Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

billy sheehan

CD review SONS OF APOLLO “Psychotic Symphony”

Veröffentlicht am 11. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Sons Of Apollo, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Rock, Hardrock, Classic Rock, News, InsideOut, CD Review, Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian, Billy Sheehan, Jeff Scott Soto, Ron Bumblefoot Thal

CD review SONS OF APOLLO “Psychotic Symphony”

(10/10) It did escape my notice that Apollo, the ancient God of poem and music, has some sons. The first time I heard of the news was a couple of months ago when a band came up to surface, calling themselves Sons Of Apollo. So, who are these guys?

I’m hesitant, using the term ‘super group’ since it’s used in such an excessive way that already the combination of some musicians, being known from other bands, become a ‘super group’ these days. This is different with Sons Of Apollo, a band that definitely lives up to the deepest meaning of the word.

Sons Of Apollo is no less than Mike Portnoy (d), Derek Sherinian (key), Billy Sheehan (b), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (g) and Jeff Scott Soto (v), representing the who is who of hard rock music on Champions League level.

Things began in the early 2017 when some first rumors mentioned this upcoming project, an endeavor that was announced to public in August this year. It was the two ex-Dream Theater veterans Portnoy and Sherinian that kick started Sons Of Apollo, and in no time partners in crime have been found with Sheehan, Soto and Thal. This quintet worked on the band’s debut “Psychotic Symphony", an album that will hit the shelves on October 20st and comes via InsideOut.

The beauty of this album is that it sounds intuitive, organic and warm. Each of the songs, giving a 58 minutes running time, is pure ear candy. Even though the tracks have many layers and are sometimes more complex, it’s an ease that acts as an overall foundation, making the album to a great listening experience, rather than a complicated musical journey. “Psychotic Symphony” puts the songs into forefront instead of musical egos or endless solo sections. Each of the five involved guys has a long track record in rock and metal history and they don’t need to prove anything to anybody. That gives the album the mentioned lightness, with everybody involved adding the best of his field of expertise without losing the bigger picture.

The opener is actually a good example for the mentioned. Sons Of Apollo kick-off the album with an eleven minutes epos entitled “God of the Sun”. This masterpiece mirrors in a good fashion what listeners can expect of the entire album. Starting with soundscapes, built in Sherinian’s keyboards, the songs develops to a rhythmic rocker that includes heavier sections, filigree riffs and Jeff Scott Soto’s voice as the cherry on the cake. All fits together in a perfect manner, making this opener to a first highlight on the album, with eight additional masterpieces following this great start.

Things get heavier with the grooving “Coming Home” before the bands favor for classic rock gets into the picture with "Signs of the Time”. The tune reminded me of the earlier Dream Theater as well as it includes a Deep Purple vibe in other sections. This pattern comes back with songs like the excellent “Divine Addition” that refreshes the 80’s Deep Purple sound, mainly due to the guitar lines and the organ/keys. Talking about the keyboards means also mentioning the short interlude “Figaro’s Whore”, bringing Rainbow and Purple to my mind.

I could continue with mentioning each of the songs, but it’s a waste of time. I guess you got already a pretty good idea about what this excellent longplayer is about. Now you should stop reading and start listening. “Psychotic Symphony” is a masterpiece that finishes with another eleven minutes smasher. “Opus Maximus” is what the title promises – a great piece of music, this time an instrumental. Normally I’m not the biggest fan of instrumental music, but here it’s different. Again, it’s not only stringing together solos, it’s about awesome instrumental sections that create unforgettable arcs of melodies with a lot of twists and turns. “Psychotic Symphony” belongs to the best records 2017 has seen so far and I guess Apollo would be very proud of his ‘sons’.

 

(10/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. God of the Sun
  2. Coming Home
  3. Signs of the Time
  4. Labyrinth
  5. Alive
  6. Lost In Oblivion
  7. Figaro's Whore
  8. Divine Addiction
  9. Opus Maximus

 

Label InsideOut Records

Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal

Release Date EU: October 20th, 2017

Kommentare

Here's the new video from SONS OF APOLLO

Veröffentlicht am 15. September 2017 von Markus W. in Sons Of Apollo, News, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Rock, Hardrock, Video, Billy Sheehan, Mike Portnoy, Derel Sherinian, Bubblefoot, Jeff Scott Soto, InsideOut

Kommentare

Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014

Veröffentlicht am 19. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Mr. Big, Billy Sheehan, Paul Gilbert, Hardrock, Rock, Live Review, News, Eric Martin

It was the first time that I have been in the new venue in Utrecht. The legendary and renewed Vredenburg is hosting again concerts and other activities and it was Mr. Big who made me going there on this Saturday evening. 

