Lance King - ReProgram
Nightmare Records
Celestial(Progressive/Power) Metal
11 songs (59:54)
Release year: 2019
Nightmare Records
Reviewed by Joel
Lance King needs no introduction, but in case a refresher is needed, he is the CEO/President of Nightmare Records, and a very talented singer and songwriter. Pyramaze, Balance of Power, Avian and among many others have had his signature voice on it. Pyramaze's The Legend of Bone Carver, still sticks out as one of the first Progressive Power Metal cds I discovered along with Symphony X. Before those bands, I only knew Power Metal(Hammerfall or Helloween) and Prog-Metal(Dream Theater). The first thing I noticed about King was his voice, a little higher yet carried a certain weight and power that drew you in. That was 2006! Now thirteen years later, and one solo output before this, 2011's A Moment In Chiros, has anything changed with Mr. King?

Similar to his first solo outing, he has a varied cast of guest musicians, many whom he either played with, or had/has apart of his Nightmare Records label. ReProgram is defined by King, as "Celestial Metal." What is Celestial Metal you may ask?
Well with the first song, the title track, is a rhythmic groove-laden song, that I think his voice is just as strong now as it was back in 2006. My memories of his first appearances on the first two Pyramaze discs, really come to mind. His range is varied, which adds a dynamic, the guitar solo at three quarters into the song perfectly fits the groove of the song as well. Piano in a minor key melody opens up Pointing Fingers before it goes full-on Prog Metal. Syncopated riffs and drums, which King's melodic voice mixed with a dose of muscle. This song is a demonstration on how Progressive Power Metal should be written, a multitude of riffs, time changes, melodic interludes, and vocals that carry the song, without detracting the talented musicianship behind it! I could do a song by song description but with King's voice, there is not one bad track on the entire disc. There is also enough variety yet a continuity to the entire disc. Stand Your Ground starts where Pointing Fingers ends, while Technology has a chorus that you will want to sing a long too, then ask yourself how the hell you are going to get it out of your head! If there was one track that really stands out to me, it would be Reaction Formation, the song is very ambient in the beginning, and moves at a plodding pace till about the three and a half minute mark, and then King goes ahead and delivers another "Damn!" moment, which he is definitely still capable of.

You can see the lyric video for Limitless, HERE.
The second half of the release, continues with the same power as the first half did. My only complaint is the last minute or so of Wide Open, while the ambient textures are very cool, they drag out the song in my opinion. I am not one to complain about a keyboard solo, but it is a great song, that should have ended at least one minute before. After listening to the whole thing a few times, I believe this is one of the few nitpicks I have with the entire release. Chaotica brings back the Progressive Power Metal of the earlier tracks, with an almost heavier 80s vibe, which works really well here. Again, it has the musicianship that matches King's inspired vocal delivery. Then comes Spell Of Domestication, and my Prog fix for a crazy keyboard solo thanks to Fred Columbo of Spheric Universe Experiment(A talented band that deserves more attention!). A Perfect World and A Mind At War close out the disc. The latter is a melodic rocker, while the last one is the epic conclusion at just under ten minutes long! I am sure King and his co-songwriters could have written six to eight songs of this length or style, but I am happy they did not! This one epic, gives the entire disc, the epic conclusion it deserves. It has everything you'd expect from a song like this, with its spoken word passages, changes in tempo, different melodic passages, heavy guitar riffs, etc.

If you are a fan of lyrics, then I would take the time to discover them for this entire release. Lance's lyrics to me may seem esoteric or to others may seem from another planet, but they do send a positive message. As human beings we live our lives a certain way, we are programmed to believe what we are taught, and to follow a certain set of guidelines. What if we could ReProgram ourselves to live our life's differently? Would we? I will end this with a quote from King's Press Release
“The single most powerful thing you can do, is unlearn the limiting beliefs you have accepted as truths in your youth. This frees you from the chains that bind, the chains of the subconscious mind.” -- Lance King

Co-Writing Performers:
Kim Olesen - (Anubis Gate)
Markus Sigfridsson - (Darkwater/Harmony)
Matt Hodsdon - (Chaos Frame)
Rich Hinks - (Annihilator / Aeon Zen)
Lance's Featured Friends: Morten Gade Sørensen (Pyramaze/Anubis Gate)
Fred Columbo (Spheric Universe Experience)
Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen)
Jakob Riis (L Wood Joy)

Check Out Lance King's Official Facebook for release information
Killing Songs :
Pointing Fingers, Stand Your Ground, Reaction Formation, Chaotic and A Mind At War
Joel quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Lance King that we have reviewed:
Lance King - A Moment in Chiros reviewed by Thomas and quoted 85 / 100
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