay attention to the lyrics anyway. The focus tends to be on the two guitars and whomping drumming.

Third Eye Function is one hell of a way to start off a band's career and I can only hope they'll last longer than bands such as Cynic and Atheist did since there really are no other bands around these days that are as good at mixing the more melodic and catchy sides of death metal with the technical and somewhat experimental ones. Plus they get bonus points for having cover art that depicts some of the goofiest aliens I've seen since The Critters.

Review by Řystein H-O

Review date: 02/2002

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The Armageddon Theories

Theory In Practice - The Armageddon Theories ©1999 Pulverised Records
1. Dehumanized
2. The Visionaire (angelic Possession)
3. Phase 1: Prophecies (instrumental)
4. Phase 2: Carnage Earth
5. Phase 3: Departure
6. Phase 4: Embryo
7. Phase 5: Posthuman Era
8. Embodied For War

Sweden's Theory in Practice plays very fast, ultra-technical semi-melodic death/thrash metal with hints of black metal. As is fairly typical in the genre, the vocals are grunty-growly and the melody is found elsewhere, namely in the keyboards and slower guitar riffs the band occasionally throws in, presumably to put their fingers, arms and toes on ice after expecially tricky passages. The music is sometimes reminiscent of what Cacophony might have done on their sixth or seventh album if they had continued the progression they showed on Go Off!; there is a distinct Cynic/Atheist lineage, but the tempos are faster and the riffs more chaotic; and the guitar solos and riffs evoke the work of Mike Chlasciak, Tony Fredianelli and other brutal shredders. Contrary to a lot of other technical acts (like Scholomance, for instance), the music is exciting and varied enough to hold the listener's interest throughout the album. The musicianship is astounding, but the band's unending displays of virtuosity never get in the way of the listener's enjoyment; they are part and parcel of the music and never feel tacked on or gratuitous the way they do on many progressive metal albums.

I suspect this album will spend considerably more time in my player than I had anticipated. It can be hard to find, but the music is definitely worth the effort.

Review by Rog The Frog Billerey-Mosier

Review date: 01/2002

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Colonizing The Sun

Theory In Practice - Colonizing The Sun ©2002 Listenable Records
1. Colonizing The Sun
2. Conspiracy In Cloning
3. The Psycomantum Litany (Chronicle Excerpt)
4. Shapeshifter
5. Asshen Apocrypha
6. The Clockwork That Counts Aeons
7. Illuminati
8. Replica Dawn
9. This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us

After two albums of pretty maniacally technical death metal and a lineup change - for some reason their drummer is now the vocalist, and a new guy has usurped the throne - it seems Theory In Practice figured that it was time to ease up a bit. Colonizing The Sun is an album that'll have many bands head back into the woodshed, but there's a bit more focus on melody and catchiness this time around. Despite this, I have had a much harder time getting into this album than their previous two, and in the end I must wave the white flag, as I am completely unable to connect with it, and believe me, I've tried! Sure, there's killer riffs around every corner, but padded with far-from-stellar ones and melodies that I have a very hard time swallowing. I suspect that this might be of more interest to people who are big fans of the likes of Soilwork than me. In the end this feels like a more than competent, but unrewarding album. Not even a cover of "This town ain't big enough for both of us" by Sparks helped much, as the song loses almost all of its appeal when moved to a death metal framework.

The album's production doesn't sound too dissimilar from The Armageddon Theories; a fairly evenly balanced mix, though perhaps a bit more organic, with fairly trebly guitars ("The better to hear the chords with," replied grandma). Those of you out there who are fans of the more melodic side of death metal, but would like to hear a bit more bewildering songstructures and technical playing might find a lot on offer here, but personally I'll just stick with the previous two albums.

Review by Řystein H-O

Review date: 06/2003

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