Sons Of Apollo Debuts ‘Goodbye, Divinity’ Video; Announces Tour Schedule

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Sons of Apollo debuted the lead single from its new album this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Goodbye, Divinity‘ Friday.  the song is featured in the band’s upcoming sophomore album MMXX, which is due out Jan. 17, 2020 through InsideOut Music.

Directed by Vicente Cordero, the video features the band — Jeff Scott Soto (vocals), Mike Portnoy (drums), Derek Sherinian (keyboards) Billy Sheehan (bass) and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar) — performing their new single in a dimly lit studio setting.  The song’s musical arrangement will appeal greatly to fans of Dream Theater’s late 90s sound, which featured Sherinian and Portnoy as members of the band at the time.  The song’s lyrical content comes across as being a commentary of sorts.

Pre-orders are open now for MMXX.  Audiences who pre-order the album now through iTunes and Amazon will receive an instant grat download of ‘Goodbye, Divinity.’

Audiences who pre-save the album online will have the chance to win digital subscriptions to Modern Drummer magazine and Bass Player magazine.  They will also have the chance to win a signed Remo drumhead from the band, as well as two tickets to one of the band’s upcoming shows.

Speaking of the band’s shows, the band will launch a tour in support of MMXX on Jan. 23 in Sacramento, CA.  The tour is scheduled to run through Feb. 8 in Englewood, NJ.

After taking time off to rest and recharge, the band will launch the second leg of its tour Feb. 28 in Germany.  The exact city is still too be announced.  The European leg of the tour is scheduled to run through March 25 in Budapest, Hungary.  The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

North America 2020
Thu 1/23            Sacramento, CA            Crest Theater
Fri 1/24             Pomona, CA                 The Glass House (https://bit.ly/2H8kNxY)
Sat 1/25            Los Angeles, CA           The Roxy (https://bit.ly/2H8aLNb)
Sun 1/26           San Francisco, CA        The Fillmore (https://bit.ly/31FYAPj)
Tue 1/28            Salt Lake City, UT          The State Room (https://bit.ly/31D8P7e)
Wed 1/29          Denver, CO                   The Oriental Theater (https://bit.ly/2Z5QC4s)
Fri 1/31             St. Charles, IL               Arcada Theater (https://bit.ly/30igOGu)
Sat 2/1              Battle Creek, MI             The Music Factory (https://bit.ly/31IwXVQ)
Sun 2/2             Toronto, ONT.               Mod Club (https://bit.ly/2Z8OuJ8)
Mon 2/3            Montreal QUE.              Corona Theater (https://bit.ly/2KF9eyU)
Wed 2/5            Boston, MA                  Paradise Rock Club (https://bit.ly/2N2rMMx)
Thu 2/6             New York, NY               Gramercy Theater (https://livemu.sc/2KHNN1r)
Fri 2/7               Jim Thorpe, PA             Penn’s Peak (https://bit.ly/2TLMy4w)
Sat 2/8              Englewood, NJ             Bergen PAC (https://bit.ly/31MKyM7)
Europe 2020
Sat 2/29            Germany                                   TBA
Mon 3/2            Drammen, Norway                     Union Scene
Tue 3/3             Gothenburg, Sweden                 Traedgarn
Thu 3/5             Kyiv, Ukraine                             N.A.U Theatre
Sat 3/7              Moscow, Russia                        RED
Sun 3/8             St Petersburg, Russia                Aurora
Tue 3/10            Pratteln, Switzerland                  Z7
Wed 3/11          Milan, Italy                                Live Club
Fri 3/13             Bilbao, Spain                            Santana 27
Sat 3/14            Barcelona, Spain                       Razzmatazz 2
Sun 3/15           Madrid, Spain                           La Riviera
Tue 3/17            France                                      TBA
Wed 3/18          France                                      TBA
Thu 3/19            London, U.K.                            Islington Assembly Hall
Fri 3/20             Eindhoven, Netherlands             Prognosis Festival
Sun 3/22           Show Brno, Czech Republic       Sono
Tue 3/24            Kosice, Slovakia                       Colosseum
Wed 3/25          Budapest, Hungary                    Barba Negra

