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Balance - Equilibrium (CD)

by Grigoris Chronis at 11 February 2009, 11:51 AM

I really wonder who else will be back on the map due to a Frontiers proposal, to be sincere. BALANCE recorded two albums in 1981 and 1982 and now - 27 years(!) later - there we have the ability to 'swallow' a brand new album by an act back then regarded as a 'gonna be' equivalent of the myth of bands like JOURNEY, SURVIVOR and FOREIGNER, even if they boasted a lighter 'direction' in my opinion.
BALANCE sees the often witnessed case of a collaboration of members individually gaining a luxurious career after splitting up. Peppy Castro worked with Diana Ross, KISS, Laura Branigan and Michael Bolton as well as occupying himself in the jingles business. KISS, Rod Stewart, Cher, BON JOVI, Sinead O' Connor, AEROSMITH, Broadway, The Rocky Horror Show and Footloose shall tell you a lot about Doug Katsaros' portfolio while Bob Kulick delivered the goods with KISS, W.A.S.P., SKULL, MEAT LOAF and Michael Bolton as well as establishing a respected producer's profession. Still, in BALANCE they did not make it to the AOR/FM Rock major League. Even if their same-titled debut bears a more 'classy' songwriting it was the follow-up In For The Count, recruiting also Dennis Feldman on bass and Chuck Burgi (Al Di Meola, RAINBOW, BLUE OYSTER CULT, MEAT LOAF, RED DAWN, Billy Joel) on drums, that spread BALANCE's name a little bit more in AOR/Hard Rock circles.
So, what about Equilibrium? In my ears, not much. The songs have certain melodies and hooks that melodic Rock fans shall like, but it sounds kinda lackadaisical and soulless while there's a contstant feeling that something's missing in order to compile a better album. Twist Of Faith has this initial AOR tempo that can shake your soul, Old Friends starts off with a great melody then to unveil a poor chorus, Who You Gonna Love is an up-tempo melodic rocker with nice leads, Where The Rainbow Ends shall take you back to the 80s to the glimpse of an eye…What else? Castro's vocals lack energy; he's more convincing in mild parts. The production does not help either; clean yet non-vivid. The players' undoubted skills is something out of the question, of course.
Resulting in a more Pop/Rock/West Coast than AOR/FM Rock album, Equilibrium does mark a release that - in my mind - is thought more as a salutation to the old days than a set of songs that are here to stay. For nostalgia and only you can check it out, if you're in the mood.

2 Star Rating

Twist Of Faith
Old Friends
What Have U Done
Winner Takes All
Crazy Little Suzie
Walk Away
Who You Gonna Love
Where The Rainbow Ends
Peppy Castro - Vocals
Doug Katsaros - Keyboards
Bob Kulick - Guitars
Bret Chassen - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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