Presto Ballet - The Lost Art of Time Travel CD (album) cover


Presto Ballet


Crossover Prog

3.56 | 73 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Story of this band/side project of Kurdt Vanderhoof reminds bit me of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. Like him, Kurdt changed the whole band, except for singer (his voice is pure delight, analogically to Ronnie Dio). Debut album of Presto Ballet, Peace Among the Ruins, was in my opinion one of the best prog rock hours released since gold times of seventies (Kansas, Yes, Rush, Styx, Uriah Heep..), with such a real feel for this period that I've probably haven't heard from any modern band.

Its follow-up, The Lost Art of Time Travel, follows the fashion. No sequencers or samples, just pure, excellent music, based on extremely tasty and warm guitars licks, soaring vocals and harmonies of Scott Albright - whose emotional multi-layered harmonies literally shine brightly all around. It is very impressive how powerfully he hits the high notes. There are many odd rhythm structures, Hammond rides combined with piano swirls and real sounds of analog synths, walls of pedals, mellotrons, and various poly/mini-moog. While on the predecessor, songs differed more one from another, here the songs themselves are more focused on inner variation.

Fantastic opener, The Mind Machine, is a an example of greatness, delight for every musician or prog/rock lover. Many intricate themes, but still melodic and airy,. It's followed by Thieves, darker, powerful, driving tune, melancholic on places. You're Alive is a shock in its sudden simplicity - one 3-chord riff over the whole song played on 12-string acoustic guitar, over which Scott stands out with poignant harmonies. 14-minute tour-de-force One Tragedy at the Time returns us to utter complexity, powerful built-up, catchy melodies, odd rhythms alternating with dreamy layers and surfaces which take you above the clouds on the highest mountain ranges.

I'm not Blind is more straightforward, but beautifully crafted rocker with acoustic intro and romantic fade-out. On Easy Tomorrow we find combination of a joyful piano and hard rocking performance. Closing track called Haze is generally slower, longer number. Yesish bass-lines, prominent mellow and acoustic, dreamy parts brings us conclusion with which one feel happy and sad together - strange, but magnificent. All in all second record of Presto Ballet is again nearly perfect retro-prog album, as expected. 4.5 stars rounded up.

stewe | 5/5 |


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