More information on Sons of Apollo’s upcoming live dates, new single, video, album and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.sonsofapollo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SonsOfApollo1

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SonsOfApollo1

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Sons Of Apollo Offers Audiences A Strong Live Debut In ‘Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’

Courtesy: InsideOut Music/Century Media

The wait is finally over for Sons of Apollo’s new live recording.  The band officially released its new recording, Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony Friday.  The 24-song, two-and-a-half-hour concert was recorded at the famed Plovdiv Roman Theatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.  If that sounds familiar to some audiences, it should.  That is because that is the same venue where the Devin Townsend Project recorded its most recent live recording, Ocean Machine Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv.  That’s another concert, though.  This concert in question is a presentation that is certain to appeal to every Sons of Apollo fan.  That is due in part to the concert’s extensive set list, which will be addressed shortly.  The band’s performance of said set list is important to note in its own right and will be discussed a little later.  The concert’s production values round out its most important elements.  Each item noted is key in its own right to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make Live With The Plvdiv Psychotic Symphony a good first live outing for this prog-rock super group.

Sons of Apollo’s debut live recording Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony is a good first live offering from the prog-rock super group.  It succeeds all the way around, beginning with its extensive set list.  The 24-song, two-and-a-half-hour set list features the band’s debut album Psychotic Symphony in whole as well as covers of some of the band members’ own favorite songs from other acts and even some work from the band members’ own catalogs.  While Psychotic Symphony is presented in whole here, it is not in the same sequence as on the record, which is not necessarily bad.  It is instead scattered throughout the record with the other noted songs, including three classic Dream Theater songs ‘Just Let Me Breath,’  ‘Lines in The Sand’ and ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’  All three songs were lifted from Dream Theater’s 1997 album Falling Into Infinity, which was really the record that set Derek Sherinian’s identity as the band’s keyboardist at the time.  The covers featured in the set list are quite varied in their own right.  Rainbow gets a nod with ‘Gates of Babylon.’  The band also takes on Ozzy Osbourne with ‘Diary of a Madman.’  The band members even cover works from Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and the one and only Henry Mancini (yes, Henry Mancini) in this set list.  That’s quite a range of music.  From hard rock to prog rock to jazz and even the mainstream rock of Van Halen (the band also covers Van Halen’s ‘And The Cradle Will Rock,’ in this set), the band shows a wide range of influences and talent with the covers and the originals.  All things considered, the band’s set list ensures audiences’ maintained engagement and entertainment from the beginning to the end of the show.  That is heightened even more through the sequencing of the set list.  A close watch/listen shows a lot of thought went into the sequencing, as the show’s energy rises and falls at all of the right moments, ensuring even more, audiences’ engagement.

The engagement and entertainment ensured through this recording’s set list is but one part of what makes it so appealing for audiences.  The band’s performance of that set list ensures, even more that maintained engagement and entertainment.  Those who actively watch and/or listen to the recording will note that the band wastes little to no time moving from one song to the next over the course of the concert.  Case in point is the transition from ‘Alive to Henry Mancini’s timeless ‘Pink Panther Theme,’ and from that song into ‘Opus Maximus.’  The transition is seamless from one song to the next.  The band members hit all the right notes and cues to make each transition work.  It is just one of the prime examples of how the band makes the most of its time.  Earlier on in the set, the band transitions just as seamlessly from ‘Signs of the Time’ into ‘Divine Addiction.’  That fluidity makes for so much enjoyment for audiences.  Even in the rare moments in which the band does take a moment to interact with the audience, little time is wasted, such as when drummer Mike Portnoy introduces his longtime friend and band mate Billy Sheehan for Sheehan’s solo.  That solo, by the way, would make fans of Cliff Burton and Lemmy Kilmister proud.  Getting back on topic, Portnoy’s introduction is short and to the point, giving Sheehan more time to perform.  Even when front man Jeff Scott Soto gets his moment in the spotlight for his solo performances, he is gracious and humble in addressing the audience, and brief in the process.  Simply put, from the concert’s opening to its finale, the band’s presence and performance of the show’s set list displays the band as a fine tuned machine and as a group of true professional musicians that wants to give audiences the absolute biggest bang for its buck.  When that is considered alongside the set list itself, the whole of those two elements gives audiences more than enough to appreciate in this case.  Even with all of this in mind, the set list and the band’s performance thereof is still only a portion of what makes the concert so enjoyable for audiences.  The recording’s production values put the finishing touch to its presentation.

