Balance of Power – Heathen Machine (2003)

BalancePower_HeathenMachine4.5 out of 5 Stars!

I picked up this Balance of Power album back in 2008—five years after its initial release—listened to it several times, and came to the conclusion it was probably one of the best purchases I’d made so far that year.

Therefore, it’s a shame this proved to be the band’s swansong release. Regardless, for those who love Progressive Power Metal, this might just be the album for you. I would liken the sound to a cross between Masterplan and Ride The Sky, although stretch out the songs while tossing in a little bit of Symphony X here, a bit of Kamelot there, and that should give you a fairly accurate picture of what this album has to offer. The vocalist is sort of a cross between Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden, Rob Halford from Judas Priest, and Geoff Tate from Queenryche, with the additional power of the magnificent Jorn Lande gruffing things up where necessary.

Melodies aren’t forsaken for guitar-twiddling and keyboard-foolery, but are given a nice balance (of power?!?) overall. Highlights (songs that had choruses popping into my head at the oddest of times) are the tracks “Chemical Imbalance,” “Necessary Evil,” and “Wake Up Call,” although there’s not a filler track in sight. I’m actually tempted to raise my rating to a perfect 5-Pointer instead of 4.5 Stars, but I typically reserve that rating only for classic albums that stand the test of time. I have a feeling this might be one of them, and if so, I’ll be back in a decade or two and up the rating!

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