[Review] Sons Of Apollo – MMXX

Sons Of Apollo are the best that the current Prog Metal scene can offer in technical-quality terms. Formed in 2017, the lineup includes Mike Portnoy on drums, Derek Sherinian on keyboards, Billy Sheehan on bass, Bumblefoot on guitar and Jeff Scott Soto on vocals. Their debut “Psychotic Symphony” immediately highlights the great qualities of the band, confirming the expectations. In 2019 the announcement of a second album entitled “MMXX” which will be published on January 17, 2020 on InsideOut Music, preceded by a couple of single extracts. The opener “Goodbye Divinity” starts with Sherinian’s excellent keyboards and Bumblefoot’s massive riffs, on a solid and elaborate rhythmic session. The powerful and decisive vocal enters, like the rest of the track, an engaging opening. “Whiter to Black” always shows rocky riffs and a powerful vocal, with the hammond embellishing the sound, a rhythmic session at times pulled with Sheehan’s fat bass lines. In the instrumental section guitar and keyboards they interweave in whirling solos and with the return of the vocal the piece closes. “Asphyxiation” begins with darker, almost industrial riffs and even the vocal accentuates the tone. The bass is penetrating and syncopated and Portnoy creates taut and intricate rhythms in his own way, even here the guitar-keyboard duet is of fine workmanship. The tempo changes and the rapid accelerations with the melodies and the vocal that express a feeling of asphyxiation give the song a unique, remarkable impact. “Desolate July” begins with the bell tolls and a melancholy piano, the text and music are touching, as it is dedicated to the memory of David Z and Janet Rains. The two colleagues and friends died prematurely in an accident suffered by the Adrenaline Mob tour bus. A song that expresses how few are the emotions for losing a loved one. A moment of the album with calmer tones, but still full of pathos, perfectly written and interpreted. “King of delusion” highlights the skills on the Sherinian piano, and when all the instruments come in it turns into a powerful metal piece. The vocal alternates aggressive moments with other choirs, the rhythm that speeds up suddenly and the riffs are massive. In the central part a softer section with the piano and the voice, then turns again becoming darker. After a short piano and drum duet speeds up vertiginously, offering great guitar solos. “Fall to ascend” begins with Mike’s excellent drumming, the bass lines are load-bearing and the intertwining of keyboards and guitar intricate and elaborated to perfection. To complete the whole, a lyric that immediately takes and remains in the lead, the solos that reach the Olympus levels of music. One of the best songs listened to in recent years and perfect as a single, the right choice for the band. “Resurrection day” is a particular track, with riffs reminiscent of Arabic music, showing the band’s versatility, and its compositional ability. In the instrumental section, besides the excellent phrasing between guitar and keyboards, the bass also performs in a solo and the three play with the notes, giving us minutes of pure pleasure. The album closes with “New world today,” a pearl of over 15 minutes which contains a large amount of high-level ideas. A mix of powerful riffs, tempo changes, jazzy inserts and instrumental sections where everyone puts their excellent technique on display. A song that only by listening to it can you grasp its true essence, an authentic masterpiece of modern Progressive. Sons Of Apollo returns with this second album confirming and refining the good things expressed in the debut. A lineup which is a guarantee of quality and which offers us a fresh, powerful and refined album. All Prog sound lovers will appreciate this album, inside which we find 8 tracks of excellent level.

Tracklist

1. Goodbye Divinity (7:16)
2. Wither To Black (4:48)
3. Asphyxiation (5:09)
4. Desolate July (6:11)
5. King Of Delusion (8:49)
6. Fall To Ascend (5:07)
7. Resurrection Day (5:51)
8. New World Today (16:38)

Lineup

Jeff Scott Soto / Vocals
Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal / Guitars, vocals
Mike Portnoy / Drums, vocals
Derek Sherinian / Keyboards
Billy Sheehan / Bass

Sons Of Apollo |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Soundcloud|Spotify| YouTube Channel|

InsideOut Music |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Soundcloud|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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