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Balance of Power “Fresh from the Abyss” Album Review by Curtis J. Dupree

Balance Of Power Fresh From The Abyss credit Neil Jackson

Balance of Power is back and has unleashed a new album upon us. This album is entitled Fresh from the Abyss, and it both echoes their past glories and embraces some new styles, as well.

Classic Balance of Power members here are Tony Ritchie on bass and Lionel Hicks on drums. Joining them for the ride are Adam Wardle and Chris Young on guitars, and Hazel Jade on vocals. The first thing Balance of Power fans are likely to notice upon queuing up the new record is Hazel’s vocals, because they replace the soaring tenors we are used to with Balance of Power. But while this change might take some adjusting for fans, I can safely say that Hazel more than sold me on her vocals. She positively roars at points, but she also sings quite lovely at others. She’s a great singer with a powerful voice. 

Stylistically, Fresh from the Abyss is a bit difficult to pin down. I would say that despite the change in vocals, the album does bear some similarities to the band’s classic sound, particularly Heathen Machine. Along with this similarity, there are a lot of modern rock elements to the sound. Finally, and partly because of the vocals, some of the album is reminiscent of modern female-fronted power/symphonic metal bands. If you imagine these sounds thrown into a blender you might have a grasp of the sound here. Balance of Power is a progressive metal band—should they not be allowed to progress?

The production is modern, beefy, and overall solid. The musicianship is executed well. As noted above, Hazel’s vocals are powerful. The end result is an album that is a solid listen that doesn’t repeat the past, but tries to use it as a base for further progression. 

Last Man Down” opens with a catchy vocal hook before the instruments come crashing in. The riffing here is a blend of modern rock and Balance of Power’s classic prog metal approach. Hazel simply wails on the verses as the riffs stop and start in a modern fashion. The chorus goes for a slower, heavy approach with a catchy vocal hook and some nice background harmonies. Lionel and Tony provide great rhythm support. The guitar solo is a highlight, as is the keyboard solo that follows. 

Following the opening track is “Never Be Here Again.” This song opens with a lovely piano melody. The vocal melodies soar and the repeated refrain of the song title throughout helps the hook to stick in your head. I like the keyboard touches in this song, and the riffing is once again a blend of old and new. The guitar solo is well-played, although it doesn’t always sound like it fits the song perfectly. Overall, this song is quite memorable. 

Kicking off with symphonic touches is “Monster.” The riffing here leans towards the modern rock sound, although some of the band’s classic sound can be heard here and there, as well. The hooks here are memorable and Hazel wails. 

Possibly my favorite song on the album comes next with “Rage of Ages.” The vocal hook on the chorus, which also kicks off the song, is fantastic. The riff work here is quite good, as is the bass work. The verses go for a more sparse instrumentation, which helps highlight the vocal work. The prechorus gives us strong melodies. We also get a nice, brief solo. 

Abyss” comes next and starts with a gnarly riff and Hazel’s aggressive vocal delivery. The song sports a catchy chorus that features both soaring vocals and some aggressive touches. The lead into the bridge even features some screaming, and it works well. The solo work here is also top notch. 

Kicking off with a hooky keyboard riff and some nice lead work, “Velocity” soon sports some nice riffing. Hazel gives a dynamic performance. There are some nice hooks here, as well. Stylistically, the song leans towards the modern rock sound. 

Deadlands” sports a darker, more intense sound. The sound blends the modern and the classic, although I imagine fans of classic Balance of Power should find plenty to like here. The verses are speedy, the prechorus is strongly melodic, and the chorus is pleasingly forceful. Hazel’s vocals are powerful and dynamic throughout. I also like the harmonies on the chorus. We get some great drum work and a shredding solo. 

The final track is “One More Time around the Sun.” The song begins quietly with some lovely vocals. It builds from there. Hazel delivers wonderfully throughout, and the chorus is nice and hooky. The solo work here is excellent. 

On the whole, Balance of Power has delivered a solid album. While it’s no repeat of past glories, Fresh from the Abyss does manage to modernize without losing all connection to what came before. The musicianship is strong—as one would expect from this band. Hazel’s vocals receive a lot of prominence in the mix, and for good reason—she is simply excellent. The songs are almost all hooky and it won’t take many listens for them to rattle around in your head. If fans can embrace the modernizing of Balance of Power, they should find a lot to like about Fresh from the Abyss.

Curtis’ rating: 8/10

Order at https://lnk.to/freshfromtheabyss

Balance Of Power Fresh From The Abyss 1

Album Tracklist:
1. Last Man Down
2. Never Be Here Again
3. Monster
4. Rage of Ages
5. Abyss
6. Velocity
7. Deadlands
8. One More Time Around The Sun

Production Credits:

Produced by Toby Jepson and Lionel Hicks
Edited and Mixed by Sam Low
Remixed by Mike Plotnikoff
Mastered by Simon Francis
Cover Design by Stuart Dilley
Artwork by Antz White
Photography by Neil Jackson

Balance Of Power is:

Hazel Jade – Lead Vocals
Chris Young – Guitars
Adam Wardle – Guitars
Tony Ritchie – Bass and Vocals
Lionel Hicks – Drums

Album credits:

Hazel Jade – Lead Vocals
Chris Masimore – Guitars
Stoney Wagner – Guitars
Tony Ritchie – Bass and Vocals
Lionel Hicks – Drums
Julien Spreutels – Keyboards

Guest musicians:
Additional Guitars – Pete Southern and Adam Wardle
Additional Keyboards – John K

Connect with Balance Of Power

Website:  https://www.balanceofpowerband.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/balanceofpowerband
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/balanceofpowerband
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@BalanceofPowerBand

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