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Presto Ballet

Crossover Prog

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Presto Ballet The Lost Art Of Time Travel album cover
3.59 | 97 ratings | 20 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Mind Machine (10:50)
2. Thieves (9:04)
3. You're Alive (4:24)
4. One Tragedy at a Time (14:00)
5. I'm Not Blind (6:16)
6. Easy Tomorrow (6:30)
7. Haze (9:28)

Total Time: 60:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Scott Albright / lead & backing vocals
- Kurdt Vanderhoof / guitar, Mellotron, synth, bass pedals, composer & producer
- Ryan McPherson / Mellotron, Hammond, piano, synth
- Israel Rehaume / bass
- Bill Raymond / drums

- Brian Cokeley / backing vocals
- Caitlin Moats / flute
- Shelby Moats / voice

Releases information

Artwork: Kurdt Vanderhoof

CD ProgRock Records ‎- PRR560 (2008, US)

Thanks to Cesar Inca for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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PRESTO BALLET The Lost Art Of Time Travel ratings distribution

(97 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PRESTO BALLET The Lost Art Of Time Travel reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rushfan4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Wow!!! Just Wow!!! This is a terrific album!!! All fans of 1970's progressive rock must hear this album. That is your sound byte. Go ahead and print it. I should really end my review right there because that is all that you really need to know. Let me just say that I enjoyed my first couple listens to this album so much I was inspired to do something I haven't done in quite some time and that is write a review. This album is so good and I want everyone to know it and thus that is why I am writing this. I am really not qualified to describe this album in any other way, but being a prog rock fan and a member of this website I suppose that I will continue anyhow.

Presto Ballet guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof is also the guitarist for heavy metal band Metal Church, a thrash metal band that I used to really like with their first few albums but I have since lost complete track of. I have a copy of Presto Ballet's debut album Peace Among the Ruins, which I picked up because it was released on the InsideOut record label, of which I am a huge fan of their stable of artists. I remember listening to that album and thinking that it was good, but it really didn't stand out as all that memorable to me. Recently in the forums, Big Boss from ProgRock records announced that they were trying something new with a record of the month club. I figured that this was a good deal since the price per CD was good, and I also really like the stable of artists on Prog Rock Records too. Anyhow, the first CD that they sent out was Presto Ballet's The Lost Art of Time Travel. My expectation before playing this was that hopefully it would be good but that I'll probably play it once or twice and set it aside to be picked up and played from time to time when the mood strikes, or it just happens to come up in the rotation scheme. Boy was I in for a surprise. Did I tell you that this album is terrific and that you just have to hear it? It was so good that I pulled out Peace Among the Ruins for the first time in awhile to give it another listen. It was better than I remembered, but it still didn't have the wow factor of this CD.

I suppose that this might fall under what some forum members derisively call retro prog because of how much it harkens to the glory days of progressive rock, but when something sounds this good it really shouldn't matter. There is a large helping of hammond organ and mellotron and synths and piano and bass pedals. Not to mention the fact that the band leader, Vanderhoof, is a guitarist by trade and thus there is some excellent guitar playing as well. There has been some significant turnover in the band from the first album. As already mentioned, Kurdt Vanderhoof returns as well as singer Scott Albright. It could just be, but on the first album Scott Albright sang like a metal singer and although his voice was good it wasn't necessarily distinguishable from other metal singers. I don't know if this makes sense or not, but on this album, he sings more like a rock singer. His voice seems cleaner to me and is more enjoyable to listen to. In addition to these two, the band also have a new bass player, drummer, and all purpose keyboard player (meaning he plays synths, keyboards, mellotron and hammond organ). All three of them are splendid additions to the bands sound.

Thank you to Prog Rock Records for sending me this CD. I really do believe that this is a modern day progressive rock masterpiece and that it is an essential listen for all fans of the glory days of progressive rock.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I utterly agree with Scottīs review of this album. I too was not quite impressed by Presto Balletīs first album (good, ok, but nothing special) and I wouldnīt give their second album a chance if I hadnīt read his praisings. And I was astonished by what I heard. The mix of heavy guitars (70īs style), Rick Wakeman-like keyboards and some amazing harmonies and acoustic guitars that remind me of many groups of that era (like a cross between Seals And Crofts and Yes) might sound odd, but it really works. Somehow mr Vanderhoof & co caught the spirit of the 70īs prog rock and still managed to deliver something unique. They are not copycats. Crossover prog indeed!

