Whether due to a tight and wonderful understanding in the line-up or singer Rick Altzi who once again comes to the fore-front on this record, it’s clear that AT VANCE, the band led by master guitar magician and composer Olaf Lenk, has once again gone beyond its calling and produced an extremely strong masterstroke with their new record "Facing Your Enemy"! One that possibly even eclipses great moments like "The Evil In You" or "Only Human"? Well, that’s maybe for others to decide; those albums are certainly no less inferior, but Lenk has here produced an album which plays on his band’s most delicate qualities and the result is a record with a special emphasis on a natural and powerful sound, and one which moves the band forward from last year’s career summarizer, the compilation "Decade".
Drums here are played by Casey Grillo (Kamelot), who gives the material just that added, extra kick; and with great, driving guitar work courtesy of "Heaven Is Calling" and "Fame And Fortune", contrasting with the AT VANCE-typical atmospheric mid-tempo rockers "Facing Your Enemy," and "Fear No Evil", and ballads such as "Don 't Dream" and “Things I Never Needed", "Facing Your Enemy" is as good a representation of the AT VANCE writing strength as any real fan could ask for!
Of course, you’ll see many neo-classical influenced showpieces; AT VANCE are like no other band when it comes to the guitar wizardry that is Lenk, but something new for the group is the ballad "Things I Never Needed" where, as you’ll hear, Lenk himself took over the vocals and proves that he has a mean set of pipes to compliment his fingers! Not to take anything away from singer Rick Altzi, who once again produces a stunning job here, but it’s a moment for sure where Lenk really proves that AT VANCE are moving forward. Altzi has never sounded more powerful and expressive, and "Facing Your Enemy" truly has become exactly what the fans really want: AT VANCE at its best once again!
AT VANCE was set up in 1998 by Lenk, a guitarist who’s previous credits included the legendary Velvet Viper, solo albums and the Progressive project Centers. The debut album "No Escape" in 1999 provided the first indication of future exploits, but the surprisingly strong "Heart Of Steel" and third album "Dragonchaser" (2001), really started to build a platform for the developing band.
Things really got going in 2002 when Lenk and Co. signed with AFM Records. The album "Only Human" was followed by a European tour with Rhapsody and Angel Dust, and although it cost the band singer Oliver Hartmann, who left due to lack of motivation for the band’s tours, it brought in the esteemed replacement Mats Leven (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen), who set the tempo for several wonderful months of songwriting resulting in "The Evil In You" release, a surprisingly in depth, emotional and fresh album, which then led on to a tour with KAMELOT.
After the release of "Chained" (in 2005), AT VANCE then toured with Brainstorm and Mercenary. "Chained" would bring AT VANCE its first chart success in Scandinavia; continued with 2007’s "VII" (where Leven was replaced by new singer
Rick Altzi), and "Ride The Sky" which followed soon after in 2009, before Lenk felt it was time for the resume: the ‘Best Of’ compilation "Decade", which contained songs from all the best AT VANCE creative periods, plus numerous rarities........
Some people might have thought Lenk had reached the end of the road with "Decade"? But, you’d be wrong ladies and gentlemen.... Just have a listen to "Facing Your Enemy", the album that now refutes this totally!! With this great new record, AT VANCE are moving forward again, ready to attack once more.