Release DetailsLABEL Inside Out
RELEASED ON 6/7/2005
Peace Among The Ruins
posted on 6/2005 By:
While a handful of the older metal enthusiasts have fond memories of an age where musical ideas were ground-breaking and uncovering talented pioneering bands wasn’t quite the tedious and exhausting task it is nowadays, younger fans tend to rely on the recommendations of their elder peers. Although some of the classic groups remain, many of them have altered their original format in an attempt to be more appealing to radio and television. Others have continued forward, only to find themselves bumped from the limelight of the masses by the pretentious heirs of record companies that are now slave to the mighty dollar.
Few acts (classic or otherwise) have effectively carried the 70’s prog rock torch into these modern times; As Pink Floyd was successful throughout the 80’s, they eventually lost steam and in many respects, Porcupine Tree picked up where their fellow Brits left off. Meanwhile, Rush are still a major player in the scene, but have shown random inconsistencies over the last few years. Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and an assortment of additional bands have kept the progressive flame burning, however, they have advanced the original template so much that it is hardly recognizable as such. So what to do when you are in desperate need of a true 70’s prog fix? Well, one obvious option would be to revisit all of your dusty old records – OR you can strap yourself in and prepare for another type of escape into the past, via Presto Ballet.
An immense supporter of the early works of Yes, Kansas, and Genesis (among others), Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof sought to create a project that reflected his predilection of that era and he has undoubtedly achieved said objective with Peace Among The Ruins, the band’s introductory opus on Inside Out Music. Capturing every aspect that encompasses the vintage prog genre, the album parades precision instrumentation, enigmatic lyrical passages, and an all around natural feel in both the writing and in the performance alike. Along with analogue synthesizers, Presto Ballet make frequent use of the Hammond organ as well as the polyphonic sounds of the mellotron keyboard. With very little contemporary influence finding its way into the fold, Peace Among The Ruins sits in the company of classic masterpieces like Fragile, Leftoverture, and Larks’ Tongues In Aspic – truly epic music.
Accompanying Kurdt is vocalist Scott Albright (who also appeared on some of Vanderhoof’s solo ventures). Having quite a remarkable voice, Albright’s tone ranges anywhere between Jon Anderson, Greg Lake, Geddy Lee, and occasionally (for a modern example) James LaBrie. Perceptive of a certain vocal style being essential to the scene, Vanderhoof was wise in selecting Albright to front his outfit. Rounding out the Presto Ballet line-up are names I am not familiar with, but for your own records they are Brian Cokeley (keyboards), Brian Lake (bass), and Jeff Wade (drums). There may be a possibility that you recognize them from other groups, but not I.
Obviously if you have made it this far into the review, you should have a fairly good concept of what to expect when you listen to Peace Among The Ruins; Classically faultless prog rock with no shortage of energy, emotion, and mystique – the type that rivals its predecessors. This is Top Ten material without question! The bottom line is that diehard fans of Metal Church may frown upon this undertaking UNLESS they were into early progressive music prior to discovering Metal Church or are presently into the lighter side of metal with a huge arena sound. Followers of any of the aforementioned, you already know you’re gonna love Peace Among The Ruins, so dig in.
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