The production values in this recording are so important in that they add so much more to the general effect of the concert.  The camera angles, the transitions from camera to camera (including the speed of the transitions) help to expertly capture and translate the energy of the show for audiences who were not lucky enough to be in attendance at what was the band’s first-ever concert at the Roman Theatre.  At the same time, they also give home audiences the absolute best seat in the house, taking viewers right up close wit hthe band on stage and from high above at some points.  The sound editing and mixing is just as worthy of praise, as it keeps all of the music and vocals just as expertly balanced throughout.  Case in point is the balance of Soto’s vocal delivery against the instrumental elements in ‘Kashmir.’  Portnoy and company are clearly audible, but never once overpower the orchestral backing provided for the performance.  At the same time Soto’s vocals are never overpowered by his band mates and guest orchestral musicians as he takes on Robert Plant’s part from the original song.  When the expert production and mixing is considered alongside the band’s performance and the set list, the whole of the concert becomes an experience that definitely presents a very wide appeal.  Overall, the noted elements make this recording in whole one more of this year’s top new live Blu-ray/DVD recordings.

Sons of Apollo’s debut live recording Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony is a powerful first live offering from the prog-rock super group.  It is an offering whose appeal reaches easily beyond just fans of the band, but the bands with whom each of its musicians have performed and more.  That is proven in part through the recording’s extensive set list.  The set list not only presents the band’s debut album Psychotic Symphony in whole, but also lots of covers and originals that will appeal to lots of audiences.  The band’s performance of that set list does just as much to make the recording enjoyable.  The recording’s production and mixing put the last touch to its presentation, ensuring even more its positive impact.  Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony not just a strong live debut for Sons of Apollo, but also one more of this year’s top new live Blu-ray/DVD recordings.  More information on the recording is available online now along with all of Sons of Apollo’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://SonsofApollo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SonsofApollo1

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SonsofApollo1

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Sons Of Apollo Releases New EP; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Rock super group Sons of Apollo has a new release available now.

The band has released a new six-song EP promoting its new single ‘Alive.’  The EP –essentially a maxi-CD — features the album take of the song as well as a radio edit, exclusive acoustic take and three companion Spanish language takes of the song.  The Spanish language versions, like the English language versions, are the album take, radio edit and acoustic take.

The record’s release is in anticipation of the band’s upcoming Latin/South America tour, which runs from April 5 to April 15.  The tour includes performances in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.  Along with the sing’s special new release, the band has also released a Spanish language take of the ‘Alive’ video, which is streaming online now here while the English version is streaming here.

Front man Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, SOTO) said of the single’s Spanish language release that it was intentional, and that his vocals were in fact his own, rather than overdubbed.

“It was discussed we should do a Spanish language version of ‘Alive’ before our first tour of South America, and I was excited to make it work,” Soto said.  “I brought in my close friend Alex to help with the translation as well as coach me on my enunciation.  I am not fluent in Spanish, so it was a difficult process, but it sounds pretty damn cool now that we made it work.  I think my favorite part is hearing Bumblefoot singing in Spanish!”

Bumblefoot, properly known as Ron Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), said he was especially optimistic about audiences hearing the song’s acoustic take.

“I love stripping down a song to its simplest form, showing the core of what the song is,” Thal said.  “The acoustic version of ‘Alive’ has that naked vulnerability, and shows what a great lyricist and melody-maker Jeff is.”

