Lion Music www.lionmusic.com [Release date 21.01.16, digital only]
This is the second album from the Docker’s Guild, the brainchild of Douglas R. Docker. This album is part of a series of 4 transitional albums placed between the 5 main “seasons” (there will be nine albums in total) and which focus on an aspect of the storyline’s main character, Dr. Jack Heisenberg. This particular instalment/album focuses on Jack’s youth and love of science fiction – the album is full of classic science fiction theme tunes.
The overall story of this space opera visits the dark world of The Mystic Technocracy, where a silicon-based techno-organic alien race attempts to wipe out all life on Earth through organized religion, while a tormented scientist makes it his mission in life to save humanity. A very ambitious project which nearly didn’t make it to the starting line and full marks to Lion Music for getting this out digitally (a full physical release follows in February on another label).
Douglas R. Docker handles vocals/keyboards and guests include Amanda Somerville, Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Roxy Petrucci (Vixen/Madame X) and Anna Portalupi (Tarja Turunen/Hardline). Frontiers Records ‘go to’ producer/songwriter Alessandro Del Vecchio helped co-produce and mix the album.
So what of the music? Well safe to say Docker’s Guild remain true to the original themes, adding in their own styling here and there. There is a fantastic Queen ‘Flash’ medley, entitled the ‘Flash Gordon Suite’. Sounds like a cross between Ayreon meets Queen and only the film clips are missing. Amanda Somerville sings the vocal on ‘Hero’ and she puts in a great performance on the less famous of the two vocal songs on the original ‘Flash Gordon’ soundtrack album.
Elsewhere the highlights come thick and fast, be it the ‘Doctor Who’ theme or ‘Red Dwarf’, which includes the full vocal of the theme tune. This one oozes fun through the music and vocal performance. Elize Ryd adds her impressive vocals to ‘The Never Ending Story’, another fine version performed by the Docker’s Guild.
A really enjoyable album and one that has appeal outside of prog rock fans to those many fans of sci-fi shows/films and their iconic theme tunes. Do give this album a listen as it gives a fresh feel to some classic themes. By featuring well known theme tunes it is a good way to draw in new listeners, setting the scene nicely for the next installment . ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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In his show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on Sunday 29 March David Randall featured a selection of tracks from “Albums of the Month” (January-March 2020) (29:45)
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