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Hard rock for Metal fans - 85%

PoSiTiVePeTeR, June 21st, 2004

First off, let me say that this is a fairly good album. But it isnt exactly HEAVY metal. In their biography on their website, this album is described as "heavy metal for rock fans, rock for heavy metal fans." This is a pretty accurate statement in my opinion. I wont go through every song, just the ones that stand out.

It starts off with "Idle Hands". A good opener, with some catchy riffs in between. I think this song could have been stronger, being the opener, but still good none the less.

"Thoughts Without Words" is an excellent song, probably my favorite on the album. The guitar work in this song is kickass and damn near perfect. Its very melodic with the best guitar solo on the album. Jon Donais is one hell of a guitar player. Jason Bittner's double bass kick blazes and adds a good effect to the verses.This,as mentioned before, is probably Brian Fair's best vocal performance on hear, especially in the chorus.

The next song worth mentioning is the title track, "The Art Of Balance". It opens up with a guitar solo, then begins with a light, clean guitar verse. Brian Fair sings through this song, not a bad voice, but nothing special. All in all Id say this is a pretty good song.

Another song that stands out is "A Fire in Babylon". This is an epic that actually starts off in "Prelude to Disaster". Its a good song, but in my opinion, it gets quite boring after a few listens through, and its not exactly short, 7 minutes or so.

The last song on here is the Pink Floyd cover, "Welcome to the Machine". Its incredibly slow with a nice melody of singing in the chorus. There is actually a little synth in here, which adds for a good effect. It has a very short but fast solo near the end. A good closer for a decent album.

Now, for the bad parts of the album.

One is Brian Fair's attempt to do a death metal voice. It just doesnt work. Im not exactly sure whats wrong with it, it kind of sounds like hes joking when he does it. Fortanatley, he doesnt do it too often.

My least favorite song on here is "Mystery of One Spirit". Its too boring and sounds like they didnt put much effort into it. And Brian does the death metal voice a bit too much in it.

Overall, this is a Good album, excellent guitar work and vocals(with the one exception).