For aficionados of festival jam bands like OZRIC TENTACLES who have grown disillusioned by the band’s unimaginative recycling of old ideas, then the latest album The Universe Expands, from the Electronic Art Metal group DOL THEETA is just what you need to get out of the doldrums. This stuff is fresh and energetic – no uneasy feelings of déjà vu haunt the recordings.
DOL THEETA hails from Hellas , Greece and credit groups like JEAN MICHAEL JARRE, VANGELIS, PINK FLOYD, OZRIC TENTACLES, WITHIN TEMPTATION, THE GATHERING, ENIGMA, MASSIVE ATTACK, ORBITAL, THE ORB , SAMAEL, AYREON, and DOL AMMAD as their influences.
The Universe Expands is a collection of 11 electronic art metal tunes that combine high energy metronomic rhythm patterns and soaring interstellar synthesizer courtesy of Thanasis Lightbridge, pulse-pounding bass riffs and scorching guitar work from Dimitris Makrantonakis, and the soulfully hypnotic voice of vocalist Kortess Tsifodimou, creating the perfect epic space-rock opera.
The first track “Which Are You” is a narrative lecture on the subject of hypnotism, setting the stage for a mind expanding journey similar to the 1992 PORCUPINE TREE psychedelic classic “Voyage 34”.
“Silver Air” opens with the kind of a high octane cosmic synth sequence and frenetic space jam that put OZRIC on the map.
At first listen the wistful melodic vocal styling of Kortess Tsifodimou seemed oddly out of place fronting high energy metallic electronica, but as the tune continued this 'beauty and the beast' contrast meshed, and I was swept away … well more like battered about in a Mosh Pit.
The tracks alternate between spacey ambient trance compositions reminiscent of Berlin synth groups like TANGERINE DREAM or KRAFTWERK and the type of high energy Industrial Metal mayhem one might associate with Dutch composer Arjen Anthony Lucassen of AYREON or the female fronted rockers WITHIN TEMPTATION.
Lightbridge explains the lyrical content of the tunes on The Universe Expands:
"The lyrical themes in Dol Theeta are more meditative and "inner-self" oriented but still with heavy space & sci-fi elements. I think they are stories of mind/soul dreams in our inner and outer space. I describe the music as psychedelia, the manifestation of the soul."
Special mention should be made of the amazing organic drum programming by Thanasis Lightbridge – you’ll never get me to believe that drum machine didn’t have a heartbeat. This CD is highly recommended – a strong 9 out of 10 rating.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on August 12th, 2009