I was really surprised that Vanderhoof, who was the leader of 80īs thrasers Metal Church, could do something so interesting and progressive (and away from heavy metal, that is). The band is tight, the singer is a gifted man with a versatile voice that works all the time, the arrangements are tasteful and the songwriting is superb. There are no fillers at all: all songs are very good! The title track is a classic. Production is also top notch. In all, everything works.

One of the nicest surprises I had this year. Everyone who loves classic prog rock should give this album a try. Warning: quite addictive! 4,5 stars.

Review by CCVP
4 stars Really impressive release, but there are some parts that just bring the album down

This is the latest Presto Ballet album and it is a a very good release indeed. Here the band is much more mature than in its previous album Peace Among the Ruins and that becomes so clear that i think it is unnecessary to keep comparing them further. However, this album have some important setbacks that keep me from giving it a better grade (i once wanted to give it the five stars, but now i am sure it is not that good, unfortunately).

The 1st problem is that the album is badly divided: the best songs (The Mind Machine, Thieves and One Tragedy at a Time) are all put together at the beginning of the album, or at least at its 1st part, and the rest of the album is not as good and it needed at least one more good song towards the end. The second problem is that the main musical theme of the song Thieves is extremely similar to a portuguese traditional folk dance called O Vira and almost every time i listen that song (Thieves) i laugh, besides it being a good song. The third setback is that the third song (You're Alive) completely breaks the flow of the album, taking away much of the energy that the band built up during the 1st and the 2nd songs.

Despite those problems, the album is still very good. The opening track is just perfect and is, in my opinion, the best track of the album and the following track can keep the feeling, the energy, very well. The 4th track is also very good and can get back some of the energy lost in You're Alive, but after One Tragedy at a Time the album becomes just good. The Lost Art of Time Travel is also kind of heavier than its predecessor, having some considerable headbanging in it (at least in the firsts songs). Unfortunately the band was not able to keep the same quality through all the album and that is just sad. However, as i said before, this album is notably better than their previous album and if they keep getting better every album they will soon make a masterpiece.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

Most songs here are good, but the highlights here go to only three songs that really stood out: The Mind Machine, Thieves and One Tragedy at a Time, but specially to The Mind Machine.

One good feature of this band that really impressed be is the singer. Usually i don't like most vocals the 1st time i listen a band, but this band was an exception to it. the vocals fit right into the band's music and are quite nice sung. Another thing that deserves to be mentioned is the very good bass work and the also very good synthesizers and organ work.

Grade and Final Thoughts

So, besides this album being fantastic, some of the decisions made by the band just pulled it down, made it worse. So, because of that, i think this album deserves 4 stars. Better luck next time Presto Ballet.

Review by Chicapah
3 stars Blend the take-no-prisoners attitude of British bands Deep Purple and Uriah Heep with the full-on vocal approach taken by American groups Styx and Kansas and you'll pretty much have a bead on what "The Lost Art of Time Travel" sounds like. Other than the Purple gang (one of my all-time favorites), I can't honestly say that I've been anything more than a casual, from-a-distance admirer of those classic bands but Presto Ballet has wisely drawn from what I consider to be their more attractive traits and created an album that is nostalgic in a refreshing sort of way. For those proggers who are partial to the 70s and ever quick to proclaim that "they just don't make 'em like that anymore," this will put you in a happy place.

"The Mind Machine" starts off with a bold, dynamic intro and from the very first notes sung by Scott Albright you can tell that this guy has some seriously strong vocal chops and excellent tone. He's a Dennis De Young type minus the too-dramatic pathos and the operatic overkill factor. And that's a plus. I've read where the group's guitarist and mastermind Kurdt Vanderhoot wanted to capture the essence of the 70s with this ensemble and that not-so-secret homage is in full evidence here. After traveling down the obligatory and slightly average verse/chorus/verse/chorus path with this number they break things down to a lone piano part briefly and then enter into a quieter, more theatrical (re: fog machine) section before bursting into a double-time movement that, while unquestionably boisterous and energetic, I find distracting. What I was waiting for was some kind of thrilling solo from the guitar or keyboards to come blasting into the track and kick my tail to the far side of the room but it never comes. Either this combo lacks a true virtuoso or they choose not to feature him, but that fly in the ointment is one of the album's biggest drawbacks. Lyrically it's a Big Brother lament with pedestrian lines like "we only ask that you trust us/we take care of everything/just shut down your mind/thoughts are wastes of time." Meh.

