Since 2001, Iíve had the extreme pleasure of reviewing most if not all of Systems Theoryís music, in demo form. Now in 2005, I get the honor of reviewing their very first official release, Soundtracks For Imaginary Movies which was released late 2004. Ever since my review of their 1999-2000 demos, I have been expanding my musical knowledge beyond neo and symphonic thanks to many people including Steven Davies-Morris.
Now onto their debut, Soundtracks For Imaginary Movies. As the title suggests, this is a collection of songs or what Iíd call mini-conceptual pieces done in a cinematic style. Divided into three sections or "Sides", each track sets a mood with surrealistic atmospheric quality, especially when listening on headphones. Thatís the wonder of progressive music, you can go to far away places whether real or imaginary through well written and executed compositions. Systems Theory does that and does it very well.
Systems Theory is hard to classify because their sound crosses over into many genres including electronica based ambient, some rock both hard and spacey to world music. Most of the tracks were featured on previous demo releases so it was very nice to see the finished product. On Soundtracks For Imaginary Movies, the band adds guest musicians to their 3 piece core to help flesh out their musical vision. The guest musicians include violinist Cyndee Lee Rule who does some fantastic violin playing on Cool Vibe of Asia C.. Also a guitarist named Dun, that added his touch as well.
As for Steven, Greg & Mike, they have outdone themselves here. I can explain what their parts were and what instruments were used and where but I can recommend this to fans of instrumental progressive music that knows no bounds. Do your ears a favor today and get a copy of this amazing debut now. Based on some new demos I received, I know for sure that Systems Theory will be the band to watch out for.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on March 8th, 2005