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Docker's Guild / Press

“The full title sets it out as a hi-brow concept album, yet what sets this apart from a lot of concept albums is the music and melodies that infuse each of the songs. The story and a lot of the musicianship are down to one man’s vision: Douglas Docker (songwriter, keyboard player and vocalist) whose all-encompassing dedication and passion to this project have brought to life one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. This release sits easily within the all the genres we love and it’s a CD that anyone who reads this website will absolutely adore!”

“All the vocalists add their distinctive tonsils, meaning that this album flows excellently and never gets boring, it also adds to the cinematic nature of the album. The music is very keyboard heavy so it has an AOR sound to many of the tracks but with Guthrie guitars adding some crunch a few drift into more metallic territory. The album is fantastic and anyone who loves Mr Lucassen's work will get huge pleasure out of this album. [9/10]”

“Don’t be thinking you can get away with some mindless musical escapade that you can wile away an hour or so while preparing dinner. ‘The Mystic Technocracy’ will require your utmost attention. For mine, one of the albums of the year. [10/10]”

“This is a tale of epic proportions. The amazing thing here, Douglas was able to bring in a foray of artists with an incredible who is who list of names. The best part is the production as Douglas is a keyboard genius and knows how to tickle sounds from his synthesizers, which make your skin crawl. Add to that a brilliant production and the masterful emotion that trails you through this 79-minute journey and you will be enchanted. Trust me, there is so much more on this Lion Music master piece! [9/10]”

“From the very beginning of this opera, our ears will be bombarded with a constant solid stream of spacey keyboard-oriented melodies, and it will not stop before the last sentence of the story has been placed. It’s very rich with tasty morsels of ear candy. It took a while to digest all the impressions, but it has grown on me and by the end rewarded me with a top-notch prog rock experience. If you have grown tired of endless and countless listenings of Lucassen’s many projects, then this album is a good candidate to check out, and spend some of your precious time on. [85/100]”

“Once in a while Lion Music surprises me with an excellent album and this solo effort from Douglas R. Docker under the moniker of Docker’s Guild certainly is such a highlight. “The Mystic Technocracy – Season 1: The Age of Ignorance” sounds quite impressive from start to finish. Hats off to Mr Docker and Lasse at Lion Music for surprising us with such fine stuff. One for my top-10 at the end of the year. [5.5/6]”

“Docker's Guild offers, on this very first very successful installment, a balanced mix of epic compositions, technical demonstrations and catchy melodies. The choice proves to be perfect. The album is interesting from beginning to end and replays with great pleasure, which, admittedly, is not always the case with concept albums. [4.5/5]”

“It’s difficult to remain indifferent to such an amount of melody, instrumental expertise, and ideas, incredibly blended and released with a unique intensity. The ease with which all the components are exposed leaves us breathless because of the sensitivity, gentleness and humility with which we are told this "discovery". Sincere congratulations to Douglas for the class and the ability to combine Aor, Prog, Space Rock and electronics, with a cast of excellence and never indulging in self-love. [9.5/10]”

“Every single instrument is designed and played with parsimony and immense class, from the preponderance of the keyboards, the bass technique to the excellent guitar technique of Guthrie Govan. We are in the presence of a masterpiece. [This album is] played and composed in an admirable way. [9/10]”

“This is a project of great artistic value. The word extraordinary would really appropriate. A delicious dose of originality, which highlights the strong personality of an incredible group, which says something very new. It is a very intense, inspiring, but also very technical and passionate album. The arrangements are very complex and articulated, you can feel the greatness of this immense project. Production nothing short of excellent. To have without delay! [9/10]”

“If you like space rock opera, this is the real deal for this year. These are memorable, down to earth progressive songs. It is all a matter of top class compositions that are able to give this album its most strength. This is a top class AOR and progressive music of the year. [9.5/10]”

“If the epic and symphonic aspects are strongly developed, in particular through a very thorough use of keyboards, nothing is overplayed like in some Rock Operas. There is thus a very 80's cocktail of genres, mixing AOR, Heavy Metal and Neo-Prog, with quite an impressive and charged result! "The Mystic Technocracy" happens to be a great success that will satisfy especially the followers of the 80s. We impatiently await the continuation of the saga. [8/10]”

