Sound — 10
I have never heard such a complete album in my life and when I say complete, I mean complete. From start to finish, the album has such a flow of beautiful musicianship formed together with amazingly powerful lyrics. The creativity in the guitar riffs are really present, but don't overpower the rest of the instruments. Every song is epic in it's own way. The drumming is simple, but effective. Hanging in the Balance is different from previous material Metal Church has released, but the Thrash/Speed metal is still present in songs such as "Conductor" and "Losers in the Game". Every song flows together perfectly, from the amazing opener "Gods of Second Chance" to the amazing "A Subtle War", or if you have the Japanese edition, "Low to Overdrive".
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are powerful. They pack a punch, and have a meaning. "This train it welcomes strays for they return, look into my eyes and see they burn, take a look at history and learn, all the lessons that the years have earned... still they return." Quite powerful lyrics, both catchy and epic. Mike Howe has some real good singing skills. I can't truly describe them, but it seems that some of his influences would include Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson. The lyrics and in instruments flow together as one, making a truly amazing sound.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this album is a real kick to the face. it's talented musicianship makes this album a real winner. Of all '90s albums, this would certainly be in my top 10. There is nothing that I hate about this album. It is flawless heavy metal at the top of it's game. Even though the album art seriously sucks the big one, the contents are what you want to look for. If this album were stolen, I would slit the robber's throat and take it back. If I lost this album, I would slit my own throat for being an idiot. Get this album.