Where to begin to tell the tale of Douglas Docker and his new solo project, Docker's Guild? Perhaps with, he was born as a child, and was destined to become a child prodigy. At an early age he was playing violin and classical piano. He has about 10 earned degrees (not really, maybe four), one in ethnomusicology from the Sorbonne in Thai music. Yipes! He was a rocker at one time with early Nineties sensation Biloxi. His musical experiences and work are prodigious, having had several of his own bands. (Read more of his curriculum vitae here.) But now he's concentrating on his solo project Docker's Guild and The Mystic Technocracy.
The Mystic Technocracy will be an epic project, a progressive rock sci-fi saga in five parts, or seasons as Docker calls them. The first is The Age of Ignorance. The premise of TMT is Docker's suspicion of the big three monotheistic religions: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. He perceives them to be religions and agents of violence, warfare, and genocide against mankind, in apposition to the notion of love and compassion they claim to profess.
His conclusions are at best naive, but likely formed upon limited study and inaccurate information of, at the very least, Christianity. Yet his premise has greater credence when applied to Islam, especially in its historical militant form, which has continued from it's birth to present day. Ultimately, Docker rages more against unquestioned dogmatism and the blind faith of its believers, and he's got a point there.
With The Mystic Technocracy he throws his idea into a sci-fi context. In this universe, 'religion was created by a silicon-based life form, the Mystic Technocracy, in order to control, manipulate and eventually destroy humanity.'
This seems like too much introduction when we should be getting into the music. I apologize if this is too brief, because this work is overall, with one exception, pretty damn awesome.
Docker echoes progressive rocks greats from Yes to Genesis to Rush to Dream Theater and more in between, with both his synth playing and compositions. But 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, The Divine Comedy, Black Swans, and the The Secret of DNA trilogy pure pleasures to enjoy. A stumbling point comes only in the lengthy spoken portion, in some Norse language, of The Norse Cosmogony; it's a huge waste of tape.
While much of TMT grandeur is due to Docker's phenomenal skills, he's helped by some very creative people. The short list includes Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, Joe Satriani), Jeff Watson (Night Ranger), John Payne (Asia), Goran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen, Karmakanic), Amanda Somerville (Avantasia, Epica, et al), Tony Mills (TNT/ Shy) and many more. It's his Guild, of course.
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.
Docker's Guild's The Mystic Technocracy, is a massive and entertaining prog rock saga to be unleashed in five parts by accomplished musician Douglas Docker and a bevy of talented friends.