Lance King is definitely a busy guy in the metal scene. He’s contributed vocals to bands like Balance of Power, Pyramaze, Avian, Shining Star, and Defyance, he runs the high-quality Nightmare Records label, and continuously promotes new bands. Somehow he’s managed to find the time to work with several of his prog-minded colleagues, including members of Anubis Gate, Jorn, Pyramaze, Myrath, Adagio, and several others, to create his first solo album. Even more amazing than that list of contributors is the fact that the album will be released in November of 2011, despite the fact that work only began in June (!).
So what does King have in store with his first solo effort? A prog-power metal feast, that’s what! If you’ve heard any of King’s band contributions, then you pretty much have an idea of what to expect on this album, except the progressive elements have been turned up a bit. And don’t worry about the rushed nature of the album’s recording – this is as polished and professional as you would expect from a modern prog-metal album. Opener “A Sense of Urgency” begins with a spoken word bit, but quickly turns into a regal-sounding stomper with infectious guitar leads. It’s quickly followed by another highlight called “Awakening” where King gets to show off his vocals matched against even more tasty guitar playing. Needless to say, he’s more than up to the task.
Unfortunately one area where perhaps some more time could have been welcomed is in the song writing as a few songs on the album are not quite up to par. For example, “A Given Choice” strays into Iron Maiden territory in terms of the repetition of its chorus. As well, closer “Transformation” seems to be aiming to be an epic, but doesn’t quite attain it, again being a little too repetitive without being catchy.
Still, for most of the album, its full steam ahead quality prog-power metal. I have no idea if King has the time or inclination to make more solo album, but if he does, I’ll definitely be in line to hear them.
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