Docker’s Guild – The Mystic Technocracy (Season 1: The Age Of Ignorance)
Docker’s Guild’s debut album The Mystic Technocracy (Season 1: The Age Of Ignorance) is, first of all, a mouthful to say. Second of all, an earful to listen to, clocking in at a whopping 79 minutes across 15 tracks. Third and finally, it is basically a spiritual continuation of the Ayreon precedent set on albums like The Universal Migrator Parts 1 and 2, and 01011001. Take a varying cast of musicians [Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth / Joe Satriani), Magnus Jacobson (Miss Behavior), Tony Franklin (Blue Murder), Guthrie Govan (Asia), Jeff Watson (Night Ranger), John Payne (Asia), Goran Edman (ex Yngwie Malmsteen, Karmakanic), Amanda Somerville (Avantasia / Epica), Tony Mills (TNT/ Shy)] and throw together a sci-fi prog rock opera with a rich story and a lot of different influences, and that’s what you’ll get with Docker’s Guild.
With The Age Of Ignorance, the story tells a tale of fundamentalist Judeo-Christian religions (including Islam) leading way to a universal silicon based lifeform that takes over the world. The project leader, Douglas Docker, is pretty vehemently vocal in the press releases about telling his feelings on fundamentalist religion, and it comes through in the story too. Unlike the piece of garbage Andromeda album that I reviewed last year though, this album’s personal message is stated effectively, but with enough subtlety so as to not distract the listener from the fact that this IS an album of music. Even those that might disagree with some or all of the album’s message shouldn’t have trouble listening to the album.
On to the music. As I said above, this is pretty derivative of Ayreon, only instead of a prog/metal/space rock kick, this substitutes the metal influences mostly for AOR. There’s a strong keyboard presence on the album, which effectively sets tone and atmosphere, and as far as melodies and instrumental passages go, it’s pretty even. I can’t say anything really popped out at me as earth shattering, but the album was effectively even, and rather well done from start to finish.
A final comment would be on the album’s extreme (79 minute) length. That is always a dangerous undertaking, and so it impresses me that the music never seems tired or to stay past its length. Consequently, I don’t have a whole lot to say about individual tracks. The album really efficiently presents itself as an entire piece of music, and at 15 tracks, they all start to run together, even after repeated listens. There is a spoken word (In not-English to boot!) track near the beginning of the album titled “Norse Cosmogony (Part I)”, and it worried me a bit. However, it is supplemented by a rich keyboard melody and the sounds of a ship rocking, and it’s not even three minutes long. Much to my surprise, this track ended up not bothering me at all.
Rather than dismissing this as an Ayreon clone, I actually believe fans of that kind of stuff will absolutely adore Docker’s Guild, however little headway it may gain them in other realms.
Dagg’s Rating: 3.75 out of 5