Taking Balfour – Dawn of Polaris Review

Get some science fiction themes, add a little astronomy, pour some keyboarding with various traits, an above average bass lines, a very careful and talented musicianship, and some very peculiar vocals. Hm… Hey, wait! This is Rush! No, my dear fan this is Taking Balfour with “Dawn of Polaris” an album that will make Rush’s fans drool. Ok, this comparison might not be that accurate because the band adds some modernity in the guitars and in the songwriting. Maybe the keyboards are a little bit more prominent here than in any Rush’s album as well. Maybe it’s the effect of Spencer Gill’s vocals which has a tone a bit similar to Geddy Lee’s. But the general feeling does address to Rush in all senses.

No, I wouldn’t say “Dawn of Polaris” is a Prog Rock album. From where I’m standing it’s a Prog Metal album with the right of some experimentations as in “Polaris” with its clean guitars that sound a little bit as the 1980’s. Or the daintily drumming with lots of finesse that sometimes seems to get out of the song as if it were expecting the nick of time to get in. Or the gentle piano interwoven with the ferocious chugging guitars in the short though very effective “Touch and Go.” I guess “Lightyears Away” is the song that addresses most to Rush not only due to the vocals but also to the keyboards. The theme is also pretty much Rush as well. “Purge of Darkness” showcases some experimentation in its initial moments with a clean guitar making an interesting sequence of arpeggios. It also has some taste of the 1980s rock that then turns into a chugging guitar with a very strong overdrive. The track kind of does a travel in time because there are moments of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. More modernity than this is impossible.

To some extent, this is the kind of Prog Metal that is more Metal than Prog though all the experimentation. The guitars are pretty strong and full of overdrive. Maybe, as Rush, the band would prefer to be called Prog Rock but that’s up to them. I write about what I hear.

Taking Balfour “Dawn of Polaris” was reelased in 2022.

Track Listing:

  1. Echoes
  2. Neptune
  3. The Watcher and the Witness
  4. Awakening
  5. The Jester’s Fool
  6. Polaris
  7. Touch and Go
  8. Lightyewars away
  9. T.O.A.D.
  10. Purge of Darkness

Watch “The Watcher and The Witness” official video here: