Sons Of Apollo represent pure sheer class, I doubt there would be many bands out there in prog metal land that could go head to head with these guys.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Sons Of Apollo
LABEL: Inside Out Music
SERIAL: IOMCD 541
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Jeff Scott Soto – lead vocals 01 * Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal – guitars * Derek Sherinian – keyboards * Billy Sheehan – bass, backing vocals * Mike Portnoy – drums, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Goodbye Divinity * 02 Wither To Black * 03 Asphyxiation * 04 Desolate July * 05 King of Delsuion * 06 Fall To Ascend * 07 Resurrection Day * 08 New World Today (6 parts)
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Sons Of Apollo are a certifiable supergroup. Anyone who says any less deserves to have their head read. I was quite astounded when listening to their 2017 debut ‘Psychotic Symphony’. Even though we got to it at the end of that year, it still did push a few buttons.
For sheer class, I doubt there would be many bands out there in prog metal land that could go head to head with Sons Of Apollo. Name me one other competitor and I’ll revisit my declaration. This new one was released at the start of the 2020 calendar year, and it kind flew by us before we started settling down to write 2020 reviews, so I’m only just catching up now.
Like a fine aged whiskey, nothing changes much with this band. Superior musicianship is on display right across the board, and it’s industrial level prog metal of the finest sort. There’s only eight tracks here, but in no way should you feel short changed by such practices. There’s no mammoth 14 or 15 track marathons like we get from Iron Maiden thank god. It’s all well paced and attention seeking. Everyone is on their A game.
Check the intense opener ‘Goodbye Divinity’ where Ron Thal turns his guitar into a distorted Theremin! The solos by both Ron and Derek tip the album on its head right from the outset. Second up ‘Wither To Black’ feels more compressed and tighter but still delivers the maximum payload for effect. Jeff is right at home on this material. Maybe he should give up melodic rock for prog metal? Lol.
‘Asphyxiation’ assumes you can’t breathe, not that you are feeling breathless upon listening to this, while ‘Desolate July’ takes us for a ride through melancholy territory; a foot off the accelerator pedal for once, though the intensity and power is still apparent.
‘King Of Delusion’ settles into symphonic territory for the first part, with piano and orchestration taking command. At nearly 9 minutes, the song soon picks up pace and is probably one of the ‘epic’ pieces of the album. The other one is at the end.
My favourite track is the immense ‘Fall To Ascend’, with guitars that prowl, tiptronic drum patterns, and a vocal performance from Jeff that puts this one over the top. There is obviously a story to be told with ‘Resurrection Day’. A future event perhaps? If so, I’m looking forward to it.
Finally, ‘New World Today’ at nearly 16 minutes and covering six parts is definitely the Coup De grace of this album. I love Ron’s atmospheric guitar work opening this one (is that a Strymon pedal I can hear?), it soon makes for some Kansas like bombast from Derek, and I’m in seventh heaven. Pomptastic entrance for sure, and that’s only the first three minutes.
Mike Portnoy is holding this extended track together with his brilliant drum work, while the other guys play around him. The tempo goes from extreme speed through to unusual time signatures, but with a track this long, expect the undulations and curve balls.
This is an album for the serious audiophile, no throwaway nor pink and fluffy pretensions here thank you very much. The musicianship is simply breathtaking throughout, so if this your cup of tea, then have the kettle at the ready, and settle in for a long session. An exercise in superior sonics. Check out Sons Of Apollo if you know what’s good for you.