Lance King is CEO of Nightmare Records. He has been in many bands, including Pyramaze, Balance of Power, Avian, Ilium, Shining Star and Gemini. He also has an amazing new solo album that is loaded with prog power and enough metal to send you to the scrapyard! I was reminded of many artists, including Pagan’s Mind and Symphony X, while I was listening. However, this is not just someone who wears their influences proudly on their sleeve. Lance King is a monster of progressive metal. Prepare yourself for a class in Prog Metal 101. This is how it’s done, folks. On to the tracks, then!
The title track is up first, and it is a good one. As most good prog metal does, it makes you think. What if we had the chance to start over? When most folks think of reprogramming, they obviously think of computers and such, but what if you could reprogram yourself? Your life? Would you? What would you do differently? A good jam, to say the least.
Pointing Fingers begins life with a pretty piano intro. It eventually gives way to some pretty raucous jamming. Stand Your Ground features an FX intro and some menacing metal riffs once things get underway. Technology features a wicked stop-time main riff. I was reminded briefly of the Alan Parsons Project during this number. Wonderful stuff, with an excellent lead at the 2-minute mark. Reaction Formation has a cool, folky opening strum, but takes on an FM-friendly jam in short notice. This tune is actually good enough to make the radio – it’s a shame it won’t get much airplay aside from specialty stations.
Limitless has big riffs, good strong vocals, and some keys to boot. Wide Open has a nice chug to the main riff, but fades out way too early – about a minute left of just atmosphere, basically. No matter. Break time. Chaotica is a hard charger with double bass drums hammering away, and also has a wicked shredding lead at the 3-minute mark. Some big riffs here as well. Spell of Domesticaton is another uptempo number with a busy drummer and some huge production values. Perfect World begins with a pretty piano and soon opens up to a BASH – plenty of FX and bright clean vocals here also.
A Mind at War is the monster epic here. It’s just shy of 10 minutes, but no time is wasted. It features spoken word, big BASS playing, flamenco guitar, and a keyboard wigout! What more could a prog-head ask for? This is great stuff, top marks, go out and get it as soon as you can!
2. Pointing Fingers
3. Stand Your Ground
5. Reaction Formation
7. Wide Open
9. Spell of Domestication
10. Perfect World
11. A Mind at War
Playing Time: 59 minutes and 45 seconds
Lance King (Pyramaze, Balance of Power, Avian, Ilium, Shining Star, Gemini)
Kim Olesen - (Anubis Gate)
(Guitars and Keys on 'ReProgram' and 'Technology')
Markus Sigfridsson - (Darkwater/Harmony)
(Guitars and Keys on 'Stand your Ground', 'Limitless', 'Perfect World')
Matt Hodsdon - (Chaos Frame)
(Guitars and Keys on 'Chaotica', 'Reaction Formation', 'Spell of Domestication')
Rich Hinks - (Annihilator / Aeon Zen)
(Bass on all tracks except (*) Guitar, Keys on 'Pointing Fingers', 'A Mind at War', 'Wide Open')
Lance's Featured Friends:
Morten Gade Sørensen (Pyramaze/Anubis Gate) Massive Grooves and Percussion
Fred Columbo (Spheric Universe Experience) (Keys transition between 'Wide Open & Chaotica', solo on 'Spell of Domestication' and 'A Mind at War')
Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen) (Guitar solo on 'Wide Open')
Jakob Riis (L Wood Joy) ( *Bass on 'ReProgram' and 'Technology')