Docker's Guild The Mystic Technocracy review
If you like space rock opera, this is the real deal for this year. Docker's Guild is ambitious project of keyboardist composer Douglas R Docker. If the host name alien to you then the musician invited will do. The list are:
John Payne (Asia), Goran Edman, Tony Mills (TNT) and Amanda Somerville in lead/backing vocals.
Guthrie Govan, Jeff Watson (Night Ranger) in Guitars.
Gregg Bissonette, Magnus Jacobson, Drums.
Tony Franklin (Blue Murder) Bass.
Donald D. Docker: Alto and tenor sax, clarinet, spoken voice.
while Douglas himself maintained the keyboard and synth plus vocals work.
This is a very Asia, very AOR formation that end up in the progressive direction.The Mystic Technocracy Season 1 is in between Ayreon and Neal Morse' band. It is slightly less complicated than Ayreon and slightly hard rock than Neal Morse. In the website jargon itself Douglas mentioned “If you like TV series and 1930s serials like Babylon 5, Space 1999, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, this is for you. If you like progressive rock bands like Yes, ELP and Dream Theater, AOR bands like Asia and Journey as well as Duran Duran, David Bowie, Jarre and The Rockets, this is also for you. If you have, like me, a healthy dislike of fundamentalism, and blind dogmatic faith, and spend lots of time wondering why so much pain and destruction can be generated by religions whose main goal is supposed to be love and compassion, then this is definitely for you”.
Singer John Payne welcome us to the future in song The Mystic Prophecy. Darwin's Tears is a very Neal Morse vocal line, I even think Neal maybe involved here. Two progressive tracks before we spend four minutes listening to Swedish(?) spoken ala Lulu in Norse Cosmology part 1. Luckily Norse Cosmology part 2 is the real deal rock song delivered by singer Tony Mills. The keyboard excellent riff also found in Judeo-Christian Cosmology song, Jeff Watson and Guthrie Govan sounds like duo from heaven. I suspect most of funky, wah wah rhythm was supplied by Guthrie while the solo take care mostly by Jeff. Legion of Aliens is AOR song beautifully sung by Goran Edman. Loving the Alien give the microphone back to John Payne. The Gem of Love highlight is their best harmony vocal so far and also the best keyboard solo-ing around.
Last part of the album consist of The Secret of DNA epic plus three stand alone songs. This is the medley continuous progressive world that thick layered by synth. It close the album with high feeling, leaving you almost can't believe how 78 minutes passed in this superior music. One thing to note again is the story and theme is about religion conflict, as obviously in the cover album. I think not very well suited the feeling of this music, perhaps that is more a doom or death metal area. This album should be about romantic story across the space and time zone.
All song follow the formula structure: signature keyboard riff plus excellent vocal writing. Many vocals work are top above the music. They are memorable, down to earth progressive song. The music is also didn't top the earth with complicated composition, the guitarist calmly follow the boss who guide them with his keyboard. It is all a matter of top class composition that able to give this album their most strength. It stay in the room where Star One, Ayreon maybe left in the space of radio friendly songs. Supporting rhythm section lead by world drummer Greg Bissonette nailed all the notes maneuver with excellent fill and pattern. You can check it in instrumental song Prophecy. This is also inform me how little I know about Douglas Docker on the scene. If not because Lion Records put a good effort in promoting this CD, I would probably passed this one. This is a top class AOR and progressive music of the year.
Metal Harem class: ******** 9 stars out of 10
Docker's Guild - The Mystic Technocracy Season 1 Age of Ignorance 2012
buy it here
01 A Matter Of Energy
02 The Mystic Technocracy
03 Darwin's Tears
04 Norse Cosmogony (Part 1)
05 Norse Cosmogony (Part 2)
06 Judeo-Christian Cosmogony
07 The Divine Comedy
08 Legion Of Aliens
09 Loving The Alien
10 The Gem Of Love
11 The Secret of DNA (Part 1)
12 Purple Orb
13 The Secret of DNA (Part 2)
15 Black Swans