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Force of Habit

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Average Rating
★★★★☆
(5 Reviews)

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Description

Theocracy is a metal band from Athens, Ga. Characterized by huge choruses, epic arrangements and progressive elements, Theocracy s music is both immediate and deep, managing to be instantly catchy and memorable, yet revealing new levels of intricacy and depth with each subsequent listen. Theocracy was released at the end of 2003 on MetalAges Records, to fantastic reviews and worldwide acclaim within the metal community. In the time since that album s release, drummer Shawn Benson and guitarist Jon Hinds joined the ranks, and the band started playing shows locally (including the prestigious ProgPower USA Showcase) and working on new material. And now, after years of hard work, Theocracy is proud to finally unveil their sophomore album, Mirror of Souls, released on Ulterium Records. The material on Mirror of Souls makes it abundantly clear that instead of succumbing to the infamous sophomore slump, the band has actually taken everything to another level. Theocracy is now a full band firing on all cylinders, and the new material features the same high-quality songwriting that made the debut album so memorable. The album s anchor and grand finale is Smith s magnum opus, the 23-minute Mirror of Souls title track. It s the best thing I ve ever written, and the song I m most proud of, he says. The track features the same kind of memorable melodies and smart pacing that made epics like The Serpent s Kiss and Twist of Fate fan favourites. It is an epic in the truest sense of the word, with massive choirs and bombastic orchestral passages. Mirror of Souls was mixed by Smith at the band s Theocracized Studios and mastered by Mikka Jussila [Nightwish, Children of Bodom, Stratovarius] at Finnvox, and the muscular, clear production is a perfect complement to the songs. The cover art was created by Robert Wilson and the booklet was made by Felipe Machado Franco [Iced Earth, At Vance, Ayreon]. Theocracy and Ulterium Records are very excited about working together and supporting this long-awaited album, which is sure to be a hit with fans and critics alike.

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  • Exodus have experienced something of a resurgence lately, and well deservedly. The band that gave Metallica Kirk Hammett first got the attention of the metal community with “Bonded By Blood”, a thrash fest with the great pair of lead guitarists Gary Holt and the now-departed Rick Hunolt. This line-up has changed a lot over the years, with Gary Holt, being the principle songwriter and leader of the band basically the only constant member. However, the line-up stabilized for a few albums, with Steve Souza replacing Paul Baloff on vocals for the second CD “Pleasure Of The Flesh”. “Force Of Habit” slipped through the cracks and was unavailable for a long time until Caroline picked it up and reissued it in remastered form.
    While not on a par quite with “Tempo Of The Damned” or “The Atrocity Exhibit: Exhibit A”, “Force Of Habit” is a likable thrash album and gives us a little extra, such as the Memphis Horns on one cut and their trademark humor on “Feeding Time At The Zoo”. It’s a dependable heavy rocking album and worth the trouble getting if you’re an Exodus fan. I don’t like the packaging, however – the CD slips out of its sleeve too easily, but I can fix that with an empty jewel case.

    Posted on December 10, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Exodus never dissapoints when it comes to studio albums or live shows, they knock it out of the park every time, this album shows that this band has to limits.

    Posted on December 10, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Force of Habit, along with several other releases in close proxemity of this one (The Black Album, Overkill’s I Hear Black, Anthrax’s Sound of White Noise, Testament’s The Ritual, and Megadeth’s Countdown to Extinction/Youthanasia) showed a more subdued band, musically. Though this album was still thrashier than the others I listed, it was still not as intense as the albums Exodus released in the previous years. But, like the other big-name thrash bands at the time, Exodus showed a more matured sound with Force of Habit. There is some fantastic guitar playing on this album. The solos range from all-out metal shred to blues-oriented licks. And the riffs are just as amazing. When I listen to Force of Habit I not only bang my head, but also find myself foot stompin’ to some excellent groove riffing. This is a great, underrated cd!

    Posted on December 10, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I was introduced to Exodus back in the mid 80s with Bonded by Blood and I was blown away with its raw sound and gut punching music. At the same time frame I plunged head first into a speed metal pool that kept growing. Along with Exodus came Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth at the top of the list. While I enjoyed Bonded by Blood, I found the high scream vocals to be a bit annoying (maybe like Metallica felt about Dave Mustaine–just kidding you Megadeth fans so please no death threats….).
    After Exodus changed vocalists and came out with Pleasures of the Flesh (and subsequent releases with Steve Souza still on vocals) I was greatly pleased. Some years passed then a dear friend of mine popped this cassette into his car stereo and I loved its variety of tunes. At first listen I wasn’t sure if it was Souza on vocals since some of the songs were heavy mellow, but the up-tempo songs assured me that it was him on vocals. I thought it showed that Souza was more than an adept vocalist given that no vocalist/musician can produce fast and heavy on every song on every album year after year and last (just ask legendary drummer Tom Lombardo about it upon his departure from Slayer-a very sad day for me even though I followed him to GRIP Inc which is/was a very cool band).
    I love this album. The music, the songwriting from the first to the last song IS contemporary Exodus and if you are a fan this is a must have CD.
    On a Souza side note–compare him according to his work from Pleasures of the Flesh to this album Force of Habit and hopefully not his last on Tempo of the Damned where he literally gave a speed metal heavy edged vocal tour de force. If you don’t live your life with blinders on and understand that EVERY band must change and adapt if it is going to survive and last (some might say “sell out” which Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich(sp) said his band would NEVER do after the major label release of Ride The Lightning….), then Force of Habit is Exodus at its very best! If you don’t love this CD the first time you listen to it then play it again oh you of little faith.
    Angryj

    Posted on December 10, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is a review for the 2008 re-issue on Caroline Records.

    First of all, the good news. The disc has been Remastered. So the music sounds as good as ever. The disc art is somwhat cool despite being somewhat simple. A white disc with the Exodus logo in a hand-written font in red similating blood, with a bit of splatter. Same for the album title on the bottom half of the disc.

    Now then, for the band news (if you’re a collector like me)…the disc comes not in a jewel case with an enhanced liner note booklet, nor in a digipak. It comes in a thin cardboard LP-replica sleeve. And the disc has an inner paper sleeve to protect it from the cardboard. But that’s it! No booklet at all…no lyrics, no nothing.

    Anyway, I give the album 5 stars for the music minus 2 stars for the cheap packaging. I like collectible packaging just as muc as the next guy, but this is throw away stuff.

    Posted on December 9, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now