But don't give up just yet. The cream of the proceedings appears next in the form of the intriguing "Thieves" when it opens with mysterious, droning keyboards from Ryan McPherson and a simple but memorable guitar riff that provides the song with a central theme. I love the fat guitar tones Kurdt uses (especially the metallic grit he lays down underneath the chorus) and the densely stacked harmonies rock. Mainly it's just a better-composed tune than the first one and that's the key to everything. The hard-hitting bridge with Scott's voice soaring like a skyrocket and the intricate changes the band glides seamlessly through are the highlights of the song. The words are rather vitriolic as they lash out bitterly at the dogs of war. "It's not who you are/it's who you let live/and the blood on your hands" he cries. They adopt a more optimistic outlook on "You're Alive," a tune that was most likely inspired by the likes of Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" or Yes' "Your Move." At first it doesn't seem like there's much substance to embrace but be patient, it really grows on you with a few listens. The adroit vocal arrangement and the tactful synthesized strings allow the track to slowly build and build on top of hopeful lyrics like "this is the time to be a dreamer without sleeping/this is a time for you to breathe." and the repeating mantra of "now you know that you're alive..." The exciting climax comes when Vanderhoot dives in with a huge wall of guitars toward the end.

The 14-minute epic "One Tragedy at a Time" is a mixed bag but it succeeds more often than not. It features another time-honored, dynamic set up where a myriad of prog influences from Rush to Yes are showcased with respect (carefully avoiding blatant plagiarism) before settling down into a somewhat mediocre verse/chorus pattern with unremarkable anti-war words like "remember what they said/all these wars will be over/still people are ending up dead." (Not exactly Dylan if you know what I mean.) But the tune's saving grace shows up when they segue into an intricate instrumental movement and then ascend to a secondary stage where cavernous keyboards and poignant singing from Albright brighten the soundscape. All prog efforts worth their salt include at least one "WOW" moment and that happens on this CD when Kurdt unleashes another barrage of gigantic, resonating guitar chords to flow under the melody that you don't want to miss. "I'm Not Blind" follows and it has some fine 12-string acoustic guitars ringing merrily during the onset but then it turns into a vanilla- flavored, straight-ahead rocker with less-than-stellar words along the lines of "too tight the rope I slide out on is my superstitious mind/looking up balance restored is me or the divine." Uh-huh. Again the track begs in vain for a killer guitar or synth ride to give it life but it's nowhere to be heard.

"Easy Tomorrow" has the makings of a promising rock boogie with its fiery beginning but, unfortunately, it soon becomes yet another predictable hard pop tune containing some vague references to personal violence and such. At least it features a decent guitar break (at long last) from Vanderhoot but for some reason it's buried in the mix and, therefore, it lacks any real punch. If there's a puny runt in the litter, though, it's "Haze." I admire what I think they were trying to do with this cut but it's just a little too schmaltzy and contrived for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, I'm as much of a sucker for lush, romantic torch ballads as anyone else but this doesn't exactly tug at my heartstrings. It gets better in the middle when the group gets into more of a symphonic prog groove and I would've welcomed more of Ryan's expert piano playing but they slide back into the flowery love song and fade out warbling something about a "state of mind of haste." Double meh.

This isn't a great CD but it's a good one and the potential for this band to develop into something special is abundant. I like where they seem to be headed. The rhythm section of Bill Raymond on drums and Israel Rehaume on bass could be tighter and they need to hone a sharper edge to their barnstorming attack but I've heard much, much worse in my time. And I hate to beat a dead horse but Presto Ballet needs some spitfire solos to spice things up from time to time, even if it means bringing in some guest musicians to do the honors. The group's got a lot going for them, though. The production is top-notch, the presentation is cohesive and well-arranged and Kurdt's amazing, eye-catching artwork is spectacular. Their next album could be the killer that catapults them into the upper echelon of prog if they concentrate on improving their writing skills. Meanwhile, this one ain't too shabby. 3.2 stars.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Presto Ballets sound is likely to come as a bit of a surprise to anyone who knows guitarist Kurdt Vaderhoof from his other band Metal Church. Here there's an absence of the thrash metal of that band, instead Presto Ballet have a sound firmly based on seventies American progressive rock bearing a resemblance to the likes of Styx and Kansas with a bit of Deep Purple thrown in for good measure.

