Balance Of Power - Heathenology
Massacre Records
Progressive Metal / Hard Rock
Disc 1: 13 songs (79'11) Disc 2: 12 songs (65'25)
Release year: 2005
Balance Of Power, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Ben

Heathenology is long time British Prog Metallers Balance of Power’s latest addition to their catalog and is a combination of a live show and DVD and a greatest hits collection that draws predominately from the golden Lance King era. Since I have every BoP cd I’ll start my review off with the DVD since that is the main attraction to the fans. The entire live show was shot on the band’s Heathen Machine tour and has ex main man John K on the mic. This is a good show and the songs from Heathen Machine are performed immaculately however whenever a personal favorite or classic rolls by such as Day Breaker, it just doesn’t sound the same without Lance on vocals. John gives an admirable performance and isn’t a bad vocalist by any stretch of the imagination but to me at least, hearing him do the classics sounds like a cover band playing Balance of Power songs instead of the actual band. Pertaining to the other members of the band, the instruments all sound excellent. I must also mention that the backing vocals and harmonies are executed well and don’t sound like a mish mash of voices, it comes off as tight and clean. All in all it is a simply good show, yet I just feel that this should have been shot four years ago. The extra features on the DVD are all worthy of watching, you have a lengthy interview with the band, another interview in which the band discusses their image and inspirations and also another quite long bootleg performance section that includes various live performances (from before Heathen Machine), more interviews, and studio recording footage. Like I stated earlier this is a very good DVD but the fact of the matter is that when I think of Balance of Power I think of a specific time frame and an exact way of how the songs should sound and it doesn’t gel with what’s presented here. If you are a new fan to the Balance of Power camp and loved Heathen Machine then this will more than please you.

“Archives of Power” is what the hits collection is being labeled as and I guess you can say that this title is fitting. Although there are many glaring omissions, (the original version of Day Breaker, Under the Spell, It’s Not Over, Shelter Me) there happens to be songs that made the cut that I wouldn’t expect to. I’m glad to see that One Voice is included as well as the melodramatic yet oh so delightful and female infused Do You Dream of Angels? Other classy songs show up and the hits keep coming and coming, Prisoner of Pride, Savage Tears, The Pleasure Room, Seven Days Into Nevermore, and they even manage to bust out the AOR anthem Against the Odds as a closer. There is one slight change to this track however, the last few seconds of the second guitar solo are nipped in the bud so there’s an abrupt and clunky transition back to the chorus. The reason I point this out is because I have played the debut album many times and this is my personal favorite due to its catchy melodies and killer chorus. The only song that features Tony on vocals this is a treat for fans that can’t get that first LP and gives listeners a taste of what BoP were before they became full on entrenched in the Progressive territory.

As a whole, Heathenology is a nice addition to the Balance of Power fan’s library. The “Archives of Power” cd is a perfect way to introduce people to the golden era of the band and for those that prefer John K, you have an excellent live show to watch and listen to at your leisure. Another plus for this collection is that all four of Balance of Power’s previous albums (especially the debut and Book of Secrets) are becoming increasingly harder to find in the States and this collection can help stave off the wait when it comes down to tracking those jewels.

Killing Songs :
The Pleasure Room, One Voice, Against the Odds, Book of Secrets, and the DVD extras
Ben quoted no quote
Other albums by Balance Of Power that we have reviewed:
Balance Of Power - Book Of Secrets reviewed by Erik and quoted 84 / 100
Balance Of Power - When The World Falls Down reviewed by Erik and quoted 80 / 100
Balance Of Power - Heathen Machine reviewed by Ben and quoted 87 / 100
Balance Of Power - Perfect Balance reviewed by Chris and quoted 86 / 100
Balance Of Power - Ten More Tales ... reviewed by Chris and quoted 83 / 100
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