BALANCE OF POWER – Fresh From The Abyss (Album Review)

Release Date: April 19th 2024 - Massacre Records

BALANCE OF POWER - Fresh From The Abyss

Balance Of Power is a metal & rock band from the UK formed in 1995, releasing (to date) six albums during a thirty-year career which has seen the band suffer numerous line-up changes and lengthy periods of inactivity. The band’s most recent album ‘Fresh From The Abyss’, was released in 2024…

…featuring band founders, drummer Lionel Hicks and bassist Tony Ritchie, along with new members, singer Hazel Jade Rogers, and guitarists Chris Young and Adam Wardle (City Of Thieves). The new album is an eclectic mix of hard rock, power and heavy metal, ranging from all-out headbangers to foot-stomping anthems across forty-one heavy-hitting minutes – ‘Last Man Down’ quickly into its stride, pounding the ground hard with total aplomb! The oomph and energy here is incredible, the earthy vocals from Rogers snarling menacingly as the band changes gears and tempo throughout ‘Last Man Down‘s four-and-a-half-minute run time! Moving swiftly on, Balance Of Power moves into anthemic territory with the fist-pumping ‘Never Be Here Again’, echoing the rabble-rousing nature of bands such as Manowar and Saxon. ‘Fresh From The Abyss’ has begun with a brace as different as chalk and cheese, the band straddling the borders of metal and rock territory to attract fans from them both. And there’s no doubt in my mind that Balance Of Power have got the balance just right, both metallers and rockers coming together as one to enjoy the wealth of music on offer.

Music that roars on with the heavier hitting ‘Monster’, the band weaving in more groove than heard across the (album) first two songs. And the highly sing long-able chorus is a beauty, with every listener everywhere joining in to sing “There’s a monster in my head, There’s no going round it, I wish I never found it, There’s a monster in my head, I’m going in for the kill”. And to be honest, that chorus break reminds me a lot of Vixen – the all-female American hard rockers from the nineties, Only heavier sounding though, a metallized version if you will. ‘Rage Of Ages’ thunders in with an almighty Southern rock swagger, settling into a melodic hard rock stroll after just twenty-five seconds! The meld of metal and rock on show from the British five-piece is seamless, the band switching effortlessly from one musical style to another.

And for the elders among us with long memories (like me) who remember the eighties when metal and rock underwent a huge makeover, with bands such as Iron Maiden, Motley Crue and Helloween spearheading the new musical directions, Balance Of Power are more than living up to the traditional metal, hard rock and power metal legacy of these legendary icons, living and breathing every facet, characteristic and trait. ‘Fresh From The Abyss’ picks up pace courtesy of the galloping ‘Abyss’, the band planting their feet firmly on the old school monitor to adopt the iconic pose of heavy metal, rocking the heads back and forth of every single listener everywhere! No one is safe from the bands all out metal attack right now, ‘Abyss’ the most metal song heard so far – ‘Velocity’ entering the fray with a heavy attitude and a mighty foot stomp! A stomp that’s gonna send shockwaves shooting all around – and off – the fucking planet!

I tell ya readers, no one and nowhere is safe from the band full on and all-consuming onslaught of metal and rock, every land everywhere succumbing to ‘Fresh From The Abyss’, from England to Thailand, New Zealand to Ireland, Disneyland to Netherlands, Balance Of Power are gonna get ya, no matter how far – ‘Deadlands’ romping in to become the (new) fastest song heard so far! The band are at full throttle here to deliver a glorious headbanger that’s gonna wake up every mosh pit in the world, albeit across the chorus break the band change down a gear to take on a melodic metal aura. And bringing the album to a close, ‘One More Time Around The Sun’ chimes in as the longest song, stretching way past the seven-minute mark! And a complete change of attitude and approach from Balance Of Power – out goes the high levels of energy and bombast, in comes a mellowness and serenity you normally get with a ballad! That said, ‘One More Time Around The Sun’ resonates with a huge hymn-like feel, the reined-in power bursting at the seams to be set free, yet Balance Of Power do a fantastic job of keeping it in check!

Overall, a hard-hitting array of metal and rock, ‘Fresh From The Abyss’ is a myriad of styles attractive to both metallers and rockers.

TRACKLIST

Last Man Down
Never Be Here Again
Monster
Rage Of Ages
Abyss
Velocity
Deadlands
One More Time Around The Sun

Balance Of Power: Facebook

Release Year: 2024
Label: Massacre Records
Category: Album
Country: UK

Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire and Metal-Roos.