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

THE LOST ART OF TIME TRAVEL

Presto Ballet

 

Crossover Prog

3.57 | 73 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Are you so longing for the kind of music that blends heavy music and symphonic? Make it simpler - the kind of classic rock bands like Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Styx, Kansas? You got it right here! Yeah . simply said the music of Presto Ballet is like a culmination between two groups: Styx meets Kansas with a kind of Crimson-isque mellotron work. The leader Kurdt Vanderhoof was known from his work with thrash/speed metal outfit Metal Church or his Vanderhoof side project.

The above was actually my opening statement when I reviewed Presto Ballet's debut album "Peace Among The Ruins" (2005). Three years later, as a follow-up of their excellent debut Presto Ballet released yet another good album titled "The Lost Art of Time travel" (2008) which confirmed their stand-ground firmly as basically no major change in music style. I can now say that Presto Ballet is basically a blend of the following formula: 50% Styx + 30% Kansas + 15% Yes / King Crimson + 5% others. Quite confusing isn't it? How can you imagine Styx meets Kansas meets Yes / King Crimson. It's quite odd isn't it? That's the beauty of prog music! It has always gone beyond boundaries that people have always expected. That's why, we should love prog music as it has always been and will always be giving surprises in the kind of music that previously had never been thought of. Indeed, prog music is basically in-sync with life: unpredictable, unthinkable, uncertain and full with surprises. So, basically any human being is "prog" by nature. It's weird if they force themselves to listen to "structured" music like pop or straight-forward rock.

"The Mind Machine" (10:50) kicks off with Kansas-like opening followed with sudden break which then flows with deep basslines to accompany Styx-like vocal work. This relatively long track offers compact music with tight composition blending key elements of keyboard sounds in inventive way, guitar as well as piano that fills breaks beautifully. There is classical music touch during short piano fills. The following track "Thieves" (9:04) flows in the vein of Styx with some flavor of Yes. But of course Styx component contributes the highest especially through the vocal harmonies.

"You're Alive" (4:24) starts with acoustic guitar rhythm followed nicely by vocal line until double acoustic guitars work together to form a solid rhythm section. The rest of the song is basically an unplugged song with keyboard touch and percussion (timpani). "One Tragedy at a Time" (14:00) opens with a short acapela that reminds me to Jon Anderson's voice followed with complex arrangements featuring Rick Wakeman-like keyboard work followed by mellotron. The tone of the music varies from complex and relatively fast tempo into simple ones with slower pace. The keyboard work plays significant role in creating textures of the music.

"I'm Not Blind" (6:16) intro that comprises guitar fills reminds me to Styx's "Lady" combined with Styx's "Boat on The River". Of course they are not alike and it's just an intro. The body of the song is totally different. "Easy Tomorrow" (6:30) blends seventies guitar riffs with modern music arrangements in a straight forward rock style. The piano solo performed before vocal enters is nice. "Haze" (9:28) starts mellow with electric guitar fills that accompany vocal followed nicely with music that flows smoothly in ballad style.

Overall this is a very good album and it continues with the spirit of the debut album. Having released these second album, Presto Ballet convey a message to the world that they still exist and reconfirm their music style, that is very similar with the debut album.

Peace on earth and mercy mild. Keep on proggin' ...

Gatot | 3/5 |

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