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Your thoughts about AtWB

Discussion in 'Theocracy' started by Child Of God, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Child Of God

    Child Of God Member

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    This thread is here to discuss about what you think of the whole album !
    What you like more or less, love, or even dislike (is that possible ?), what's different from MoS...

    I don't have received it yet (in fact, the friend I asked for to pre-order the album for me didn't do it >.<.... tonight he said...), so I'm very frustated (and I won't have my Theocracy guitar pick :'( ) for now and want to know what do you guys think of it !
     
  2. FleshAndBloodTheocracy

    FleshAndBloodTheocracy Living Apple

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    Here's a track by track rundown:

    I Am - Epic and beautiful. With lines like "I am the one who spoke no words with a thousand angels waiting for my call" (referring to his time spent being tortured and executed by the Romans) clashing with lines like "I am the joy of angels dancing in the streets of Heaven" and "I am the quenching of the thirst you never thought you'd be without," this song shows the multifaceted God. The music is powerful and moving.

    The Master Storyteller - Fast and catchy. The song tells of how easy it is to find evidence of God just by looking around. "Even in the dark, it's so obvious He's there"

    Nailed - Wonderfully brutal. Rivals Laying the Demon to Rest as the heaviest Theocracy song. The song is from reformer Martin Luther's perspective about corruption in the church "...religous schools, indulgences, laws, and rules - it all led to nothing and darkness and death, vanity heartache and emptiness, efforts are fading away...."

    Hide in the Fairytale - Similar style as Master Storyteller, but less guitar-driven. The song's about Original Sin. "Behold the loving family man who tries to do the best he can and loves his wife and children even more than his own life. But just like that a wandering eye leads to a suffocating lie...."

    The Gift of Music - wins my award for best surprise. I was honestly expecting to write this one off, but I was proven very, very wrong. It's one of my favorite tracks now, about the power of music to speak volumes. It builds from a ballad to a full-band, orchestrated onslaught (similar to Endless Sacrifice by Dream Theater, but this song gets heavier).

    30 Pieces of Silver - Similar style to Master Storyteller, but more progressive, and more aggressive music in the verses than the melody of the aforementioned song. It's about the massive things people trade for temporary gains. "What's the price you've named? Is it money, power, acceptance, or fame?"

    Drown - Possibly the most progressive song on the album. It's from Peter's point of view when Christ calls him out of the boat to walk on the water with Him.

    Altar to the Unknown God - fantastic heavy song about Paul's visit to Greece (from the point of view of the Greeks in the first verse and the point of view of Paul in the second). Eschews a tradition V-C-V-C-B-V format for a C-V-C-V-B-V-C. "A stranger came to town one day and fiercly proclaimed: 'the unknown God you worship on this altar has a name! This God is not an image or a statue of the dead. We live and have His being, as your own poets have said'"

    Light of the World - biggest disappointment for me, personally. It's a great song, but I guess since it's one of the ones we've heard the most of (recording the vocals), and how good that section was, I was expecting it to be better than it is. But it's still a good song questioning how effectively we're carrying out the great commission. "Arisen, forbidden, we keep our candles hidden" and "to stand like a wall and resist the temptation to sell ourselves out for hollow acclimation."

    As the World Bleeds - Oh, man. Just....oh man. A beautiful, powerful song. I can't even choose a line or two to describe the song, so here's the first minute or so, in all its grandeur.

    Why do we only call Your name when there&#8217;s no one else to call
    And we only really seek You when our mighty towers fall
    Why do we say You&#8217;ve failed us and You&#8217;ve turned Your eyes away
    When we&#8217;re only sleeping in the bed we&#8217;ve made

    Why do we call for free will
    But reject all consequence?
    Why&#8217;s the path we&#8217;ve made to Heaven
    Stained with the blood of innocence
    Why do we ignore the warnings
    That we&#8217;ve read and always known
    And get angry when we reap the things we sow

    So we blame You, &#8216;cause our world&#8217;s not come out right
    While the devil&#8217;s masquerading as an Angel of the Light
     
  3. vorpal_sledge

    vorpal_sledge New Metal Member

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    Reserved for further musings. I haven't gotten to listen to the whole album yet, but what I have gotten to listen to I really enjoy. Honestly, it feels like a continuation of Mirror of Souls, which i listen to at least every other day. Every song is powerful and punchy and full of tasty nuggets. However, i am not a great big fan of the first song, I Am. Not that it is a poor song or poorly done, but it just doesn't FEEL like a Theocracy song. That's just my opinion though.
     
