Balance Of Power - Perfect Balance

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Nightmare Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:44:00

A wall of keys and guitars greets the listener of Balance Of Power's fourth CD Perfect Balance. Like it's predecessor in Ten More Tales Of Grand Illusion, Perfect Balance manages to blend such artists as Malmsteen, Stratovarius, a hint of Symphony X, and 80s hard rock.

During the last 18 months, band members Lionel Hicks (d) and Pete Southern (g) put USM together - a side project featuring original BOP singer Tony Ritchie. The heaviness present on this new BOP release can be partly attributed to USM. Most outstanding are the levels of melodies present within the songs. This is definitely one of the most melodic bands doing the rounds at the moment and their choruses are a joy to listen to (and sing!). It's really uplifting. And with Lance King, who has a kind of 80s easy listening theme to his vocals, he still manages to make his voice sound fresh within the music. They also ply on the multi-layered choruses as well.

The band should be applauded for the consistency they have put into this new release. It's more stable although due to the mid-tempo rock nature of the disc, it's not for fans of power metal and for those into progressive metal, well, whilst they employ some progressive tendencies, it's not near the complexity of bands such as Symphony X, Fates Warning, or Dream Theater. Thus, it has more in common with happy rock with driving, weighty guitars - with an extremely clean sound. This clean sound is probably the only dent in BOP's armour - it's very clinical. So, whilst the solos and crunchy nature of the guitars provided by Southern put many to shame it comes off a fraction over-produced and sterile. In fact, it is the same with all of the instruments including Lance's vocals. In fact, maybe they should have dropped the balance from the title and just left it as perfect - because it is the perfect sound that they are trying to achieve.

Balance of Power are perfecting their craft quite nicely and this disc reflects the work that they put into their craft - making catchy, melodic metal.

Released in Japan by Avalon/Marquee Records, in Europe by Massacre Records (MAS CD0288/0002882). Just above, the JP and EU covers

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Higher Than The Sun (7:03) / Shelter Me (5:17) / Fire Dance (6:50) / One Voice (5:24) / The Pleasure Room (6:03) / Killer Or The Cure (5:37) / House Of Cain (5:06) / Hard Life (6:35) / Searching For The Truth (4:49)

Lance King - lead vocals
Pete Southern - guitars
Bill Yates - guitars
Tony Ritchie - bass
Lionel Hicks - drums


Leon Lawson - keyboards

When The World Falls Down (1997)
Book Of Secrets (1998)
Ten More Tales ... Of Grand Illusion (1999)
Perfect Balance (2001)
Heathen Machine (2003)
Heathenology (boxed set) (2005)

Genre: Melodic Metal

Origin UK

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 1198
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]