Another phenomenon in the world of metal is working on a different project. Kurdt Vanderhoof (Metal Church) has been working again under the name of Presto Ballet. After nine records with two different names, the time has come for him to return to the classic 70’s feel. Or, as he would describe it himself, as ‘ a return to a time when music was at its most colorful and influential.’
Let me start to tell you with a summarization of the instruments, to give you an idea. This band contains: acoustic guitar, piano, Hammond organ, synths, bass, electric guitar, mellotron, drums and vocals. These are all played by five musicians who understand their skills pretty well, you’d probably understand.
I would describe this record as a totally finished album. The songs are structured well, with a lot of melody and variation. During the verses you could hear, all of a sudden, just a piano playing, followed by strong guitar chords. The Hammond and mellotron give the music this kind of a feeling that some would describe as ‘mystical’ or ‘tender’, whereas the vocals are very clear and clean. Sum up some nice guitar solo’s and loops and all the aspects for a(nother) great record are included.
Yet, I think this album wouldn’t qualify. The way the guitar is played during the verses gets a little bit annoying, producing the same rhythm over and over again. Another aspect is the use of the vocals. Technically speaking it’s all ok and I’m really impressed by the high notes the vocals are producing. But again, the loops are annoying. Remember that little kid around the corner that begs for candy every time his mother comes by? That’s what I’m talking about. And it’s a result of the fact that I think this band has tried to push this record into ‘something that hás to be a great album’ a little bit too much. It doesn’t feel naturally. The effort that had been put in the recording is clear, and lots of credits for that, but it’s exaggerating a little bit. And that’s a shame, especially with such good musicians.
For those who want an album to relax with, study or just as background music, this is a great piece of work. But do not listen to this disc too much, because the dimension you’d liked so much of it, could be lost.
2. The fringes
4. Find the time
5. Speed of time
8. Bringin’ it on
Kurdt Vanderhoof: guitars, mellotron, chamberlain, Hammond organ, synts, bass pedals, electric pianos
Brian Cokeley: piano, Hammond organ, synths, electric pianos, lead and backing vocals
Jeff Wade: drums and percussion
Brian Lake: bass