Alternative Press (12/99, p.118) - 3 out of 5 - "...we're talking about some amazingly well-connected wannabes here. Madchild...holds his own...and a solid musical formula - trippy drones, scary piano loops and Premier-style beats with John Bonham heft - makes about half of BALANCE's 18 cuts listenable..."
Swollen Members: Madchild, Prevail (rap vocals); DJ Zodak (turntables); EZ Roc.
Additional personnel includes: Everlast, Dilated Peoples, Divine Styler, Saafir, Aceyalone (rap vocals).
Producers include: Kool DJ, The Alchemist, Paul Nice, Zodak, Evidence.
Originally released on Battle Axe (5001).
Romancing the elements of nature, the witching-hour lyricism of the Swollen Members (Madchild and Previal) delves deeply into topics that have yet to be captured or pontificated on wax. SM are shaman-like oddities in this game, and judging from their topic matter alone, they would seem to fit in more at a Renaissance festival than in hip-hop's machismo-filled atmosphere. Prevail and Madchild divulge their cloak-and-dagger lyrics in a highly animated manner, and their chemistry is very developed for a group embarking on their freshman effort. Western guitar riffs and staccato high hats augment the duo's mental gymnastics on "Out of Range," and the Alchemist leads a one-man symphony on the possessed "Horrified Nights." Swollen Members enlist a stellar supporting cast throughout, with Dilated Peoples ("Counterparts"), Evidence ("Bottle Rocket"), Everlast, Divine Styler, and Del's Hieroglyphics ambiance, prevalent on "Left Field" with Unicorn. The witchdoctors of hip-hop are definitely at the forefront of developing a new style, and after listening to the Swollen Member's debut, your view of hip-hop may never be the same. ~ Matt Conaway