"Colonizing the Sun" (Listenable)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Theory In Practice are four Swedes who boldly mix Swedish death metal with a dazzling array of progressive elements (from an arrangement perspective) and then, after all that, infuse their music with an abundance of technical skills (in the vein of Atheist or Meshuggah) and touches of other forms of extreme music (black metal being the obvious). In my opinion, it is easiest to think of Theory In Practice as a death metal version of Spiral Architect.

"Colonizing The Sun" is the band's third full-length album and it looks like I have record hunting to do (the hard to find debut, "Third Eye Function," and the sophomore effort, "The Armageddon Theories"). How do bands like this escape my attention? I'll blame it on the vast size and significant degree of segmentation in the metal market. That's a cheap excuse, but it'll work for the time being.

As I like to say about technical bands, Theory In Practice isn't something to be listened to casually or in the manner of background music. Music perpetuated by a band like Theory In Practice demands full attention and dedicated analysis. Personally I'll find myself listening to "Colonizing The Sun" not only because it is well-above average and good, but because I always seem to find something new in the complex arrangements every time I listen to it. Reasons to listen to "Colonizing The Sun" are discovered and revealed by the listener's own hard work and dedicated effort.

The guitars are 'crazed' for the lack of a better term. From lighting fast runs to blistering arpeggios to extraordinarily dexterous riffing Peter Lake's guitar work amazes at all turns. The bass and keyboards, handled by Mattias Engstrand, double-up the guitar runs as often as they branch out on their own magnificent tangents. The drumming is appropriately fast and mixed quite well - I never thought I'd talk about how well drums were mixed on any record until now. However, the vocals on "Colonizing The Sun" are a bit disappointing - the vocals are by-and-large limited to death grunts and raspy screaming, are thoroughly one-dimensional, and gets tired very quickly. However, this is by no means a reason not to check out Theory In Practice.

"Colonizing The Sun" is highly recommended for fans of challenging music. Fans of Spiral Architect, Cynic, Watchtower, late-era Coroner, and Atheist would be wise to seek out Theory In Practice.

"Colonizing The Sun" was produced by Peter Lake.

Theory In Practice is Peter Lake on guitars, Mattias Engstrand on bass and keyboards, and Henrik Ohlsson on drums and vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 14:16:30 -0400 .