Actually it was more late afternoon, since there was a curfew at 21:00 due to another event. OK, unusual to go to a concert already around dinner time, but who cares.

The role of the opening act was taken by a Dutch duo called Scarlet Stories. They played an acoustic show with just guitar and vocals. I haven't heard about them before and I think they did a good job. But of course everybody was waiting for Mr. Big. That was the reason why people came to Utrecht.

Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014

The four piece entered the stage a bit later than 19:00 and started with pure rock'n'roll. "Gotta love the ride" from the newest release was a perfect beginning, followed by the pumping "Daddy, brother, lover, little boy" and furious "American beauty" from "What if..". The tone of voice was set for the evening.

The great thing with Mr. Big is the fact that all muscians are belonging to the best of what you can get. And they don't have any ego problems. They entered the stage for making music and having fun together. Highly skilled musicians that play together as one unit - that's Mr. Big. And it's entertaining.

There is so much ease in the way they play live. Of course they have their songs, but there are still so much room for improvisation in their live music that makes it so exciting to see their shows.

There have been rumors that Mr. Big will also take Pat Torpey (d) with them on tour. In the beginning it was Burning Rain- and Ace Frehley drummer Matt Starr who took the place behind the drum kit. But there was something on stage that was covered. After a few songs it became clear that this was a small drum kit for Torpey. The drummer who got the diagnosis for Parkinson's disease joined the show and enjoyed it a lot. It even felt like he forgot the disease during the moments on stage. But it also shows that the band takes care about their band mates. I think this is worth a lot of respect.

Half way Mr. Big went from 'powerful electric' to 'soulful unplugged'. There have been the quite songs like "Wild world" and "Fragile". And of course also THE Mr. Big hit "To be with you" that has been performed. 

Towards the end it got heavy again with "Addicted to that rush" and esp. "Colorado bulldog". Real bouncers.

Due to the curfew the setlist was a bit shorter than the day before in the UK. However, it was still almost 2 hours of Mr. Big. And time was flying. 21:00 sharp, they had to finish and left happy fans with happy faces back in the Vredenburg. An excellent rock'n'roll evening in Utrecht combined with the hope that Mr. Big is coming back soon.

If they are still coming to your town, go there.

Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014

Tracklist:

  1. Gotta love the ride
  2. Daddy, brother, lover, little boy
  3. American beauty
  4. Undertow
  5. Alive and kickin'
  6. I forget the beauty
  7. Take cover
  8. Green-tinted sixties mind
  9. Out of the underground
  10. The monster in me
  11. Rock'n'roll over
  12. As far as I can see
  13. Wild world
  14. East/West
  15. Just take my heart
  16. Fragile
  17. Around the world
  18. Addicted to that rush
  19. To be with you
  20. Colorado bulldog

 

Location: Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Date: 18.10.2014

Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Live review MR. BIG, Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, 18.10.2014
Kommentare

MR. BIG concert review soon on MHMB

Veröffentlicht am 18. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Mr. Big, Billy Sheehan, Paul Gilbert, Hardrock, Rock, News

MR. BIG concert review soon on MHMB
Kommentare

New song from MR BIG

Veröffentlicht am 9. September 2014 von Markus W. in Mr. Big, Hardrock, Rock, Paul Gilbert, Eric Martin, Billy Sheehan, News, Video

Multi seller Mr Big has worked on a new album which got the name "The stories we could tell". Release date is end of September. The review is soon on the blog.

The first song is "Gotta love the ride". It's a smooth hardrock groover with some smaller Whitesnake references ("Hit and run"). However, Martin, Gilbert and Sheehan know how it works to write good rocker. Not to forget Pat Torpey who unfortunately has to suffer from Parkison.

Kommentare