Blistering - 8.5/10

[8.5/10] Critics often worry when record label owners wish to wear multiple hats in the music industry jungle. Much like a separation between government branches, you wonder if a certain level of politicking comes into play - or if the musicianship will really be of high enough quality to warrant an international release. Those fears remain unwarranted in the case of Nightmare Records' leader Lance King, he of the majestic progressive metal vocals for Balance of Power, Pyramaze, and Avian.

It only comes as a surprise that it’s taken this long for Lance to come out with his own solo album, as A Moment in Chiros is an 11-song concept record based on the 11:11 time prompt phenomena and he fills out the musical accompaniment with 15 international power/progressive metal friends ranging from Jacob Hansen and Michael Harris to Tore St Moren and Morten Gade Sorensen among others. The effects may be futuristic, but the bulk of King's approach fits in line with Symphony X, Redemption and a touch of Anubis Gate.

Guitar harmonies abound against the heavier main riff crunch on opener “A Sense of Urgency” where King gets a chance to warm up slowly with his lower range before ascending to the upper echelon on subsequent tracks like “Manifest Destiny” and “Dance of Power." Not everything is on the heavier or progressive side, as a tranquil “Kibou” proves quite enlightening for a piano driven ballad effort as King again illustrates great restraint in his deeper, low voice. You’ll even get a slight Rush influence on “Sacred Systems” as acoustic guitars and electric off-time action give us classic insight into King's wide spectrum of musicality.

With material clocking in at an average five-to-six-minute clip, this is definitely an easy buy in for all in the ProgPower contingent on all fronts. Trusting many of his co-writers solely on their previous recording works, A Moment in Chiros proves that talent and trust equals monumental final results. 2011 has been a banner progressive metal year...this is another release that will stand the test of time.

By: Matt Coe


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