“We are faced with a masterpiece, one of those works that are intended to mark a new musical universe. A stellar cast for a stellar disc. The variety of the concept is so vast that even the most demanding music buff will find bread for his teeth. The album chock full of details that will make you excited, cry and even sing out loud: kudos to Douglas for having created such a long and complicated album and yet absolutely magnetic, able to strike and be appreciated from the first to the last second. [9/10]”

“Sound-wise, this is actually one of the best I've heard in a long time! This is a fantastic record. [9/10]”

Roger - Extended Mix

“Mr. Docker is a hyper-musician, a master amongst teachers, a very special sample of highly educated music man. Do you happen to like the Ayreon projects? Do you fancy ELP, YES and the rest of the huge Prog Masters, through an AOR prism? Put your headphones on, hit the lights and relax, you’re in for a treat! Safe travels!”

“The progressive element is definitely quite dominant, but, there are plenty of heavy chucking and hard rocking guitar riffs to satisfy many a fan of hard rock. Fans of progressively oriented rock, hard rock and metal bands should find this album, with its lush keyboard arrangements, spacey sounds, rocking guitars and epic feel, and of course the complex lyrical theme, appealing. [4/5]”

“The songwriting is highly sophisticated as you could hope from the ambitious statement of intent. A superb production adds value to the album. Docker’s Guild is in the fast lane and has meshed with the right gear. [8.5/10]”

“This is ten superb tracks of pure blissful euphoria for the ear. If music could be captured in colours, then this Rock Opera would be a kaleidoscope if infinite wonderment. Docker's Guild can easily become a reference point in the progressive scene. The album stands for its songwriting, vocal arrangements, superb keyboards work and the deep and well-structured concept.”

“It is simply an excellent blend heavy, AOR and prog, a rare quality in this area. The Mystic Technocracy is a wonderful tribute to the sound that I love so much, these convoluted environments, but also catchy and straightforward melodies. What quality, what sense of melody, and what songs! This is the kind of gems that send Docker's Guild high in the firmament of prog [8/10]”

“We have a bit of a treat for all lovers of prog rock: captivating compositions that have depth and soul. Highlights are pretty much all over. It’s compelling stuff with great performances from all involved. Sonically the album is big and well mixed. The artwork inlay also promises to be a lush affair. Fans of any of the classic big prog names, or indeed newer variants ala Ayreon are urged to check this album out. A work of art is here with the emphasis firmly on songs and it promises to be a superb journey on future releases. [94/100]”

“The songs keep coming with natural grace and offer a real good time to the listener. Despite a record crammed with music, over 79 minutes, you very rarely get bored as the melodies are so varied and catchy. This album is well thought out and performed. This first chapter is full of promises and now I look forward to the rest of the Mystic Technocracy. [8/10]”

“Dynamic and inventive, yet skillfully tuneful, this first installment of The Mystic Technocracy is enigmatic in both its technical and melodic delivery, again offering up the goods for those who want to hear great tunage and for those who want to dive head first into thought oriented music. [90/100]”

“Rather than being overly technical or complex, Docker's Guild bedecks the arrangements in a very accessible AOR melodic rock wrapper. The music is hardly obscure or formidable, but easily extravagant and expansive, friendly and pleasing. It's massive ear candy, with the title track, With The Mystic Technocracy, Douglas Docker and his Docker's Guild sets upon a grand adventure, one of epic proportions in progressive rock. If the next four 'seasons' are as good as The Age of Ignorance, this will be a dandy collection. Very recommended. [4.5/5]”

“The Mystic Techocracy is the first real alternative to that shown by Arjen Lucassen and his Ayreon project: it reworks the hallmarks in a musical adventure that balances melodic rock, prog-rock and electronics, mixing them in a potentially explosive recipe, ready to write new pages of great music, doing justice to the great writing skills of its creator. If Docker's Guild finds a way to complete its five chapters, we could be looking at a work of art and music of rare beauty and depth. For now let's appreciate the brilliant results obtained from this first episode, a shining example of how big names, if managed wisely, can bring about real jewels. [6/6]”

“Douglas creates a lush landscape with many keyboard textures, giving a futuristic sound to the album that often reminded me of an 80's Sci Fi flick. The music is energetic, dramatic, large-scaled, well-orchestrated, and professional sounding. A solid album that will appeal to fans of projects like Avantasia and Ayreon. [4/5]”

“What a record… really beautiful… and the singers… SUPER SUPER SUPER, holy shit what an album you’ve made!”

