Lance King // A Moment in Chiros
Rating: 3.0/5.0 —Good times, bland times
Label: Nightmare Records
Websites: lancekingvox.com/ |  myspace.com/lancekingvox
Release Dates: Out now!

Lance King, like Elvis, is everywhere. He’s sang for a ton of bands (Balance of Power, Pyramaze, Avian, Empire etc. etc.), he runs Nightmare Records and still found the time to record and release his first solo album, A Moment in Chiros. For those unfamiliar with his body of work, Mr. King is the quintessential prog-power metal singer. His voice is versatile, powerful and his range is impressive. He sounds equally at home alongside melodic power metal and thoughtful prog-metal. For his debut solo project, he’s brought in elements of both and made damn sure everything is super-duper melodic, even symphonic at times. To assist him in this endeavor, he recruited a mighty host of friends, including members of Anubis Gate, Beyond Twilight and Adagio. The final product (which was apparently written and recorded in only three months) will remind many of Empire-era Queensryche mixed with elements of  Dream Theater, Pagan’s Mind, Anubis Gate and of course, Lance’s other units, especially Balance of Power. There are moments where Lance and company shine as bright as the sun and there’s some interesting material here for fans of power-prog. However, A Moment in Chiros struggles with the consistency of quality and this ultimately hurts things, which is a real shame.

Although a Moment in Chiros is a concept album revolving around the 11:11 time prompt phenomenon, I won’t waste anyone’s “time” trying to explain it. Dammit, Steel Druhm’s a reviewer, not a Scientology wonk! Things begin quite solidly with “A Sense of Urgency,” which is a nice introduction to the variety of melodic metal Lance specializes in. It’s laid back, with low-key guitar work. The keyboards give it a slightly symphonic flavor and Lance’s vocals sound classy and smooth as silk. Thereafter, things ramp up with a suite of great songs including the poignant and memorable “Awakening,” the more aggressive “Manifest Destiny” and the impossibly hooky “A Given Choice.” All are top-notch examples of modern-day power-prog with moments of emotion and beauty (3:37 of “Manifest Destiny” is one). Other quality moments include the title track and “Dance of Power.”

Sadly, as the album progresses, the quality trails off and later tracks feel slapped together and rather bland (“Joy Everlasting” and “Sacred Systems”). Other songs, while not bad, don’t really grab me (“Transformation” and “Infinity Divine”). Another problem involves the spoken word, “new agey” segments that pop up throughout the album. They serve to advance the concept in the most general way but they come across as cheesy and annoying.

Complaints aside,  A Moment in Chiros has a great sound. It’s rich, warm, lush and polished as all hell. While never overly heavy, the guitars do have a decent crunch. Although the keys are very prominent, this always feels like a metal album, albeit a very melodic one. Lance sounds great throughout and showcases the versatility and range of his pipes. He even elevates a song or two from average to good. The good stuff here is so good, it makes me wish they spent more time refining the writing so this could have been a better album. The first half is 4.0 worthy, the back-end, not so much.

As a fan of Mr. King’s work, I wanted this to be better but it does have about half an album’s worth of strong, enjoyable material. I love the guy’s voice and I’ll support whatever project he’s involved in. I hope next time he can churn out an entire album of the same high quality as the first half here. Fans of classy prog-power and melodic metal should check this out and see for themselves.

 

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  • Anonymous

    Queensrÿche, Adagio, and Mojo Nixon all in the same review… how intriguing :D

    • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

      I like to be unpredictable.

  • Anonymous

    You could have given this the most glowing review and a 5/5 score, and I still probably wouldn’t have bothered to listen to it based solely on that cover. Does that make me a poor excuse for a music fan? Seriously, everytime I check my watch now all I see is Lance King making a snow angel.

    • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

      And that may be the funniest post I’ve read in 2011!! Kudos.  And yeah, its a really crappy cover.

    • Lance King

      LMAO, well that’s a good thing in my perspective ; )

  • http://twitter.com/JeffreySCarter Jeffrey S. Carter

    I actually added this album to my Spotify queue based on that cover alone – I thought I was in for some huge laughs…instead I got an album that (as you noted) is awesome until right after the title track, then declined immediately. But man, I love the first 5 songs.

  • Enuma Elis

    I think the first half is quite good, but from the power ballad Kibou included it starts to get boring and too long. But those first songs are on the top of the Prog-Power of this year!

    • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

      Yep, sad but true. I’ll even give Lance “Kibou” and “Dance of Power” but from there it goes downhill.

      • Lance King

        Give it time,  the other tracks just take a couple more listens! 

        • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

          Hey Lance, welcome to the site!

        • manuel cufre

          Oh come on, take it easy bro, nothing in that album is garbage, it’s not easy to create fully perfect albums, but this is a damn good attempt IMO: give the man a break.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPHX2NCHQXVMBQJUBJ4RKKZSLA Fred Laner

    King sucks, and this record reinforces that fact. Gay best describes this release, and that fool as a rule.

    • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

      That’s pretty harsh man. The guy is talented and by all reports,  a pretty nice guy.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPHX2NCHQXVMBQJUBJ4RKKZSLA Fred Laner

        Nice guy has nothing to do with talent. He definitely sucks, and he’s without question a lame and unoriginal poof in the talent department. Is this his mom?

        • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

          We run a pretty douche free site here. Guess you didn’t notice.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPHX2NCHQXVMBQJUBJ4RKKZSLA Fred Laner

            Looks like this site was actually pretty cool and douche free before you put up this King’s abysmally cliched album. I’d personally feel ashamed to give this album any props at all, such a reccomendation will drive literally dozens of people away. There are so many better releases than this ridiculous butt-rock, and your other reviews prove you usually have pretty cool taste. You’d be best off just taking this review down, it’s a credibility thing dude. 

          • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

            Man, you are seriously a Lance hater. Did he break up with your sister or something? Thanks for the props on my musical taste. As for worrying about my credibility…I’ll live with it somehow. Thanks for the readership!!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPHX2NCHQXVMBQJUBJ4RKKZSLA Fred Laner

            No, he broke up with me and then wrote a mean butt rock song about it. The bastard!

            He won’t remember, I’ll never forget his oiled derriere…

          • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

            That may be the only thing that would make a worse album cover for this thing.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPHX2NCHQXVMBQJUBJ4RKKZSLA Fred Laner

            Actually, the music totally fits the undeservedly megalomaniacal and unintentionally hilarious, gay nature of the cover.

          • manuel cufre

            Oh I see now, someone has a grudge. That explains it.