The Lost Art of Time Travel is their second album and very good it is too. 7 songs make up the album, 4 of them 9 minutes or longer giving ample opportunity for instrumental workouts. Presto Ballet produce a powerful yet melodic sound, the seventies authenticity helped by the production and much use being made of keyboards like Hammond organ and Melotron. The band are all great players and in Scott Albright they have found an excellent rock vocalist capable of handling the strong melodies with ease.

The album is consistently strong making it difficult to pick favourite tracks but special mention should be made of One Tragedy at a Time, a 14 minute masterpiece with swirling melotrons and Hammond organ, powerful guitar riffs and a dynamic rhythm section. It's nearly 3 minutes before the vocals come giving you an idea of the space left for instrumental interplay. Although as already stated, they produce a powerful sound, there's still room for some light and shade with plenty of changes.

This is pretty much the formula for the album which is fine with me but You're Alive adds an acoustic guitar driven interlude very much reminding me of Styx both musically and vocally and excellent it is too. Haze, which closes the album also offers some diversification being one of the other more restrained and laid back moments until an instrumental section picks things up a bit reminding me of Genesis with some Hackett style lead guitar.

This album has turned out to be one of the unexpected gems of 2008 and recommended to anyone who likes their prog with priorities on strong melodies and powerful driving riffs.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is a lot of fun. Very melodic with lots of bombast reminding me of SPOCK'S BEARD at times. An upgrade in my opinion over their debut. The cover art is cool, and they thank Martin Orford formerly of IQ, and a few of the guys from SAVATAGE among others.

"The Mind Machine" opens powerfully before it settles with some nice bass lines. Vocals a minute in.This just makes me feel good. It kicks back in SPOCK'S BEARD style before calming down again with piano 3 minutes in. Love the sound a minute later. Contrasts continue and check out the chunky bass. Lots of organ late. "Thieves" opens with spacey synths before guitar and eventually a full sound arrives before 1 1/2 minutes. Nice. Vocals before 2 minutes as it settles. Contrasts continue. Mellotron after 6 minutes with a powerful sound to follow. Spacey waves end it. "You're Alive" opens with strummed guitar as vocals and harmonies come in. Synths after 2 minutes. A catchy track with that line sung over and over "Now you know that you're alive". "One Tragedy At A Time" is the 14 minute epic and my favourite track on here. A powerful soundscape as organ plays over top. It turns darker with mellotron a minute in. It's brief as piano comes in. Vocals after 2 1/2 minutes. The synths a minute later are SAGA-like. Some huge bass lines follow. Instrumentally i'm reminded of RUSH at times here. It settles before 7 minutes and then gets spacey. It kicks back in before 10 minutes as themes are repeated.

"I'm Not Blind" is brighter with acoustic guitar and vocals. The electric guitar comes ripping in after a minute as drums, bass and organ join the fray. A nice heavy sound is the result. "Easy Tomorrow" is bombastic with organ and drums standing out. Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes. This is simply a rip snorter. Guitar lights it up 4 1/2 minutes in. "Haze" is mellow with reserved vocals early. Mellotron and chunky bass after 3 minutes. Great sound after 6 minutes. Piano before 7 minutes as reserved vocals return. More mellotron before 8 minutes.

This is really a collection of good songs that are played at a very high level. Again SPOCK'S BEARD is a good reference point. Excellent vocals as well. The negative is that it's a little too commercial sounding with those STYX styled vocals.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
3 stars Great sounding album with much symphonic/neo prog textures as well as AOR leanings from a band around guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof who is also known for playing with a heavy metal band. Lush keyboards are a trademark of this album - and the singing. Lead vocalist Scott Albright makes a very good job, reminding me of Bob Catley sometimes. This is excellently proved on One Tragedy At A Time which is the album highlight for me. They offer the complete bandwith of elements - a retro prog song structure with tempo changes and breaks en masse, great backing guitar riffs, keyboards which are spheric spacey here and Yes alike there - Hammond, Mellotron, synths, piano - nothing else matters ...

PRESTO BALLET offers a compact sound where no musician is pushed into the foreground. Minimal instrumental solo action. I can't remember noticing a remarkable guitar solo for example. The more mainstream AOR oriented I'm Not Blind and Easy Tomorrow can't hold the high standard of the diversified opener The Mind Machine which contains some typical neo prog and symphonic standards. Thieves impresses because presented very powerful bombastic. Varied drum playing - mostly in staccato, near to a military style. The song fades out with some ambient keyboard patterns - well done guys! You're Alive is the mandatory ballad with acoustic guitar and Haze appeals to me because containing a (way too short) part where the band invokes a nice, more relaxed, flow for a change.