 

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

While the band is currently pushing its upcoming Latin/South America live dates, they are not the band’s only dates.  The band also has a North American leg that runs a little more than a month from April 19 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to May 26 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  That schedule will be followed by an extensive European schedule that takes the band through summer and fall.

Drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, Transatlantic, Liquid Tension Experiment) said of the live dates that he has been anticipating presenting the band’s new album live.

“Ever since this lineup assembled to make Psychotic Symphony, the thing I’ve been most excited about is anticipating how insane this band is going to be on stage,” Portnoy said.  “Well, the wait is almost over!  Here are the first U.S. dates that will get to witness this ‘five-headed musical spectacle’ live on stage in February.  We plan on being on tour all year long, all over the globe, with plenty of dates now being announced with summer festivals throughout Europe, but these are the very first shows that will get to witness this amazing lineup in person for the first time.  We can’t wait!”

The band’s current tour schedule, including its upcoming Latin/South American dates, is noted below.

Check out SONS OF APOLLO at any of the following stops:
DATE               CITY                             VENUE
Thu 4/5             Monterrey, Mexico         Escena
Fri 4/6               Mexico City, Mexico      Circo Volador
Sun 4/8             Santiago, Chile              Teatro Teleton
Tue 4/10            Buenos Aires, Argentina            Groove
Thu 4/12            Porto Alegre, Brazil       Opinião Bar
Sat 4/14            São Paulo, Brazil           Tropical Butanta
Sun 4/15           Belo Horizonte, Brazil    Music Hall
Thu 4/19            Montreal, QUE.             Corona Theatre
Fri 4/20             Toronto, ONT.               The Opera House
Sat 4/21            Grand Rapids, MI          The Intersection
Sun 4/22           St. Louis, MO                Delmar Hall
Tue 4/24            Lawrence, KS                Granada Theater
Wed 4/25          Denver, CO                   Summit Music Hall
Fri 4/27             Las Vegas, NV              Brooklyn Bowl
Sat 4/28            Sacramento, CA            Ace Of Spades
Sun 4/29           Portland, OR                 Hawthorne Theatre
Mon 4/30          Seattle, WA                   The Showbox
Wed 5/2            San Francisco, CA        The Regency Ballroom
Thu 5/3             Los Angeles, CA           The Belasco Theatre
Fri 5/4               Anaheim, CA                 House Of Blues
Sat 5/5              Tempe, AZ                    Marquee Theatre
Mon 5/7            San Antonio, TX            Alamo City Music Hall
Tue 5/8             Dallas, TX                     Canton Hall
Wed 5/9            Houston, TX                  Scout Bar
Fri 5/11             Nashville, TN                 3rd & Lindsley
Sat 5/12            St. Charles, IL               Arcada Theatre
Sun 5/13           Minneapolis, MN           Varsity Theater
Tue 5/15            Cleveland, OH               House Of Blues
Wed 5/16          Philadelphia, PA            Theatre of Living Arts
Fri 5/18             New York, NY               Playstation Theater
Sat 5/19            Worcester, MA              The Palladium
Sun 5/20           Washington, D.C.          The Howard Theatre
Sat 5/26            San Juan, PR                Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré
Fri 6/22             Clisson, France             Hellfest
Sat 6/23            Dessel, Belgium            Graspop
Sun 6/24           Milan, Italy                    Teatro Degli Arcimbodi
Tue 6/26            Prague, Czech Republic Futurum
Wed 6/27          Leipzig, Germany          Hellraiser
Sat 6/30            Barcelona, Spain           Be Prog My Friend
Sun 7/1             Maidstone, U.K.                        Ramblin’ Man Fair
Mon 7/2            Motherwell, Scotland     Motherwell Concert Hall
Tue 7/3             Belfast, Ireland             Limelight
Wed 7/4            Dublin, Ireland               Tivoli Variety Theatre
Fri 7/6               Knislinge, Sweden         Helgeafestivalen
Sat 7/7              Brighton, U.K.               The Haunt
Sun 7/8             Nottingham, U.K.           Rescue Rooms
Sun 7/14           Eindhoven, Netherlands Dynamo MetalFest
Fri 8/3               Wacken, Germany         Wacken Open Air
Sat 8/18            Warsaw, Poland            Prog In Park
Sun 8/19           Budapest, Hungary        Barba Negra Track
Mon 9/10          Osaka, Japan                Big Cat
Tue 9/11            Tokyo, Japan                Liquid Room
Wed 9/12          Tokyo, Japan                Liquid Room
Sat 9/15            Raismes, France           Raismes Fest
Wed 9/19          Moscow, Russia            Glavclub
* Sat 9/22          Plovdiv, Bulgaria           Roman Amphitheater
Mon 9/24          Athens, Greece             Fuzz Club
Wed 9/26          Tel Aviv, Israel               Barby Club
Sun 9/30           Glasgow, Scotland        The Garage
Mon 10/8          Zurich, Switzerland        Complex
Fri 10/12           Paris, France                 Elysee Montmartre
Sat 10/13          Toulouse, France           Very Prog Festival
Mon 10/15         Lyon, France                 Radiant-Bellevue
Tue 10/16          Strasbourg, France        La Laiterie
* A Very Special Evening with SONS OF APOLLO and the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony.
More information on Sons of Apollo’s new EP/maxi-single, its new live schedule and more is available online now at:
To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

