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Final Conflict - Redress The Balance CD (album) cover

REDRESS THE BALANCE

Final Conflict

 

Neo-Prog

2.34 | 13 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars The time had not yet arrived

Redress The Balance was Final Conflict's first CD release even if they had already released a couple of cassettes in the 80's. They were still a long way from their prime at this point and only traces of the progressive greatness they would achieve with later releases can be found here. This sounds like 80's Hard Rock with progressive touches here and there. I'm reminded of Gary Moore's Hard Rock days and maybe something from the Deep Purple family tree in the 80's. The vocals often remind me of Moore and Glenn Hughes.

Final Conflict later developed their own style and identity, but on this first album their music is mostly rather unoriginal and even a bit anonymous. The songs are not very elaborate and almost all of them are between four and five minutes in length. Two of the songs were previously familiar to me from the band's 2006 album Simple that featured several re-recorded songs from the early days of the band i.e. from the mid 80's to the early 90's. These two songs are the lovely acoustic Pangaea's Child and the great rocking Rebellion. These two are indeed among the best songs here, but the re-recorded versions found on Simple are much better. Rebellion in particular lacks punch in the present version and simply pales in comparison with the new version.

Some of the songs work well as Hard Rock numbers, while others fall a bit flat. The opener, Changing Fate, is a song in this vein and even if it is a decent song, I'm certain that many Prog fans will find it utterly undemanding and even a bit clichéd. It reminds me of Gary Moore's After The War but without the strong chorus of that song. The Time Has Arrived is better with some slight Neo-Prog touches and a few hints of things to come on later albums. Across The Room is more of a Pop song and does not appeal to me as much even if it might be the strongest number of the album from a vocal point of view. Outside In too is rather poppy with some synth stylings. Full Circle indeed comes full circle and returns to the Hard Rock style of Changing Fate. A better song is the closer Wind Of Change with its tasteful guitar lines and lovely harmony vocals. If they ever go back to revisit further songs from their past, this is one to consider maybe together with The Time Has Arrived.

The sound of this album is not bad, but hardly optimal. The keyboards and particularly the drums have a slightly artificial sound. Redress The Balance is not at all a poor album and there are indeed some good moments here, but it does not stand up very well among the rest of the band's output. As such this is primarily recommended for fans and collectors.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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