Enjoyable rock songs on the whole where the quality of the compositions decreases a little bit over the course of time. Fans of Kansas, Styx, IZZ or Spock's Beard will like 'The Lost Art Of Time Travel' I'm sure - 3.5 stars are well deserved.

Review by 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' ...

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pretty neat sophomore effort from US band Presto Ballet here, and a great find for those who like progressive rock as it was back in the golden days of the genre.

Their chosen style resides somewhere in between a rectangle formed by acts such as Yes, Genesis, Kansas and Uriah Heep; strong and melodic compositions with more than a few symphonic tendencies - but with a heaviness and grit to the guitarwork as the only element that reveals the metal background of the bands instigator.

Nothing new or groundbreaking on this release; the overall sound a heavier, darker and somewhat grittier version of a band like The Flower Kings; but the songs are well made, planned and executed. The moods and atmospheres strong, the melodies compelling and the compositions evolve just enough to stay interesting while maintaining separate identities.

Well worth checking out.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Quite good second entry from S.F. progmetal pioneer Kurdt Vanderhoof's venerative project celebrating the more marketable sounds of the classic prog era with plenty of nods to Journey, Genesis, Styx, Kansas, Rush, ELP and Yes. Well-recorded and full of good ideas & enthusiasm, in league with Andy Tillison's like-minded Tangent but with a notable Americanism from Scott Albright's perfectly Stygian vocals and cheesy acoustic guitar chords. Also some solid songwriting is on hand, making The Lost Art of Time Travel considerably better than the average prog tribute. Eleven-minute 'The Mind Machine' preaches a little but satisfies with good doses of prog excess, Ryan McPherson's insistent organs, synths & faux classical piano and painfully tight rhythm team of Raymond/Rehaume. 'Thieves' snarls open with bass pedals and becomes a rather nice Steve Perry-style ballad, a theme continued on 'You're Alive', and 'One Tragedy at a Time' is a mammoth fourteen minutes of Vanderhoof's heavy guitar layers, many clever changes from the band and Albright's fine vocal making it a special highlight. It wanders out into space for awhile through the middle - and why not - the band gradually returning for a reprise. 'I'm Not Blind' is a lackluster hair-metal job but soulful 'Easy Tomorrow' is better with nice riffing throughout, and 'Haze' is a quiet goodbye. Easily confused for Neoprog or just plain old arena rock, Presto Ballet are a bit more than that and gave us one of the better nostalgia pieces in the retro wave. Good solid stuff.
Review by b_olariu
4 stars Presto's Ballet second effort from 2008 named The lost art of time travel is another worthy album. Keeping the same formula in manner of composing Presto Ballet finaly found their sound and giving to the listner almost a perfect album. Again a perfect combination between greates of the '70's like Styx, Kansas but aswell some Flower Kings or even Spocks Beard elemts are here, this second release worth to be investigated. This album is better then first in my opinion who was aswell very strong, the pieces is more elaborated, living space to more instrumental passages, the bombastic arrangements are here again, the mellotron again sounds brilliant and interlude very natural with the rest of the instruments. The progressive rock now is more fluent has a great production, crystal sound and above all some fantastic vocal lines. Even Presto Ballet's music resenblance with the past, their aproach of progressive rock is modern. They are an energic band with great ideas, just to be check the opening trackThe Mind Machine , 10 min of pure beauty, great to be choosen for opening an album, this way the listner might be very intrested to discover more, and for sure will not be deseppointed. Another great tune is the longest pieces from here One tragedy at a time, nearly 15 min of one of the best pieces Presto Ballet ever done, super musicianship, great idea and neat sound. The music is complex enough to catch the intrest of progressive rock listners, toying with prog metal in places, but I might say without that metal sound, only the atmosphere. Scot Albright again shines on every pieces, the keyboards arrangements are great showing that is still much more to be done in progressive rock music these days, Presto Ballet is ne of the bands that for sure needs attention when we are talking about modern progressive music. 4 stars, better then the predecesor, Kurdt Vanderhoof did it gain, being the main composer of the band, he desearve almost the all credits, but also the rest of the musicians are like a machine who works like oiled. Recommended one of the pleasent surprises of late 00's.

Review by progrules
3 stars Can't shake of the feeling where this American band has it's roots. It's from their fellow countrymen Kansas and Styx in my opinion with also big resemblance with their lesser known compatriots Cryptic Vision. The long and fairly complex compositions have obviously most resemblance with Kansas but funny enough the sound is more like Styx to me with Cryptic Vision as good second. So there's probably an obvious typical American prog style at least where the heavier symphonic prog is concerned.

