Lance King – “ReProgram”

 Posted by on October 5, 2019 at 18:54  Add comments
Oct 052019
 

What would we become if allowed to grow into our own passions? Lance King raises this tantalising question right off the bat in his second solo album, “ReProgram” that was released on 29 March 2019. His concern for the death of a child’s creativity is underscored in the music. I hear the dread in the volleys of driving kick drum and plaintive keyboards, while the guitars point accusatory fingers at a dystopian status quo where conformity trumps originality.

King delivers a compelling performance in “Pointing Fingers”, and I can hear why his tenor has graced the likes of Pyramaze and Balance Of Power: liquid ease. I’m in love with Kim Oleson’s guitar work on “Stand Your Ground”. It is no doubt tempting to follow the vocalist ever upward into the song’s crescendo and then lose yourself in soloist heaven, but not Oleson. He plays with both feet firmly rooted in the ground. His modern tone suits King’s voice to a tee, and when he does solo it is technical and melodic at the same time – and with just the right amount of restraint. I’d also like to acknowledge how the keyboards were played in this song. Oleson and/or Fred Colombo played counterpoint to the rhythm guitar in a way that brings the sequencer to the fore. Not so much that it becomes a lead instrument but rather that it adds to the overall urgency of the track.

“Technology” celebrates how technological advancement puts the means of musical production into anyone’s hands and while this democratisation is to be admired, King also poses the question, “Where will it all end?” Made in an instant, and shared in an instant in a world that is media hungry. This critique of consumerism is akin to that found in Porcupine Tree’s “Fear Of A Blank Planet”.

Anytime a song starts with monks chanting, I’m like “Uh-oh, something’s about to go down.” Please forgive me when I say that the guitars sounded “Blaze Of Glory-like” for a second… and sorry if you cannot unhear that now. And yes, things are getting serious. “Reaction Formation” explores a defense mechanism employed to hide true feelings in favour of social acceptance. It begs returning to that initial question posed in “ReProgram”: What would we become if allowed to grow into our own passions? What do we lose in the trade-off between individuality and conformity?

While “A Moment In Chiros” is considered autobiographical, “ReProgram” looks outward to society, and like King sings in “Wide Open”, “It’s time to wake America… to end the epidemic.” I think this epidemic concerns misdirected societal norms, where groupthink blinds the individual to his/her inherent (and limitless) potential. This is a worldwide problem.

Morten Gade Sørensen is a bolt of energy on “Chaotica”, the double-time kick drum coupled with soaring keyboards and intricate phrasing propelling this track into the stratosphere and onto my favourites list. “Spell Of Domestication” showcases the band as a tight unit as they negotiate several timing changes, and King brings forth the gruff in his voice. The sequenced elements work well to punctuate the manic pace and for me, on a thematic level, represent technologies that are fast becoming ubiquitous and that will, in the near future, connect everyone everywhere.

“A Mind At War” is the epic conclusion to “ReProgram”, and I wonder whose eulogy King delivers here. Could it be that journeying through this album has set you and I on a new path toward limitless potential as individuals?

In the world of prog metal this is a much needed wake up shakeup album and scores 8/10.

Written by Karakul

Track list:
1. ReProgram
2. Pointing Fingers
3. Stand Your Ground
4. Technology
5. Reaction Formation
6. Limitless
7. Wide Open
8. Chaotica
9. Spell Of Domestication
10. Perfect World
11. A Mind At War

Musicians:

Vocals: Lance King
Guitar: Kim Olesen (Reprogram and Technology)
Markus Sigfridsson (Stand your Ground, Limitless, Perfect World)
Matt Hodsdon (Chaotica, Reaction Formation, Spell of Domestication)
Rich Hinks (Pointing Fingers, A Mind at War, Wide Open)

Bass:

Rich Hinks (except on Reprogram and Technology)

Keyboard:
Kim Olesen (Reprogram and Technology)
Markus Sigfridsson (Stand your Ground, Limitless, Perfect World)
Matt Hodsdon (Chaotica, Reaction Formation, Spell of Domestication)
Rich Hinks (Pointing Fingers, A Mind at War, Wide Open)

Guest Artists (Featured Friends):
Morten GadeSørensen – Massive Grooves and Percussion
Fred Columbo – (Keys transition between Wide Open & Chaotica, solo on Spell of Domestication and A Mind at War)
Mattias IA Eklundh – (Guitar solo on Wide Open)
Jakob Riis – (Bass on ReProgram and Technology)

Studio albums/EPs
“A Moment In Chiros” (full-length, 2011)
“ReProgram” (full-length, 2019)

Release Date: 29 March 2019

Record label: Nightmare Records

Weblinks: Facebook / Twitter / Website

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video for ‘Reaction Formation’

Video for ‘Pointing Fingers’

Lyric video for ‘Limitless’

 

 

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