Sacred Balance
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Sacred Balance

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jul
08
Sacred Balance @ The Garisson

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jun
13
Sacred Balance @ El Mocambo

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jan
28
Sacred Balance @ El Mocambo

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


I had the opportunity to review your debut self-titled EP, and was blown away by the concept. - Examiner.com


"Sacred Balance," the band's first release, is a six-song album that has all the ingredients for global success. First, there is this perfect blend of electronic and string instruments, among which the violin plays a prominent — and haunting — part, especially in the last three songs ("Chaos," "The Hole" and "Corrections in Ink").
And then, there is Chloe Charles, whose effortless and versatile vocals tickle your ears and soul on every track.
Actually, Sacred Balance reminds me a lot of Yes and Mike Oldfield. Yes, in the way the band uses music to tell complex stories. And Oldfield, because of its willingness to tread on challenging grounds.  
"Sacred Balance" is multi-layered, surreal, and yet very grounded. It is an artistic experience like no other.    - Cendrine Marrouat


"...fronted by the ever impressive Chloe Charles—no relation to Sister Ray—whose expressive vocals, as always, are gracefully ethereal and worth the price of admission alone." - Jeffrey Morgan's Media Blackout


In the end, the EP triumphs in distinguishing itself from a slew of other Toronto acts. Here’s hoping the band continues to display its penchant for complex song structures coupled with unique vocal deliveries. - Grayowl Point


On rare occasions Toronto and Montreal can get along or work together on something. It is rare, but it does happen. Such a case is the band Sacred Balance. The electro trip rock outfit has just released their self-titled debut album. Founded by Montrealer Pouya Hamidi in 2008 the band began by playing gigs all through Toronto. The lineup of band has changed over the three years with members coming and going kind of like Broken Social Scene. Right now there are five members. The six tracks on Sacred Balance focus on heavy beats and bass. Undeniably original their sound almost sounds improvised or like a jam by the band was recorded. The at times beautiful vocal harmonies, Middle Eastern twinges, and a style of drumming that makes everything else move is quite intense. That reaction makes sense as the band wants to evoke a physical reaction with their music. Ambitious! A cool little detail about the CD is that if you buy it you have a one of a kind. This is because the CD sleeve, which is made from recycled material, is hand painted resulting in no two being exactly the same. - Ocrasound


Independent

Montreal’s Pouya Hamidi and Toronto’s Chloe Charles both have heavy reps within their scenes as avant composer and edgy vocalist espectively. So yeah, quirky expectations were afoot from the moment Sacred Balance formed, although some wondered just how quirky a band named after a sombre work by enviro-activist David Suzuki could get.

So yeah, we gotta be looking at more than electrobeat trance pop. Best news here is that this stuff isn’t as balanced as the title suggests but has its own shade of reckless cool.

The opener is a thing of flair and promise, primal drum stomp, dissonant chords with a delirious femme chorale floating atop, and plenty of fuzz toned guitars to keep it grounded in its Montreal anarcho-pop roods.

Track two is even more pop-giddy but kept from floating off by Hamidi’s sinuous and claustrophobic keyboard/programming work and a slippery rhythm section.

Track three is a highlight, a set piece for the wrecked and wistful cabaret style vocalising of Chloe Charles set against the most shamelessly baroque right outa Phantom of the Opera organ riffs. Abruptly, she’s outa there and sailing into the cosmos on a soundtrack from a lost Lost In Space episode. Funny shit, all very retro-futuristic and it works as edgy trance, if that’s a thing.

The next track starts promisingly enough with mournful violin atop swirling synth patterns and then quickly strolls onto Norah Jones turf and hangs there, content to leave the atmospherics to the instrumentation. Mark this one as a ‘time out’ and move on.

To the second masterwork, Track 5. Here Charles is baying like a multi-tracked pack of wolves, the drum is spare and ominous and even when the piece builds to an orchestral explosion, there really isn’t any closure. Clever, understated song writing, which does not continue on to the next track.

Sacred Balance (the EP) closes out with its least innovative or challenging track. Pretty and all but if you know his work in other contexts, you don’t go to Hamidi for just pretty. Like, we already have Ohbijou.

If this is intended as a ‘teaser’ then mission accomplished. It sure gets your attention. Even so, it could have offered more of the dimensionality we know this crew is very capable of.