The Forge Announces Expansive New Live Calendar

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Chicago has, for ages, been a hotbed for great musical talent and a place where some of the biggest acts have come on their tours, including the acts lined up to perform at The Forge, the city’s foremost concert venue.

The Forge released this week an extensive new list of acts scheduled to perform at the venue.  The schedule runs from Feb. 9 and runs through June June 29.  Dead Horse Trauma opens the new schedule alongside Oblivion Zero, Consume The Divide, A Silent Truth and torn By Tentacles.

Also scheduled to perform at The Forge on its latest schedule are: Sons of Apollo on Feb. 18 alongside Drifting; Act of Defiance on March 15, Hatebreed on March 20 alongside Crowbar, The Acacia Strain and twitching Tongues; Satyricon and Inquisition on May 20; Uli Jon Roth on June 29; Flaw, Bedlam, Static Signal and Undeclass on March 29 and many others.

The current schedule or The Forge is noted below.

The Forge – Event List

February 9- Dead Horse Trauma, Oblivion Zero, Consume the Divide, A Silent Truth, Torn by Tentacles
February 10 – Smells Like Nirvana, Facelift, Fake News
February 16- Dreezy/ Lil Bibby
February 18 – Sons Of Apollo, Drifting
February 23- Poison’d Crue & Done Dirt Cheap
February 24- Kashmir
February 27 – Anthrax, Killswitch Engage, Havok (Sold Out)
March 2- We Came As Romans, The Plot in You, Oceans Ate Alaska, Currents, Tempting Fate
March 4- Local Showcase- Stone the Crow, Orinoco, Torn by Tentacles, Bury the Shadows, What Lies Ahead, Secrets of Skeletons, Bury Your Past, 3 Days From Dying, Bareknuckle Bullseye, Folls Brew, Vivorum, Chalk
March 6- Catastrophic Event Specialist Tour- Ces Cru, G-Mo Skee
March 7 – Udo Dirkschnider, Elm Street, Strikeforce, Endgame
March 10- Blackened, My Metal Heart
March 15- Act of Defiance
March 16- Janet Gardner, Reanimate the Fallen, Bullet to the Heart, Blacken the Day
March 17- Riff Raff
March 20- Hatebreed, Crowbar, The Acacia Strain, Twitching Tongues
March 21- Dying Fetus, Thy Art is Murder, Enterprise Earth, Rivers of Nihil, Sanction
March 23- Twiztid
March 24- Magic Mike Tour
March 28- Froggy Fresh
March 29- Flaw, Bedlem, Static Signal, Underclass
March 31- ICP, Attila
April 12- The Lacs
April 13 – Cradle Of Filth, Jinjer, Uncured
April 26- Carnifex, Oceano, Winds of Plague, Archspire, Spite, Buried Above Ground, Widowmaker
April 28- Damaged Justice, Super Unknown, Big Bang Baby
April 29- Bobaflex, Andrew W. Boss, Trip 6
May 6 – Nile, Soulfly, Hate Storm Annihilation, Orinoco, Beneath the Hollow
May 20- Satyricon, Inquisition
May 25- Insomnium
May 31- Devastation on the Nation- Aborted, Psycroptic, Ingested, Disentomb, Arkaik, Venom Prison, Vale of Pnath
June 4 – HammerFall, Flotsam and Jetsam, Wrath, Acracy
June 29 – Uli Jon Roth

More information on The Forge’s schedule is available online now along with all of its latest news at:

 

Website: http://theforgelive.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theforgelive

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheForgeLive

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Psychotic Symphony’ Is A Brilliant Work From Some Of Progressive Rock’s “Titans”

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Late next month, progressive metal outfit Sons of Apollo will make its way to Nroth Carolina as part of its tour in support of its debut album Psychotic Symphony. The performance is scheduled for Feb. 13 at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro. Audiences who have yet to experience this new recording from the long time friends — Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, Winery Dogs, Transatlantic, Liquid tension Experiment), Derek Sherinian (ex-dream Theater, Platypus, Alice Cooper), Billy Sheehan (Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, Steve Vai), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses, Art of Anarchy) and Jeff Scott Soto (Trans Siberian Orchestra, SOTO, Rising Force) — will definitely be in for quite an experience. That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements. They will be discussed shortly. The album’s lyrical content plays into that experience, too. It will be discussed later. The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements, putting the finishing touch on the project. Each element is important in its own way to the whole of this nearly hour-long recording. All things considered, they make the album in whole a powerful effort from what is in its own right true rock royalty.

Prog-metal super group Sons of Apollo’s debut album Psychotic Symphony, released this past October via InsideOut Music, is yet another strong effort for the veteran musicians who came together to create the record. Regardless of whether this proves to be just a one-off program or something more long term, it can be said that it impresses from beginning to end. That is proven in part through its diverse musical arrangements. Right off the top, audiences are treated to an arrangement that echoes hints of Dream Theater’s 1997 album Falling Into Infinity courtesy of Sherinian’s keyboards and Portnoy’s work behind the kit. Thal’s guitar work is right up there with that of John Petrucci’s from that album, too. Soto’s vocal delivery expertly compliments the work put in by his band mates, sounding like a cross between James LaBrie and Fozzy front man Chris Jericho. Speaking of Fozzy, the album’s second offering, ‘Coming Home’ boasts an arrangement that can easily be likened to so many works from Fozzy. That is due again to the coupling of the song’s instrumentation and Soto’s vocal delivery. ‘Signs of the Time,’ which comes next changes things up even more with a full on prog-metal opus that expertly balances its heavier down-tuned guitar-driven verses with its more melodic choruses. The result of that balance is an arrangement that is easily one of the album’s high points, but most definitely not its only positive. The arrangement at the center of ‘Labyrinth’ is its own positive. It starts with a tense string arrangement that eventually builds to a solid yet just as tense rock arrangement complete with the rest of the band. From there, the arrangement gradually builds even more until finally climaxing in its bridge almost six and a half minutes in. From there, the song’s energy gradually declines but doesn’t let off too much. By the time the nine-minute-plus opus ends, audiences are left breathless as they agree that this arrangement is yet another of the album’s high points. As if all of that is not enough, the arrangement at the heart of ‘Divine Addiction,’ the album’s penultimate entry, conjures thoughts of early Deep Purple. ‘Opus Maximus,’ which closes out the album, is an aptly titled work. That is because its arrangement is nearly incomparable to anything else out there. The only seemingly feasible comparison that can be made (at least in this critic’s ears) is if one were to take the best musical elements of Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment and mix them together into one whole. the result would be this absolutely bombastic work. When the song ends, audiences will be so blown away that they will agree, the musical adventured embarked upon 57 minutes ago is one of a kind and one that was well worth the trip. As much as this record’s musical arrangements do to the positive for its presentation, they are only one part of what makes the album stand out. Its lyrical themes are just as important as those arrangements.