Because that's what this is to me, a blend of symphonic prog and heavy prog but there's indeed also an inexplicable hint to pop music I notice every time I hear this album and that's where my comparison to Styx comes from and is probably the reason this band is categorized in the crossover genre. The main reason for this feeling is caused by the vocals I believe. But there's also a strange mix of this almost commercial Styx style with the sheer symphonic style of Kansas. The instrumental parts are pretty complex and extensive and bemuse me somewhat.

All things considered this album is quite hard to rate for me. The best score would be 3,5 stars but that's still not possible alas so I will have to make the hard choice once again. And even though this is a good/very good album I feel 4 stars would be just about too much for my taste so I will give three. Fans of Kansas and the other mentioned bands should really check this one out.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars For their second album Presto Ballet found a new home on Shawn Gordon's ProgRock Records.''The lost art of time travel'' presents a vastly different line-up compared to the debut of the band, Ryan McPherson was responsible for the keyboard and piano parts, Bill Raymond was the new drummer and Israel Rehaume the new bassist.Brian Cokeley appears only on backing vocals and Caitlin Moats guests on flute.The album came out in 2008.

Presto Ballet continue on the succesful path of their debut, but the new album sounds a bit more mature and memorable with impressive riffs and solos during the powerful electric bursts and a very good keyboard work by McPherson.RUSH, KANSAS and STYX are still the main influences of the band, which swirls around the basics of 70's Heavy and Hard Rock/Prog, but there are too many elaborate themes and complicated orchestrations to be found on this work, from the quirky piano themes and the grandiose Mellotrons to the vintage organ and the flexible thematic changes.Synthesizers are mostly used to provide an extra spark on a nonetheless very emphatic and dynamic sound, but symphonic references are not absent either.They kind of remind me of SPOCK'S BEARD or TRANSATLANTIC's heavier rhythms and pieces.Scott Albright's vocals is definitely suitable to such an energetic approach, a natural-born rockin' voice.It's great to see Kurdt Vanderhoof & co. making an attempt on long, progressive tracks (three of them are close or over 10 minutes long) and still keep the gears up, at the same time the strong rhythmic parts are showered by excellent keyboard twists and tempo changes with the Retro Prog vibes waiting in every corner.

Solid Heavy Prog, solid arrangements and tunes and a high energy level.These guys can rock and still provide the listener with progressive components.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof pleasantly surprised the progrock world with his musical project named Presto Ballet. Their debut CD entitled Peace Among The Ruins turned out to be a worldwide acclaimed album since its release in 2005. Meanwhile Presto Ballete have released four studio-a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1951795) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Tuesday, July 24, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Kurdt Vanderhoof's (Metal Church) side project is back with the 2nd album and 7 new tracks of Progressive Hard Rock. The influences go way back to the 70s and the classic names but, in opposition to their peers, Presto Ballet can add a very strong Hard Rock attitude to their music. Forget the typ ... (read more)

Report this review (#1819968) | Posted by ElNapalmo | Monday, November 6, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This, Presto Ballet's second album, I feel is a big improvement on their first album which sauntered along at a steady but fairly sedate pace. The music on 'The Lost Art of Time Travel' is altogether stronger. It has more conviction to it and has a number of high points with more pronounced me ... (read more)

Report this review (#507271) | Posted by Richens | Monday, August 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Why oh why? Their debut album was a highly enjoyable modern pomp-rock album. it had it's weaknesses,but it was a kind of tribute to the hard-rock meets prog masters of the 70's, like Styx, Deep Purple and others. In fact they were trying to be like a modern Styx with more artistic vision. Thei ... (read more)

Report this review (#282714) | Posted by Brendan | Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Presto Ballet is a very retro sounding band that makes you think you are listening to a classic rock album from the seventies. There are many influences here that all shine including Kansas, Deep Purple, and some Yes. What comes out of these influences is an album that brings on feelings of no ... (read more)

Report this review (#225807) | Posted by natewait | Friday, July 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#180495) | Posted by stewe | Thursday, August 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I was very fortunate enough to get my hands on an advance copy of this CD and just wanted to share a few lines on how this CD is so here goes ... Astonishing because Presto Ballet have actually gained ground on this release and truelly refined their sound by incorporating more 70's sounding prog ... (read more)

Report this review (#178501) | Posted by Yorkie X | Wednesday, July 30, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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