Singer Matt Smith, formed Theocracy in 2002
|Origin||Athens, Georgia, US|
|Genres||Christian metal, progressive metal, power metal|
Val Allen Wood
|Past members||Seth Filkins
Theocracy is a Christian progressive power metal band founded in 2002 by Matt Smith of Athens, Georgia. They have released four albums and multiple Christmas singles. Smith was one of a select few musicians to appear in the "Metal Bible". Since its inception, Theocracy has released four studio albums and has undergone five line-up changes.
The group originally started out as a one-man project and all the instruments and vocals done on the debut album Theocracy were performed by Smith. The current lineup includes Smith along with Ernie Topran, Jonathan Hinds, Jared Oldham, and Val Allen Wood. Musically, the band mixes the power metal style of Edguy, Iced Earth, and Helloween with progressive influences from bands such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Kansas and Rush.
The group performed at the ProgPower USA VII festival Pre-Party in Atlanta, Georgia. Live performances from the show of the songs "The Serpent's Kiss" and "Mountain" were included on the ProgPower VII DVD.
The band's self-titled album was released on January 1, 2003 by MetalAges Records, in which all instruments on the album were made by Matt Smith. The album has been out of print for several years, and fans have constantly asked for a re-issue. In order to improve upon the drum machine and amateur production of the original release without losing the charm of the recordings, Theocracy drummer Shawn Benson recorded drums on all tracks, while nothing else was re-recorded. Matt completely re-mixed the album, with the mastering handled by Mika Jussila. So, on November 19, 2013, another release of the album was made by Ulterium Records. It also received fantastic reviews and worldwide acclaim within the Metal genre.
Their second album, Mirror of Souls, was released on November 21, 2008 through Sweden's Ulterium Records and features cover artwork by Robert G. Wilson, Jr. They made an appearance on the cover of the January/December 2007 issue of Heaven's Metal magazine. It was also released on November 26, 2008 in Japan by Soundholic Records. It is Theocracy's first album as a full band. The Japanese version contains the bonus track "Wages of Sin". The North American edition was released December 9, 2008. A picture disc LP was released through the record labels web store containing "Mirror of Souls", "Laying the Demon to Rest", "Absolution Day" and "The Wages of Sin". This LP was limited to 250 copies worldwide.
As the World Bleeds, was released on November 21, 2011 in North America and on November 25, 2011 in Europe.[better source needed] After releasing their new album, Theocracy released their first official music video from the new album, entitled "Hide in the Fairytale" on September 5, 2012. The band embarked on a European tour to promote the remastered re-release of the self-titled album in November 2013. The tour consisted of smaller venue shows as well as larger festivals including Brainstorm Festival in The Netherlands, Blast of Eternity, and Rock Without Limits in Germany, and Maata Näkyvissä Festival in Finland. Joshua Street filled in for drummer Shawn Benson for this tour. On October 28, 2016, they have released their fourth studio album titled Ghost Ship, through Ulterium Records. It includes their second official music video for the album's title track filmed in Atlanta, along with lyric videos for Wishing Well and Easter.
- Matt Smith – lead vocals (2002–present), keyboards (2002–2008), guitar, bass (2002–2009)
- Jonathan Hinds – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboards (2006–present)
- Val Allen Wood – lead guitar, backing vocals (2009–present)
- Jared Oldham – bass, backing vocals (2009–present)
- Ernie Topran – drums (2016–present)
- Seth Filkins – bass, backing vocals
- Josh Sloan – bass, backing vocals
- Patrick Parris – bass, backing vocals
- Shawn Benson – drums (2005–2014)
- Patrick Nickell – drums (2014–2015)
- 2003 - Theocracy
- 2008 - Mirror of Souls
- 2011 - As the World Bleeds
- 2016 - Ghost Ship
Starting in 2003, the band has recorded and released one Christmas-themed song for free download to all members of their "Club of Souls" fan group per year, located on their official website, excluding 2013 and 2015. In 2013, Matt Smith instead dedicated his efforts to the Collide & Spark charity special, released as Project Aegis. In 2015, Theocracy instead were working on a new album, therefore did not have any time to record a new Christmas song.
- 2003: "Christmas Medley"
- 2004: "Little Drummer Boy"
- 2005: "Deck the Joy (To the Halls)"
- 2006: "Christmas Medley" (2006 Remix)
- 2007: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"
- 2008: "Rudolph vs. Frosty"
- 2009: "Angels from the Realms of Glory"
- 2010: "All I Want for Christmas"
- 2011: "Christmas Medley" (2011 Remix)
- 2012: "Wynter Fever"
- 2014: "Night of Silence"
- "Blabbermouth.Net". Roadrun.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "ProgPower The DVD Progress Report". Lucidloungestudios.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "HM Store". Hmmagazine.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "THEOCRACY - AS THE WORLD BLEEDS - Ultimate Metal Forum". Ultimatemetal.com. October 12, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "Theocracy Have New Videos Out". Metal CallOut.
- "We had an interview with Theocracy (USA) at Maata Näkyvissä festival". Nuotta.