Black Wind Metal - 4.5/5

October 31, 2011

The yellow brick road is real. Not like “real” real, no Diana Ross or anything like that, but more like the concept of having this thing guide your way. “Your mission, should you choose to accept it” is to stay on the yellow brick road, avoid the overwhelming distractions, (like delightful poppy fields and flying monkeys) and make it to the Emerald City (aka your desired goal). I bring this up because of an epiphany I had while listening to, over and over and over again, the new release from Lance King called A Moment in Chiros.

Lance King has been lending has vocal talents to a great many projects over the years, most notably Pyramaze and Balance of Power, and has now decided to put something of his own out. The music for A Moment In Chiros was co-written with a little help from his friends in Myrath, Jorn, Anubis Gate, Darkwater, Harmony, Phonomik, and Pyramaze. If you are a fan of Pagan’s Mind, Circus Maximus, and Labyrinth, as well as any of these bands that helped write the music, you should find this album to your liking.

I did not have the benefit of a lyric sheet to follow, so when cd opened with a monologue it left me a bit confused. Once I got into the music and started listening to it repeatedly, I was able to piece together the lyrics myself between repeated listens and a conversation with the man himself (Lance King). Once I knew what was going on, the opening monologue made much more sense and I was able to dive headlong into the story and message of A Moment in Chiros. My advice is to follow the lyrics and your eyes will open to the positive message it contains. After this, my allusion to the yellow brick road will make more sense and the music will take on a whole new meaning.

There are a plethora of great songs and riffs on here. The music straddles the line between power and prog metal, taking the best of each and blending them into a satisfying musical journey. The pacing of songs never left me wanting for a burst of speed or for a break from it for some quiet reflection. “Manifest Destiny” has a hauntingly beautiful introduction and I find myself screaming along with the chorus; “Infinity Divine” is a med-tempo delight full of lush harmony vocals; and ”Dance of Power” has a verse that is a big eff-you to the man with a chorus that brings unification to those in common struggle. The title song is arguably my favorite, emulating that long realization and awakening process we go through as we discover that there is more to the picture than what meets the eye. It begins with a melancholy new-age sound, acoustically removing the sleep from the eyes, and finally arrives at the crunching embrace of a new understanding. Listen to the song and you will see what I mean.

Lance King’s A Moment in Chiros will definitely be in my top 10 for 2011. Admittedly it took a second listen to get into and appreciate, but once I did I was hooked. The music and the message really resonate with me, and this enlightening album has come at a great time of the year when the leaves fall and the impending gloom of winter is not too far in the distance. It is full of great song writing, terrific performances, and boasts an excellent production job. So, it’s ”time to light up the world with a strike of a match” and get yourself a copy. Oh, and avoid the flying monkeys.

Live Long and Rock Hard,

SpaceKev’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5


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