THEORY – The Art Of Evil (2017)

THEORY - The Art Of Evil (2017) full

The Art Of Evil” is the debut CD of THEORY, a new Danish quintet playing progressive / melodic metal founded by lead guitarist Odin L. Madsen and drummer Martin Kilic in 2011. This release picked my interest because the band includes into the line-up powerful shouter Nicklas Sonne, known for his very good work in Evil Masquarade.
Theory’s style is inspired by bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Allen-Lande, etc, and they have crafted a really solid, potent but clean debut.

The first thing that immediately got me in “The Art Of Evil” is the guitar sound, very crunchy but at the same time clean and precise. Responsible for that is founding member Odin Laugesen Madsen, also known as guitar teacher at the Danish Metal Academy. He is a fabulous shredder and riff-monster. Esben Dueholm is the other riff master in the line-up.
The band is completed by drummer Martin Killic (ex Death Comes Pale), bass player Kim Mikkelsen (ex Twilight), and Nicklas Sonne which delivers another standout performance on “The Art Of Evil”.

All these musicians have vast experience in the Scandinavian scene, and this, in some way, explain the high level in songwriting and execution on Theory’s debut.
After the atmospheric intro, the title track is immediately one of the highlights, a midtempo song with a solid refrain, thick riffs and a low tuned bass that gives it a real heavy vibe.
Nicklas shines in ‘Sea of Damnation’ and puts the bar high for everyone calling himself a metal singer. There’s very interesting tribal beats and the shredding guitar solo is a blast.

‘Demon’s Domain’ starts as a Dio track with a slow riff then speeds up, and some shredding in Zakk Wylde style follows. Again a very strong track with roots of Black Sabbath, Dio and Ozzy on it.
Thoughts of Dream Theater appear with the song ‘Stranger Descent’, another highlight where the keyboard guest part of Derek Sherinian is the icing on the cake.

THEORY - The Art Of Evil (2017) inside

After that I can mention every song because they all have the same quality songwriting. Everything is consistent all over the album: the drums sound tight, the bass fits perfect in the mix, the guitar riffs have the right heavy crunchy tuning and the singer is one of the best in the genre.
You have a stupendous rhythm in the heavy ‘In Silence We Ride’, a cleverly arranged power ballad in ‘Our Journey’, and a grand finale with ‘Skies Are Falling’.

I don’t think there will be a lot debut albums this year in the prog metal field that are going to top this “The Art Of Evil”.
Theory play technically and there’s some elaborated passages, but the key of success from the songs in their debut CD is the proper running time; except the tour the force of the last cut, all tracks are around the 4 minute mark.
Very solid, effective and entertaining piece of melodic prog metal from the never disappointing Scandinavian factory.

01 – Awakening
02 – The Art of Evil
03 – Sea of Damnation
04 – Demon’s Domain
05 – Strangers Descent (feat. Derek Sherinian)
06 – Frozen
07 – Liquid Order
08 – The Escape
09 – In Silence We Ride
10 – Catch-22
11 – Our Journey
12 – Skies Are Falling

Nicklas Sonne – Vocals
Odin L. Madsen – Lead Guitar
Esben D. Nørgaard – Guitar
Martin Kilic – Drums
Kim Mikkelsen – Bass
Derek Sherinian – Keyboards


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