|Review: Balance of Power - Perfect Balance|
Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2001
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: October 7, 2002
Reviewed by: Steel Warrior
Yes!!! The highly anticipated new album form this British melodic/progressive metal band. After enjoying so much their 3 previous releases, I couldn’t hardly wait to put my hands on this and listen to it. And my wait was not in vain.
With "Perfect Balance", BOP, has released their most complete and challenging album of their carrer. Just awesome melodies and very heavy guitar riffing here with a top notch production. This album also marks the return of their original singer Tony Ritchie, who handles the bass here and do those wonderful backing vocals. Also they feature a new keyboard player named Leon Lawson who did a magnificient job. But what continues to impress me the most about BOP, besides their vocal melodies is Lionel Hicks’ drumming. This man really knows how to beat the skins!! He is very technical and proficient at what he does, making him in my opinion one of today’s hottest drummers around the scene. Also, in "Perfect Balance", singer Lance King has improve a lot his singing. What annoyed me a bit in the past was his "whining-style" singing on some parts. Now, he uses his vocal range more carefully without trying to push it to the limits. His vocals are now more passionate, powerful and when he reaches the high octane range he does it without getting in the aforementioned "whining". This is obviously a super-plus to overall result of "Perfect Balance".
The album opens with "Higher than the Sun", just a perfect album opener with all the traditional BOP elements: awesome drumming, heavy guitar riffing, great keyboards and a heavy dose of vocals melodies and harmonies. Track #2, "Shelter Me", is a slower song, very mellow with Lance vocals as highlight. Track #3, "Fire Dance" features again the awesome drumming and riffs, with an awesome guitar solo in the middle. On track #4 speed raises, with an excellent dose of drum performing before getting in one of the charmest and melodic choruses in the whole album. And a BOP album would not be BOP without the presence of at least one heavy ballad, so we find it on track #5 "The Pleasure Room", filled with harmonies and excellent guitar solos. By track #6 you will feel more than satisfied with all the songs you have heard before this one, but on "Killer of the Cure", BOP delivers one of the best tracks of the whole album, featuring some of the best heavy guitar riffing here with some acoustics. And you have yet to recover your breath when BOP annihilates you with track #8 "Hard Life", another showcase of real talented drumming, heavy guitar riffing and the best vocal performance by Lance in the whole album. And to end the album they chose to do it with a fast song, track #9 "Searching for the Truth", where drummer Lionel Hicks shows why he deserves to be the producer of the album and the main composer, and just awesome vocal melodies (again), with the best guitar solo of the album.
So, fellow metalheads, maybe you would say that Balance Of Power haven't reinvented themselves on "Perfect Balance". And this is true. They continue to develop their original formula and improving it just to witness the result: a wonderful album with all its parts in "Perfect Balance".
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