Lenny Stoute - Cashbox Magazine


“A musical collective (Sacred Balance) that encompasses an equal mix of electronica, rock, prog, pop, Middle Eastern influences, beautiful vocal harmonies, propulsive drumming, wrapped up beautifully in an energetic brand of music that’s undeniably original.” – Lonely Vagabond, 2010, Toronto. - Lonely Vagabond 2010


This is a powerfully atmospheric journey, spiritual and elegant, illuminating a glowing mystical path. Eclectic splashes of musical colours that drenches your ears like a warm sheet of sunlight. - Lonely Vagabond


Discography

Sacred Balance EP

Photos

Bio

All into it, they end on their feet. They’ve gone somewhere, questing, and drawn you along with them. Sacred Balance is a vortex of young, dual-city musicianship that is hard to take your attention away from. It’s a magnetic and transcendent experience.

The music is electro-visionary trip rock. Electronically intelligent and intense, like Radiohead and Muse. Bass heavy, beat heavy, yet locked into a serious sense of human fluidity. Influenced by visionary art like Alex Grey and meant for attentive listening and bodily experiences like Massive Attack and Shpongle, it inspires a touch of psychedelia and trip hop.

Sacred Balance was formed in 2008 through the diverse network of music students at the University of Toronto. After numerous successful live shows in many popular Toronto music venues like The Horseshoe and The Rivoli and festivals like NXNE, Sacred Balance felt their sound had evolved enough to be recorded in a high quality studio.

They recorded their self-titled debut over three days in January 2011 in Montreal's McGill studios. The six-song EP (which is set for release in January 2012) was professionally mixed by Nick Squire and mastered by Noah Mintz at Lacquer Channel Mastering in Toronto. The album sleeves are made from recycled material and are hand-painted in a unique fashion, where no sleeve is the same as the other.

Current members:

Pouya Hamidi; the wizard. Befeathered at the keyboard, he is the founder of Sacred Balance. Having achieved a bachelor’s in composition and piano performance, he is now pursuing a master's in sound recording at McGill University in Montreal. His composition infiltrates the powers of the collaborating musicians and lays a solid foundation. An aural alchemist brewing a transformative concoction, his fingers add a touch of delicacy, classicism and virtuosity to the massive electronic orchestration.

Chloe Charles; the voice of a world traveler – spread out, beautifully unique. It’s airily embodied, classy, and mystical, often accompanied by multiple vocal harmonies. Her voice is one of Sacred Balance’s deviations from the norm. She is a member of an anti-folk band called The Sweetness. Chloe is also a critically acclaimed solo singer-songwriter, who is now recording her second album, which is subsequent to her 2010 debut EP ‘Little Green Bud’.

Kelly Lefaive; an accomplished violinist and fiddler. A recent graduate of the University of Toronto jazz performance program, Kelly loves exploring different genres of music on the violin. Originally from Penetanguishene, Ontario, she is now a resident and active performer in Toronto, playing with various groups such as Maria Bonita and the Band, Sacred Balance, Meghan Morrison, Ariko, Chloe Charles and Mariachi Viva Mexico.

Neil Whitford; secretly a cowboy, he is an eclectic guitarist and an active member of the Toronto music scene. He performs, writes, records and is musical director for Sacred Balance, Alison Jane, Candice Chantrell, Najuah, Will Conquer and Chloe Charles. He is a guitarist and writer for The Circles Quartet, co-leads Ninja Funk Orchestra, and has collaborated with Elastocitizens, Amy Lee Owens and rapper Blade. Neil has also played in well-known musicals Fame, 13, Seussical and Footloose.

Mackenzie Longpre; a lightening live embodiment of asymmetrical beats, reminiscent of drum and bass, trance and electronica. He has a drum performance Bachelor from the University of Toronto. He is also very active in the Toronto music scene and plays with the following groups: The Circles, Ninja Funk Orchestra, Elastocitizens and Toast. Mackenzie also has an upcoming solo album, which was recorded at Humber College.

Former members:

Sam McLellan (bass), Foad Hamidi (vocals) and Naomi Moon (vocals).

Sacred Balance is about levels: dimensions of audience experience, volume, musical layers. From its highest surface to its most profound depths, there are points of truth, beauty, sincerity and quality. Enlightened in technical skill, enlightened in energy and intent. Elevating. Sacred Balance.