  4. ch3353n1nj4

    ch3353n1nj4 draws pictures

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    the bridge and solo in "The Gift of Music" is utterly beautiful. I really like all of the songs, but some are easily more memorable than others. "I AM", "Master Storyteller", The "Gift of Music", and "Altar to the Unknown God" are clear favorites due to the combination of edifying lyrics, and melodic composition.

    I really liked the composition of "Light of the World" and "As the World Bleeds", but i felt that the songs were betrayed by the fact that both songs serve to bring a conflict/problem to light without a final conclusion of redemption (i understand that the intent of the lyrics is to bring conviction, but i felt it wasn't as edifying as it could have been). It's as though we got left off in the cold black rain in part 2 of Mirror of Souls and never got a part 3 to bring us back into the light. In this regard i wish that Altar to the Unknown God was the last track. And to clarify, the songs are very well written and executed, but it puts a damper on my mood when i listen to it, despite the overall uplifting melody of "Light of the World."

    despite that bit, i felt the album exceeded Theocracy's previous works now that there's a full line up, to include a lead guitarist in Val (great solos!), and each song is very much enjoyable to listen to (i'll probably have to spend more time mulling over each track more and more).
     
  5. FleshAndBloodTheocracy

    FleshAndBloodTheocracy Living Apple

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    Have you heard the last minute of the title track? It's humanity realizing the error of their ways and turning back to God.

    For Light of the World, there isn't a final conclusion because, well, the problem hasn't been solved.
     
  6. ch3353n1nj4

    ch3353n1nj4 draws pictures

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    I did listen to the last minute of AtWB, i listened to the whole song quite a couple of times, and it was no where near as satisfying as Mirror of Soul's ending as far as the lyrics go. at the end of As the World Bleeds, it was more of a confession of sins than a restoration to glory.

    in Light of the World, the solution is simple: light the candle again and turn it into a bonfire (a la the chorus of Altar to an Unknown God). The goal is to burn so bright that the darkness descending upon us can no longer exist in the presence of such a bright light right?

    maybe my problem wasn't just with those two songs' specific lyrics, but the fact that in thematically those two songs (and i guess this applies to some of the older Theocracy tunes), the focus is too much on our shortcomings as humans, where as in songs like Mountain, Eagles' Wings, I AM, Absolution Day, there's a revelation of our shortcomings and issues, but the focus is on what God is doing to raise us up from our pre-Christ fallen state, and overcoming those problems to bring us into His Kingdom as saints.

    fault me for being picky with my lyrics, but i just don't like those two songs compared to some of the others (lyrically at least, the actual musical arrangements and vocal melodies were very beautiful). Matt writes good lyrics, i just don't always happen to like the direction they go in. and i think that's okay, Matt has to write music with integrity, and sometimes it means not every fan will be completely satisfied. I'd still love to see them in concert, and probably i'll still be hollerin' and hootin' from the back with my fist raised as i sing along to them.
     
  7. bbowman

    bbowman New Metal Member

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    I'm 44 years old and am a rabid music fan. There have been maybe two other artists who have actually ministered to me through their music in a real way. Kerry Livgren and the band Iona. Theocracy has had the same impact. I AM is quite simply the most chilling, uplifting, worshipful praise song I have ever heard. I would love to hear it sang by a large choir. I haven't been this excited about a new artist (new for me) since I first heard Dream Theater way back in 1989.
     
  8. Seripha

    Seripha New Metal Member

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    Perhaps, instead of viewing each track as an single entity, try to view each song as a piece of the album's puzzle. Some of the songs are meant to glorify and edify, some of the songs are meant to point out man's shortcomings and reliance upon a Savior (lest we get too filled with pride), and some songs are meant to spur to action. Just because Mirror of Souls managed to meld all of these components into one song, doesn't mean they all should. Just my viewpoint.

    That being said, it seems like I have heard multiple people saying that Light of the World was "disappointing" or "the least favorite song on the album". I just want to verify that we are, indeed, listening to the same song. I find it nothing short of gorgeous from beginning to end. The lyrics are powerful, the verses flow beautifully, and choruses don't come any catchier than this one. Maybe it's just a difference in tastes, but I would love to know why everyone views this song as the worst on the album, as it's easily first or second for me, if I had to rate them.
     
  9. FleshAndBloodTheocracy

    FleshAndBloodTheocracy Living Apple

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    I actually like Drown less than it. That's not to say I dislike either track, I just find them to be 2 of the weaker on an album full of diamonds. And honestly, I'm not sure why I feel that way. I don't like the intro, but after that it's a good song. I guess it's because it was the first title I knew, I was expecting more or something. I know it isn't rational.
     
  10. Atreides

    Atreides Member

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    I also don't understand - I love Light of the World from beginning to end.

