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Presto Ballet - Peace Among The Ruins CD (album) cover


Presto Ballet


Crossover Prog

3.48 | 76 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars Modern 70's prog

Progressive radio can sometimes intrigue your mind and make you look for bands that you have never heard before. Find the Time from PRESTO BALLET was that track that stirred my interest and led me to Peace Among the Ruins. Peace in this album is however disturbed from time to time with heavy prog tunes and hard rockin' guitars, mainly introduced by Kurdt Vanderhoof; I was surprised to see his name in the line-up of this debut, as he is well-known for his heavy/thrash speedy riffs in one of the most cult bands of the 80's heavy/thrash genre, Metal Church. The sound of Presto Ballet generally escapes this attitude, balancing between 70's progressive rock and classic rock.

The extensive use of hammond brings URIAH HEEP to mind, while other classic influences such as DEEP PURPLE and STYX are evident. Overall, the music can be described as modern 70's prog rock borrowing many elements from heavy prog and, at times, prog metal. Recent examples of similar music are, in my humble opinion, SPOCK'S BEARD and PROTO-KAW. The title track is a powerful opening, filled with complex rhythms and flourishing with keyboards. The vocals on The Fringes, though 70's sounding, can be compared to STYX and AYREON's recent efforts, proving once again the variance in influences. Seasons is the least interesting track on the record with obvious NEAL MORSE elements.

The simplicity of Find the Time is the standing point from where this album starts to get more interesting: a slow, melodic track, with acoustic guitars and catchy vocals and keyboards, that evolves in a prog-rock classic towards the end. Speed of Time is an ode to UFO and DEP PURPLE classic rock with a touch of complexity, similar to the title track. On the contrary, more 60's sounds in the vein of THE MOODY BLUES and BEATLES appear in Sunshine which moves away from the approach of the previous tracks. but only for a while as Slave kicks in with heavy, dark tunes from the days of Metal Church, filtered through a more prog rock/metal baseline - clearly an enjoyable straightforward rock track. The album ends with a pleasant 70's American ballad, amongst the weakest moments on this record.

If you are not confused by the number of different influences thus far, I certainly am. There are some excellent ideas on this album, but also some weak moments. Without doubt, the musicianship is at high levels and the style is an interesting 70's retro sound with a few innovative elements from all aspects of prog. I will drain out all of my strictness here as I am expecting more from this group of skilled musicians in the near future.

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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