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PRESTO BALLET The Lost Art Of Time Travel
ProgRock Records (2008)

Presto Ballet, the band formed by Metal Church guitarist to show his prog rock side, returns with their second album and a new label. Like the excellent debut album 'Peace Amongst The Ruins' this album is unashamed 70's prog rock meets pomp rock and if you like the 70's output from the likes of Yes, Kansas, Styx and Deep Purple you will love this album.

This album actually sees Vanderhoof's guitar take a backseat to the keys/Hammond/Mellotron and often Vanderhoof gets to show the acoustic side to his playing to great effect, like on 'You're Alive'. This song also sees the band's trademark harmonies put to good use and is an album highlight for sure.

The epic 'One Tragedy At A Time' mixes heavy guitar with some simply breathtaking keyboard/Hammond runs from Ryan McPherson, over which sits the high range vocals of Scott Albright. The opening also reminded me of classic Rush, which is no bad thing at all! 'I am Not Blind' harks back to '90125' era Yes with the high tech harmonies and big sounding guitars. 'Haze' rounds it all off in style and the band take it down several notches to create a lush and relaxing musical soundscape. Perfect for those who like gentle, epic progressive music.

After such an enjoyable debut the pressure was always on to match the music on there and the band have, whilst moving into a more keyboard led song structure. Quite simply one of the best classic sounding progressive bands out there and here's to album number three!


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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