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Categories: Power Metal, Progressive Rock

Biography

The Brighton based BALANCE OF POWER was formed during 1995 by one-time HEAVEN AND EARTH guitarist Bill Yates and keyboard player Ivan Gunn, the duo forging an alliance with ex-KID WICKED men singer Tony Ritchie and drummer Lionel Hicks. A second guitarist was found in Paul Curtis, previously of LADY LUCK- a band that had also once involved Ritchie and Hicks. Bassist Chris Dale, ex-ATOM SEED, THE MACHINE and BRUCE DICKINSON band, was the last to join. The debut record, 'When The World Falls Down' produced by Hicks and Curtis at London's POD Studios, was released in Japan in 1997 through Pony Canyon Records. Backing vocals came courtesy of RAINBOW's Doogie White and Tony O'Hora from PRAYING MANTIS.

In 1997 the band would draft a new face out front in the form of American Lance King. The singer had previously operated with FREELANCE and GEMINI, issuing two albums with the latter act- a 1990 eponymous debut followed by 1992's 'Out For Blood'. King's next port of call was THE KINGS MACHINE and the resultant album 'A State Of Mind'.

Whilst a brand new album was crafted in the early half of 1998, both Ritchie and Hicks found time to add their touch as guest musicians on the third VAN DAMNE album 'Renaissance'. Meantime, Curtis had been supplanted by VAN DAMNE's Pete Southern. The BALANCE OF POWER album 'Book Of Secrets', securing releases in Japan through Pony Canyon and Europe via Germany's Point Music, would solidify the band's initial promise. Again Tony O'Hora provided backing vocals.

BALANCE OF POWER, minus Gunn, toured Europe in 1999. The band followed up with the album 'Ten More Tales Of Grand Illusion', these tracks laid down at POD Studios and Summit Studios but mixed at Oarfin Studios, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ritchie created UNITED STATES OF MIND the same year, and for the album 'Silver Step Child' BALANCE OF POWER men guitarist Pete Southern and drummer Lionel Kicks both contributed. 2000 found BALANCE OF POWER, now signed to Germany's Massacre label, stepping up a gear for a full blown European tour in alliance with AXXIS and PINK CREAM 69.

Dale created SACK TRICK for the 2000 multi guest album 'Penguins On The Moon'. The bassist would eventually part ways with BALANCE OF POWER in the summer of 2001, his replacement in the four string position being none other than original band vocalist Tony Ritchie. This line up issued the 'Perfect Balance' record.

Meanwhile, Lance King would also be found deputising for LIFEFORCE and, in partnership with VANIZE guitarist ROLF MUNKES, donating a track to a JASON BECKER tribute album. The King / Munkes alliance would be solidified with the star studded EMPIRE project album the same year.

A planned BALANCE OF POWER 2001 tour of North America would end up being scrapped, the band only putting in the one gig at the 2nd annual Atlanta 'Progpower' festival. Bonus tracks on the Japanese version of the 2001 'Perfect Balance' album, 'The Other Side Of Paradise' and 'The Time Of Our Lives', would be revealed as being archive UNITED STATES OF MIND material with newly added vocals from Lance King. The album, featuring Leon Lawson of PRAYING MANTIS on keyboards, found BALANCE OF POWER's reach stretching globally, the band signed to the Nightmare label for North America, Irond Records in Russia, Massacre in Germany, Frontline in Brazil and Avalon Marquee for Japan.

King would add session vocals to the 2002 DEFYANCE album entitled 'Transitional Forms'. BALANCE OF POWER parted company with King in January of 2003. John K (a.k.a. Yiannis Koutselinis) of DECEPTOR and BIOMECHANICAL took on the role as frontman in June. By early 2004 King was revealed to be working with the DOMAIN credited guitarist Michael Kammeyer on a new venture entitled PYRAMAZE.

Meantime, BALANCE OF POWER issued new album 'Heathen Machine', issued through Germany's Massacre Records and recorded at POD studios in London, mixed by Todd Fitzgerald and Lionel Hicks at Oarfin studios in Minneapolis. Later that year the band announced the compiling of a lavish collection dubbed 'Heathenology', this pack to comprise a two hour live DVD of a concert in Germany along with backstage footage from shows in the USA, UK and Europe, a live audio CD recorded in Germany;and a compilation album of re-mastered BALANCE OF POWER archive cuts. BALANCE OF POWER members Pete Southern, Tony Ritchie, Lionel Hicks and Chris Dale all sessioned on US female vocalist TAMRAH AERYN's 2004 album 'Typical Gurl'.

John K exited in February 2005 to prioritise BIOMECHANICAL.

Corey Brown of PSYCHODRAMA, MAGNITUDE 9, SECTION 16 and REDEMPTION repute, joined BALANCE OF POWER as their new vocalist during June of 2005. However, Brown would be unable to attend a scheduled showing at the Turkish 'rock The Nations' festival in Istanbul during August and so BALANCE OF POWER pulled in substitute Rogue M of SHADOWKEEP repute as substitute for this concert. The band's only UK appearance came at the November 'Firefest 2' festival held at Nottingham's Rock City, alongside HAREM SCAREM, POWER QUEST, SARACEN, HOUSE OF LORDS and DANGER DANGER.

In August 2007 Tony Ritchie and Pete Southern revealed plans to establish a DIO tribute band.

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