O' my goodness!!! This CD freakin' rules! I first got into Balance of Power when I bought "Ten More Tales..." last year on a recommendation from a friend. I really dug the band, but this album just blows me away. If it wasn't for Saviour Machine this would easily be the best release of 2001 so far. Better than Narnia, better than Jacob's Dream, better than Immortal Souls... If you thought their musicianship was good last time around, think again. This release smokes big time. I was listening to BOP this morning at work and this guy (his son is a guitar player) who is in his 40's came into my office and heard the CD playing and was like "Who are you listening to?!". I showed him the CD and he said "MAN, these guys can play!". I was thinking..."you better believe it." Balance of Power went for a more heavy sound this time and it sounds really good. The music also seems to have more dramatic moments. The production is next to perfect. Heck, everything here is next to perfect. I'd like to see someone who likes this style of power/progressive metal to try and tear this release up. You can't...it's just amazing. Lance King's vocals are more powerful than ever. His voice goes from hitting the highest notes with effortless ease, to angelic, to low and somewhat mean.
If you are looking for best songs, quit looking. Every song is better than anything they ever done and every song is equally awesome. Even picking favorites is next to impossible cause they all just drip of "masterpiece". I'm leaning toward songs like "The Pleasure Room", "House of Cain", and "Shelter Me", but gosh they all are worthy of "song of the year". Although not all of the band members claim to be Christians, the lyrics are very good and insightful. While not overtly bold, the band makes some good points and good observations. The chorus to "One Voice" states: "There's one small Voice/and there's never ending diamonds in the sky/ONE VOICE, for each and every one/There's one small Voice/and this world could turn blood red if you let if fly/ONE VOICE and you're the one". Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but seems to be saying to Christians that if we will share the hope within us the world would turn to Christ (turn blood red). Unfortunately, we usually do the exact opposite. "Higher than the Sun" states: "This won't take too long, I'm not so far away.../Before I am gone, you'll know me inside and outside/I am here to change your world in every way/Which way do you fall, Lightside or Darkside?" Again reading into this phrase, could it be the subtle calling of the Holy Spirit on a person's soul? Regardless, the lyrics are very well written and make you think. The artwork is tremendous just like their last album (probably even a little better). And to top it off, on the USA version (there is also a European and Japanese version), the CD is enhanced with band pictures, history, and a live video of "Ten More Tales of Grand Illusion" (which sounds like it's recorded from a camcorder from 100 yards away). Despite the bad sound it's cool for us that haven't seen them in concert before. (Hint to the band...we'd love to see a high quality concert video!).
Well, I've raved and raved, and boy, does it feel good! I never get tired of this album. (Review by Matt)