Alessandro Del Vecchio - Glenn Hughes, Edge of Forever, Shining Line singer, keyboardist, producer

“I feel you have really produced a very well thought out CD. A nice balance between softer and heavier songs and a nice blend of vocals. I also feel that the songwriting is clearly above most records I have listened to recently so talent and experience obviously matter.”

Mike Lind - RJ Dio, Candlemass, Talisman mastering engineer

“Darwin's Tears is a fantastic song... I love your vocal”

Simon Hanhart - Asia, Marillion, Arena producer

“This stuff is great and your playing is outstanding.”

Jeff Watson - Night Ranger guitarist

“It will be a complex album about a deep subject that concerns and affects us all. Religion. It is very interesting.”

Goran Edman - Malmsteen singer

“Docker's Guild should be the album of the year.”

Tony Mills - TNT, Shy singer

“The songs offered here really managed to surprise us, not only for their refinement, but also for their ability to engage and excite.”

“Excellent melodic prog rock!”

Tony Franklin - Blue Murder, Whitesnake, Vasco Rossi bass player

“Your music is amazing!”

Joe Lynn Turner - Rainbow, Deep Purple, Malmsteen singer

“There's heaps of robotic voiceovers, sweeping synth pads, parping brass lines and cutting guitar work. It sounds totally epic, can't wait to hear what the final version will sound like.”

“The music's great.”

Jeff Watson - Night Ranger guitarist

“This is some of the most credible rock I've been involved in recording for as long as I can remember and it's an honour to be asked.”

Tony Mills - TNT, Shy singer

“I really had a great time playing on your songs, Douglas. It is REALLY great music!!”

Gregg Bissonette - David Lee Roth, Vasco Rossi drummer

“The Mystic Technocracy is a very cool track. The keys on it are very cool. Reminds me a lot of Geoff Downes style.”

John Payne - Asia singer

“Things of immense value are appearing on the horizon. Imposing keyboards, large scale musical structures with a palpable dramatic effect, hooklines with a delicious melody impact and a series of spectacular and highly effective special effects, are the ingredients of this pair of compositions.”

“An idea never attempted so far and with an unusual charm that could bring forth something truly "new" and unprecedented. ”

“The material does sound very interesting. I enjoyed what I heard. The concepts behind the project and the musicians you've already put in place are great.”

Simon Hanhart - Asia, Marillion, Arena producer

“[Your songs] are all very cool. I really love the material. It's great stuff.”

Ted Poley - Danger Danger singer

“The album is pretty much a masterpiece. It's really great stuff. I think you should be very proud of what you have achieved so far.”

Tony Mills - China Blue, TNT & Shy singer

“I quite liked the sound of what you are doing”

Karl Groom - Threshold guitarist

“We are talking about one of the most beautiful demo-CDs that I have ever listened to: a very atmospheric prog, which delights with musical sections that will give you goose bumps, wide cosmic landscapes which are excellently painted by the song writing. Score: 90/100"”

“Your sound is fantastic!”

Mirko Galliazzo - EMMECIESSE Music Publishing

“Very cool. [...] Love it! Kind of reminds me of early Genesis and mellower Ayreon at times. Really enjoyed this! [...] Digging your musicianship all around.”

Edward Faust - Poley/Rivera drummer

“Wow, strong material, the music in your page is really cool guys! Great songs, great energy, great musical offer!”

Carlo Basile - ex international A&R for EMI, RCA and BMG Italy

“This is a coool project.”

Ted Poley - Danger Danger singer

“Great keys!”

John Payne - Asia singer

“I enjoyed your sound clips, very impressive!”

Eric Ragno - China Blue keyboardist

“I've listened to the new song and I think it's superb.”

Tony Mills - China Blue, TNT & Shy singer

“Impressive work. Just listened to the two songs in the player and it really sounds good.”

Goran Edman - Malmsteen, Norum, Brazen Abbot singer

“The music sounds really cool... congrats.”

“Your music is fantastic!”

Renegade (heavy metal program) - Radio Beckwith Evangelica

“Excellent track, really like the sinthesizer work.”

“Your project looks interesting, Douglas. There has always been a very close alliance between SF and prog rock. I look forward to hearing samples of your music.”