Amon Ra - Precarious Balance

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Bee And Bee Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:48:00

Even if Scott Balaban's voice starts off in an uncertain way during the opening track "The Way," he picks up the threads in order to make his band Amon Ra the German Styx. On Precarious Balance of course you can hear radio friendly tunes that in no way have to be inferior to the rest of the album's material. Almost ending in true opera style, "In The Name Of Ra" takes us back to the Greek mythology whilst guitarist Thomas Wenzel gets enough space to demonstrate his skills. In "Waterfall" the calm is guaranteed by means of nice acoustic instruments whilst Scott's voice reminds me of Stuart (Galahad) Nicholson enormously. Based on Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings, the instrumental "The Story of Beren and Luthien" demonstrates what the band is aiming for - a nicely balanced product with the right amount of solo spots to show off the individual skills. In fact the instrumental parts had been ready two years before the arrival of Scott, which means that the homogeneity of the band can only work even better for the next album.

A powerful song like "Dragonwall," then again, betrays the band's love for Saga, which is one of the few bands who really understands how to combine "ordinary" rock with the right amount of progressive elements to please as many listeners as possible. Amon Ra certainly understands that you can only please those listeners if the music keeps on being interesting from beginning 'til end. That's how a song like "Search Your Soul" is build right in between acoustic guitar and Fender Rhodes electric piano. Equally beautiful is "Stay" with divine keyboard work. You can hear that this song needs some flute playing or real violins, elements for which a bigger budget needs to be guaranteed before the band enters the studio to record a sequel.

With a little bit of work on those harmonies, this band can be the Supertramp of the new millennium!

The Way (7:44) / Two Suns (6:30) / In The Name Of RA (7:28) / The Forest (1:13) / Waterfall (5:56) / The Story Of Beren And Luthien (9:50) / Dragonwall (6:48) / Search Your Soul (8:35) / Stay (8:14) / Illu-vata (11:30)

Scott Balaban - vocals
Thomas Wenzel - guitar, backing vocals
Sebastian Amberger - bass
Dierk Neldner - keyboards
Lothar Hermann - drums, backing vocals

Precarious Balance (1998)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: February 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 968
Language: english


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