PRESTO BALLET – Peace Among The Ruins


Release Date: June 7, 2005

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Kurdt Vanderhoof (Metal Church) goes retro with Peace Among The Ruins, the first release from his new band, Presto Ballet. His focal point, as well as his inspiration for this project, has been the notion that the 1970’s is perhaps the golden decade in the history of Rock. The era has undoubtedly left an everlasting impression with past, present, and future performers of the art, and Presto Ballet is for sure no exception.

In order to establish a genuine 1970’s sound, Vanderhoof and his esteemed colleagues turned to analog instruments as well as analog recording techniques for this album. The effort has most certainly paid off, since Peace Among The Ruins has distinct qualities as a time machine. If the album had been released on vinyl, you’d be hard-pressed to tell this album is dated 2005. Still, the album has a number of genuine properties identifying its contemporary position.

Stylewise, Presto Ballet serves up something in the Progressive Rock domain, with emphasis on Rock. Also, their merits in Metal surface in moments of title track, “Peace Among The Ruins,” “Seasons,” and “Slave.” Songs vary in duration and tempo, in complexity and atmosphere, and most tracks sit fairly well, even after just a few spins. They have managed to keep a down-to-earth feel in all of the melodies, and at the same time lifting the songs up through impressive grooves, intricate arrangements, and some awesome vocal harmonies.

When picking favorites among the 8 songs, opener, “Peace Among The Ruins,” truly deserves to be mentioned with its fierce energy and uplifting, funky keyboard grooves. Worth mentioning is also “Find The Time,” which is more of a ballad with a dreamy, dark, and melancholic mood, and quite a European Metal sounding chorus.

As good runner ups, one finds the groovy “The Fringes,” Californian Surf Pop-sounding “Sunshine,” and the most modern sounding track, “Slave.” On the other hand, “Speed Of Time” doesn’t quite reach up to the level of other tracks because of a slightly less interesting melody, and much the same goes for “Seasons” and “Bringin’ It On.” These three all work well when the album is played straight through, thus their weaknesses are exposed mostly when taken out of context.

At the end of the day, Presto Ballet has accomplished a unique album, and Peace Among The Ruins will have a lot to offer for thousands and thousands of Rock lovers all over the world. Hopefully, this is just the beginning. Meanwhile, buy the album and look out for a Presto Ballet gig near you!


Scott Albright – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Brian Cokeley – piano, keyboards, lead and backing vocals
Brian Lake – bass
Kurdt Vanderhoof – guitar, mellotron, keyboards
Jeff Wade – drums


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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