PRESTO BALLET — Peace Among the Ruins (review)

PRESTO BALLET — Peace Among the Ruins album cover Album · 2005 · Metal Related Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
"Peace Among the Ruins" is the debut full-length studio album by US progressive rock/metal act Presto Ballet. The album was released through InsideOutMusic in June 2005. Presto Ballet was founded by guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, who wanted to pursue a progressive rock career in addition to his work with traditional heavy metal act Metal Church.

The music on the album is 70s influenced progressive rock with a hard rock singer and some nods toward progressive metal. The use of vintage keyboards (especially mellotron)/organ are dominant features on the album, but Presto Ballet are no one trick pony, and skillfully incorporate heavy guitars and psychadelic pop flavours (reminiscent of late sixties Beatles) to colour their brand of progressive rock. "Peace Among the Ruins" are both exceptionally well played and very well produced, which makes it a very enjoyable listening experience. It´s the high level songwriting skills that stick out the most though. Intriguing Progressive rock tracks like the title track, "The Fringes" and "Speed of Time" are complimented by more pop oriented tracks like "Seasons" and "Sunshine" but also by a heavier and darker track like "Slave". I think it says a lot about the quality of the material and the musicians involved, that Presto Ballet pull off all music styles they play in a highly convincing manner. These guys are professional to the bone. If I have to make references to other artists I would mention acts like Spock´s Beard and Frost* (and a slight nod towards Kansas).

"Peace Among the Ruins" is the kind of album that blew me back in my seat the first time I listened to it. Further listens have proven the longivity of the album, but it is what I would call an instantly enjoyable and memorable release. They don´t come much more professional than this and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.
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