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Lance King A Moment in Chiros

(Nightmare Records) Metal vocalist Lance King has come a long ways since his days of playing T.A. Vern’s in the early ’90s with the Minneapolis-based band Gemini. Over 21 years, he has fronted several other bands (most notably, Balance of Power), and he released his first solo album late last year.

A Moment in Chiros, a conceptual piece revolving around King’s fascination with the mysterious 11:11 time-prompt phenomenon, proves his voice has lost little of its potency, drawing comparisons to James LaBrie, Bruce Dickinson and Geoff Tate. Musically, the album reflects the dramatic majesty of Dream Theater and Nightwish, with pompous keys, razor riffs, chunky rhythms and layered vocals. “Manifest Destiny” and “Infinity Divine” show off King’s range, but his distracting narration slows down the album’s pace. In keeping with the 11:11 theme, King is donating $1.11 from every sale of A Moment in Chiros to Not For Sale, an organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking and sex slavery.

—Michael Popke

Eric Blowtorch The Promise of Power (Bopaganda)

Sometimes angry and always stripped back to a shaky voice and a fiery, plucked electric guitar, Eric Blowtorch summons the spirit of one of his heroes, Billy Bragg, on The Promise of Power. Largely recorded in his bedroom with minimal accompaniment, most of Blowtorch’s songs have great promise for a full band production. “Can’t Go On Without Me” sounds a little like a lost outtake from Tommy, and the title cut could have graced one of The Jam’s later albums.

Eric Blowtorch performs 7-9 p.m. March 22 at Brewed Café, 1208 E. Brady St. Mike Plaisted is also on the bill.

—David Luhrssen

Sagapool Sagapool

Quebec instrumental band Sagapool would be well off pursuing a career in movie soundtracks. While their clarinet- and accordion-based music has roots in Eastern Europe, the branches form sparse sonic pictures suggesting the wintry landscape of northern lands. The structure of Sagapool’s compositions occasionally suggests the minimalism of Philip Glass as realized in an acoustic chamber context or the melodious lilt of Astor Piazzolla.

—David Luhrssen

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