DOCKER’S GUILD – The Heisenberg Diaries, Book A: Sounds Of Future Past (2016)
One of rock and metal’s most ambitious undertakings in modern memory has been happening since 2012, this being DOCKER’S GUILD, the brainchild of keyboardist Douglas R. Docker, former member of celebrated melodic rockers Biloxi and collaborator to many stellar bands.
We truly enjoyed the previous record (featured here on the blog), and “The Heisenberg Diaries – Book A: Sounds Of Future Past” is the second in a planned nine albums of the project called Docker’s Guild.
Docker’s Guild is one of Prog’s and AOR’s best kept secret genius’ in Douglas Docker its creator. The best way I can describe the sound is Ayreon and Royal Hunt meets Survivor and Journey. Both heavy on the progressive rock / metal and on the AOR sound just as equally.
This album is part of a series of 4 transitional albums placed between the 5 main “seasons” (there will be nine albums in total) and which focus on an aspect of the storyline’s main character, Dr. Jack Heisenberg. This particular album focuses on Jack’s youth and love of science fiction – the album is full of classic science fiction theme tunes.
The overall story visits the dark world of The Mystic Technocracy, where a silicon-based techno-organic alien race attempts to wipe out all life on Earth through organized religion, while a tormented scientist makes it his mission in life to save humanity.
A very ambitious project which nearly didn’t make it to the starting line and full marks to Lion Music for getting this out digitally (a full physical release follows in February on another label).
Douglas R. Docker handles vocals / keyboards and guests include talented Amanda Somerville, Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Roxy Petrucci (Vixen / Madame X) and Anna Portalupi (Tarja Turunen / Hardline) among others.
Frontiers Records ‘go to’ producer/songwriter Alessandro Del Vecchio helped co-produce and mix the album.
So what of the music? All tracks are inspired by famous science fiction movies / TV shows where Docker’s Guild remain pretty true to the original themes, adding in their own styling here and there.
There is a fantastic Queen ‘Flash’ medley, entitled the ‘Flash Gordon Suite’. Sounds like a cross between Ayreon meets Queen and only the film clips are missing. Amanda Somerville sings the vocal on ‘Hero’ and she puts in a great performance on the less famous of the two vocal songs on the original ‘Flash Gordon’ soundtrack album.
Elsewhere the highlights come thick and fast, be it the ‘Doctor Who’ theme or ‘Red Dwarf’, which includes the full vocal of the theme tune. This one oozes fun through the music and vocal performance.
Elize Ryd (Amaranthe) adds her impressive vocals to ‘The Never Ending Story’, another fine version performed by the Docker’s Guild.
Douglas Docker has certainly made vintage science fiction totally relevant again. With a modern and fresh sound he has arrived with another step in the evolution of great science fiction-rock based conceptual albums.
“The Heisenberg Diaries – Book A: Sounds Of Future Past” leaves your thirst for the next Docker’s Guild installment. Douglas has managed to forge his own distinct sound while maintaining the integrity of the music for both fans of progressive rock and metal and even AOR purists.
All you have to do is look at the talent he recruits and manages to bring all their styles in harmony with his musical vision.
01 – Space: 1999 Year One Main Theme
02 – Flash Gordon Suite
03 – Barbarella
04 – Suspension
05 – When The Wind Blows
06 – The Neverending Story
07 – Red Dwarf Theme
08 – The White Light / Echoes From The Past
09 – Doctor Who Main Theme
10 – UFO Main Theme
11 – The Black Hole End Title
12 – Space-Patrol (Raumpatrouille)
13 – Dune Suite
14 – Space: 1999 Year Two Main Theme
Elisa Montin: drums (tracks 1 – 7, 9 – 11, 13)
Roxy Petrucci: drums (tracks 12, 14)
Anna Portalupi: bass (tracks 1 – 7, 9 – 13)
Nita Strauss: guitars (tracks 2 – 6, 8, 10)
Mio Jäger: guitars (tracks 1, 9, 11, 14)
Yasi Hofer: guitars (tracks 7, 12)
Elize Ryd: lead vocals (tracks 4, 6)
Amanda Somerville: lead and backing vocals (track 2)
Valentina Procopio: lead vocals (track 7), backing vocals
Douglas R. Docker: keyboards (all tracks), lead and backing vocals (tracks 3, 6)
Co-Produced, mixed & mastered by Alessandro Del Vecchio