    I don't agree with the "lack of redemption" on the album as a detriment, either - I think that the album begins beautifully with humankind's only hope (I AM) and most of the rest of album focuses on how we have all turned from God and us realizing how broken we are without him. Christian music is often so preachy that I really don't mind that the solutions aren't clearly laid out for us. I think that AtWB (the whole album) exudes a tone of knowing that we can put 2 + 2 together, and not pushing it, but rather letting it sink in all the more powerfully by remaining unsaid.

    Though I must say, while I love the rest of the track, the skipping at the beginning of "Altar to the Unknown God" put me off at first. Almost sounded like we were skipping into dance music for a minute there.
     
  11. Arkatox

    Arkatox Anomaly

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    I just have to say... it was well worth the wait. I'll give a better evaluation, but I should probably listen through it a dozen more times first. Starting about... now.
     
  12. FleshAndBloodTheocracy

    FleshAndBloodTheocracy Living Apple

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    If I HAD to put the songs in an order from favorite to least favorite (but still awesome), I think it would be

    As the World Bleeds
    Nailed
    The Master Storyteller
    I Am
    The Gift of Music
    Altar to the Unknown God
    30 Pieces of Silver
    Light of the World
    Hide in the Fairytale
    Drown
     
  13. ch3353n1nj4

    ch3353n1nj4 draws pictures

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    For the record, I think that "Light of the World" has one of the best standalone compositions on the album as a straight powermetal song. beautiful riffs for both verse and chorus, and great solos between sections. It sounds like heaven invading and plundering hell.

    this would be more feasible if i knew this album to be a concept album or a thematic album. as it stands, i know it to be neither. Matt Smith made a statement in the past that he never wanted any throw-away songs or simply filler songs, and I'll hold him accountable to that high standard (because he and the band are too awesome for anything less), to do so requires that each song stands strong on its own, in addition to in-context with the other songs on the album. Each track on this album does so, but that doesn't mean I necessarily like them all to the same degree (the reasons for which, i have already specified).

    i couldn't help feeling that the tracks i had some issue with were too preachy in the other direction.

    I was mainly disappointed with "Light of the World" because the direction of the lyrics seemed to undercut the melody and chorus, which have an uplifting feeling themselves, but the lyrics are lamenting the lack of Christ truly being expressed by us.
    I guess that's the metagame of the song, because my disappointment with the song's lyrical betrayal of the title seems to mirror the song lyrics's disappointment with Christians not burning bright despite Jesus calling us the "light of the world."
    Don't get me wrong, i loved the musical components to both this song and AtwB (if i had more hair, i'd headbang my neck apart to both these songs), but the songs just don't do it for me as far as the direction the lyrics are taking me (see my previous posts).
     
  14. Seripha

    Seripha New Metal Member

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    Just because an album doesn't have a story or thematic element doesn't mean that all the tracks aren't cohesive in some way. While listening to the album from beginning and end, I don't feel like any of the songs are somehow completely disparate from the others. This isn't to say that they all can't stand on their own, because they can, magnificently so. I guess that's just how I feel. You may not get the same feeling when listening.
     
  15. Killerah

    Killerah Member

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    I'm surprised nobody else thinks that I AM is one of the greatest songs Theocracy has put out. It's just so freaking epic and the lyrics are like Matt trying to put as many attributes of God into 11 minutes as he possibly can! The whole song is unbelievably awesome from start to finish!
     
  16. bbowman

    bbowman New Metal Member

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    I AM is possibly the greatest praise song I have ever heard. Easily the best work on the album.
     
  17. Vacant_Planets

    Vacant_Planets Queen Nicole

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    IS now a bad time to admit.......I don't even sorta pay attention to the lyrics? lol So as long as the music is super epic, which it IS, I'm loving it. Loved it til about 4am last night. lol
     
  18. Atreides

    Atreides Member

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    I certainly think this as well, except I'm playing around with "greatest Christian song since the mid-20th century."

    Debating whether it is hyperbolic or whether I truly believe it.

    Nah, I know that is very common among metalheads. I think for those of us who are Christians, though, Matt is a hero for the richness and density of his lyrical content (so rare in today's Christian music) and how well he blends Christian themes with metal. Actually, "blend" is a bad term. There is no separation of the "Christian" and the "metal" in his songs, they both flow from the same source of inspiration. I've heard several Christian metal bands, classic and obscure, and thus far I think that Matt is the only person who has done it successfully.
     
  19. TengwarSymphony

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    Well said, descendant of Agamemnon ;)
    (I don't expect anyone other than a fellow Atreides to get that.)
     
  20. Atreides

    Atreides Member

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    Haha, it has been so long since I made this handle that I still have to read it a few times when people reference it :p
     

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