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Presto Ballet - Invisible Places CD (album) cover


Presto Ballet


Crossover Prog

3.69 | 100 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Invisible Places' - Presto Ballet (6/10)

Founded by former Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, Presto Ballet sees the man pay homage to the greats of 70's prog rock. 'Invisible Places' is the third album by this band, and it is a well-performed and decently composed effort. However, like so many prog rock acts nowadays, the feeling of deja-vu I get when listening to it seems to rob the music of its legitimacy, especially when the bands who made these sounds first did it a lot better.

Presto Ballet's music is an upbeat mixture of Hemispheres-era Rush and Kansas, heartwarming melodic prog that gets the tenants of being 'prog' down, without necessarily crossing over and getting truly inventive with it. The compositions here could be labelled as being neo-prog in the sense that they are very melodic, and rarely get too complex, despite the fact that the song lengths here occasionally tip over the ten minute mark. Possibly the most notable thing about Presto Ballet's sound is their vocalist Ronny Munroe, who sounds like he should be fronting a heavy metal band rather than a retro-prog outfit. He howls in a generally higher register, at times sounding similar to Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, and though his voice wears thin at times, there is a lot of power to be heard when the rest of the band allows him space to really belt out.

The production is decent, although passing me as being mechanical at times. While I am not too much into this retro-prog direction that Presto Ballet takes, I love the range of keyboard sounds that are heard on 'Invisible Places'. From rich organs to lead synths, Kerry Shacklett adds some great depth to the sound of the band. Vanderhoof is obviously a very good guitarist in his own right, but he rarely lets loose and shows the listener his talent; his riffs are always kept within the context of the song. Once again, it is quite pleasant to hear, but this band's work is far too tame for my tastes. The talent and skill is here, but the excitement is not.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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