December 15, 2011

Review: Lance King-A Moment In Chiros

If you look at that cover of Lance King’s A Moment In Chiros you see a muscular man, arms outstretched as the hands of a clock with blue clouds and stars around him, then a Battlestar–Gallactica–type font for the artist name. With that visual you know exactly how this album is going to sound.

Lance King has an extensive musical career, to say the least, having provided vocals in nine different bands prior to this and his solo album. All the bands he’s participated in are part of the record company he started and currently heads, Nightmare Records.

Many players from various bands on his label also contributed to the making of this album. King recruited many of these players based on faith in them as competent musicians, having no experience working with many of them. Among them are Jacob Hansen (Beyond Twilight, Invocator, Anubis Gate), Kim Oleson (Anubis Gate), Michael Harris (Darkology, Thought Chamber), Tore St. Moren (Jorn), Fred Colombo (Spherical Universe Experience), Markus Sigfridsson (Darkwater/Harmony), Kevin Codfert (Adagio), Michael Hansen and Shane Dhiman (Phonomik), Morten Gade Sorenson (Pyramaze, Wuthering Heights), Elyes Bouchoucha, Malek Ben Arbia, Ahnis Jouini (Myrath), and Mistheria.

King has been referred to as “the voice” in power metal and in this album his operatic pipes are on full display, coupled with the melodic elements of his songs to form a pretty marriage. But this isn’t just an album you buy for the music alone; this album is King’s personal investigation into the 11:11 time prompt, which affects 75 million people around the world, he being one of them.

A Moment In Chiros is his first solo album and as I said earlier, it sounds exactly like you think it will. “111 A Sense Of Urgency” opens with spoken dialogue about a man with a certain destiny to fulfill (King) and proceeds to set the tone for what is to come. The Title track (555 A Moment In Chiros) continues the dialogue and thus the story. It starts out rather quiet but gets loud and brutal later on. “777. Kibou” is strictly piano, vocals, and some synthesized textures but no more; it's a soft ballad balancing out the power songs.

“666. Dance Of Power” is the song that most epitomizes this album, balancing the powerful metal sound King creates, while having extensive melody and vocal power to boot. The musicianship is excellent, and the song does one thing I think all songs should; feel natural. That is, the first riff sounds good, and each subsequent idea feels like it belongs there without being predictable. And yes, the numbering on the tracks was intentional by King.

Make no mistake, this is power metal and sounds like the concept it’s about: a man on a quest to uncover the mysteries of the universe. The problem with power metal is that each band/album/song sounds like it’s written based on something like a quest, medieval life, or an intriguing mystery, leaving there little to nothing to discover in the music anymore. Once you’ve heard a power metal band, you’ve heard what a majority of power metal bands also sound like. The songs reflect their subject matter well, but that’s nothing I haven’t heard before. I’ve lost interest in this style of metal because of that.

Despite the similarity often found in power metal, this album is still worth checking out. It’s well produced and the musicianship is quite good. If you’ve never heard power metal before, this isn’t at all a bad place to start.

3.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: 555. A Moment In Chiros, 666,  Dance of Power, 777. Kibou

Daniel Erickson

December 14, 2011

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