Presto Ballet
Invisible Places
Style: Progressive Metal
Release date: 4 February, 2011
Playing time: 61:45

If you’re a prog rock fan, chances are you’ve already heard of PRESTO BALLET - the alter-ego of ex-METAL CHURCH guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof. combines the elements of KANSAS, STYX, early GENESIS, YES and their ilk, then mixes it with a true, organic, prog rock sound. Vanderhoof is a product of the ’70s and grew up listening to this type of music, where analog synthesizers, Hammond organs, Mellotrons and melody ruled the day.

With the demise of METAL CHURCH on July 9, 2009, (I know the exact day because I witnessed their last show at Rocklahoma 2009) PRESTO BALLET is not just his side project anymore. On the band’s third full-length, Invisible Places, Vanderhoof has recruited a whole new lineup, including former METAL CHURCH singer Ronny Munroe.

After only four months with melodic rock band LILLIAN AXE, Munroe has flown the coupe. I didn’t really think they were a good fit for each other when I first heard the news that he had joined them. I’m glad he has reunited with his MC pal Vanderhoof, you can tell the working partner ship between the two of them is extremely strong. Although, I didn’t really recognize his voice at first, as it’s in a higher register than what he is accustomed to singing. It still has his distinctive raspy sound, but less aggressive and more melodic. It fits PRESTO BALLET extremely well. You actually wouldn’t expect him to be able to adapt to this type of singing style, but he pulls it off well.

Completing the rest of the band is keyboardist Kerry Shacklett, bassist Bobby Ferkovich and session drummer Henry Ellwood.

From the first notes of the Hammond organ on "Between the Lines" to the fading out of 12-minute CD closer "No End to Begin," the album is filled with spectacular sounds. It’s obvious that there’s more of a cohesiveness and maturity to their sound compared with their sophomore effort, The Lost Art of Time Travel. This album is more in line with their brilliant debut, Peace Among the Ruins, but even surpasses it as far as songwriting, structure, melody and mood.

A prog masterpiece that borrows from the greats of the genre.


01. Between the Lines
02. The Puzzle
03. Sundancer
04. Of Grand Design
05. One Perfect Moment
06. All In All
07. No End to Begin

Label: SAOL / H'Art / Zebralution
Promotion: CMM GmbH
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kelley Simms
Date: 17 February, 2011