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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Presto Ballet - 2011 Invisible Places
Presto Ballet - 2011 Invisible Places

ARTIST: Presto Ballet
ALBUM: Invisible Places
LABEL: Body Of Work Recordings
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Kurdt Vanderhoof - guitars * Ronny Munroe - vocals * Hnery Ellwood - drums & percussion * Kerry Shacklett - keyboards * Bobby Ferkovich - bass

TRACK LISTING: 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



For the last couple of years, we've covered off all the releases for prog/pomp band Presto Ballet. They are the sort of band that gets compulsory coverage at this site, and though they might veer closer to the prog market, their commercial leanings make them a strong contender at GLORY-DAZE. You never quite know what Kurdt Vanderhoof is up to with his releases, but when they land, you'd best be in quickly. Vanderhoof and his cohorts are in the same league as Arthur Offen and Flag, that is, creating highly contagious prog/pomp with a huge nod to Kansas in the thank you department.

The Songs
We've said it before, Vanderhoof might've had a strong connection to Metal Church, but those influences have long ago been booted out over the sideline. Thanks to keyboardist extraordinaire Kerry Shacklett, it's a full steamboat of airy synths, pompous parps, pianos and organs that Steve Walsh will be familiar with, plus acoustic and electric guitars are in full swing. 'Invisible Places' really does take us back to the vintage days of Yes, Todd Rundgren and Utopia and ELP due to the very long songs onboard the album. 7 and 8 minute compositions are the norm rather than the exception. Don't think these tracks will be borefests either, far from it, some of these are incredibly lush, all colours of the spectrum are covered. Opener 'Between The Lines' should turn on all fans of Styx, while 'Of Grand Design' and 'No End To Begin' are 12 minute epics with all manner of twisting and turning soundscapes. However, you will find a strong Kansas undercurrent throughout, with both Walsh and Livgren flavours coming to the fore.

In Summary
Simply a magnificent effort, the keyboard work is just lovely, in particular that lush 70's organ sound rolling through. I would hasten to add that I think 'Invisible Places' is Presto Ballet's best effort thus far. Surely this is already a contender for top 10 of 2011? Woah.

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#1 | MUSCLE on October 31 2011 13:58:07
Fantastic record. Can't get enough of it. In particular the track 'One Perfect Minute'. The richness of the chorus beggars belief. Stunningly melodic!

I had the pleasure of conversing with Kurdt over a pint in the Underworld pub in London before a Metal Church gig a few years back. A thouroughly genuine, humble fella. He deserves all the accolades that come his way for this stupendous effort. As do the rest of the band.

Top 3 of the year for me without
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