The lyrical themes presented throughout Psychotic Symphony are key to the album’s presentation because they are just as varied as the album’s musical arrangements. The album’s opener is a prime example of that importance. Soto sings in the song’s lead verse, “Through desert skies and far beyond the ocean/I am the star that shines eternal glow/Forever you’ll know/A cold desire that’s feelin’ no emotion/I am the fire that burns inside your soul/I’m inside your soul/’Cuz I am the light/Surrender tonight/I am the face of tomorrow/Now I’ve just begun/You can’t hide or run/’Cuz I am the god of the sun.” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse of this figure “healing wounds” and a “prophet crying out for mercy.” There is even mention of an “invited illusion” and “fallen temptation with desperation.” This is rather metaphorical speak to say the very least. Considering that the Egyptian sun God Ra was a false deity as was Apollo in Greek mythology, one could assume that here, the God in question is being used as a metaphor for some commentary on established religion in general. On the other hand, it could be something wholly different. It would have been nice to hear [Mike] Portnoy and [Derek] Sherinian discuss the meaning behind the song’s lyrics in their song-by-song discussions that are available now on YouTube. Even without any discussion by the pair, it goes without saying that this song, which seemingly is rooted in religion (or perhaps in mythology), is certain to generate plenty of discussion among audiences if it hasn’t already done so. That being the case, it is just one way in which the record’s lyrical themes prove so important to its whole.

‘Alive’ is another song that serves to show the importance of the album’s musical themes. This song seems (again, just to this critic) to come across as perhaps a statement of someone who has overcome so much in life. This can be inferred right off the top in the song’s lead verse as Soto sings, “Colorize the sadness/The fear is black wnad white/Tunnel of denial/Looking for the light/The devil on my shoulder/The master of disguise/Can you hear him singing/Release me from the past/This tortured life I’ve sown/I’ve been down/I’m tired of being alone/I can’t hear the silence/Screams into my soul/The truth is ringing.” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse that “I’m alive” and of basically starting over thanks to his parents. Its’ definitely thought provoking. There’s even mention of eliminating all the negativity of the past as the song nears its bridge. Considering this, the argument that this song lyrically seems to be about overcoming difficult situations in life begins to hold even more water so to speak. When the Veer Union/Sevendust-style musical arrangement is added to the mix, the emotion of such a moment becomes stronger. Once again, this is the interpretation of only this critic. It would, again, be nice to learn the true meaning behind the song’s lyrics. Either way, the discussions that again are certain to be generated show the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.

‘Coming Home’ is yet another example of the importance of this record’s lyrical themes. This song seems to be more of a defiant statement as Soto sings, “Now I’m not so suspicious/You’re downright malicious/Can’t make a fool outta me/You’re scheme’s complicated/Your pride is inflated/Seized by a social disease/There’s a voice screaming outta my head/There’s a truth that I don’t wanna know/Cross the line that’ you’re gonna regret/Is it me/Is it you/So get out of my way/Goin’ out on my own/Now remember my name/’Cause I’m coming home.” Again, there is plenty left to the imagination here considering that the song doesn’t just come out and say what it means. It definitely comes across as a positive work, lyrically, though. Keeping this in mind, it adds even more depth to the album. When that depth is joined with the depth generated by the album’s other lyrical themes, it makes the album that much stronger. When the depth generated by the album’s lyrical themes is joined with that of the album’s musical arrangements, the whole makes the album that much more solid. Even with this all in mind, it still is not the last of the album’s most important elements. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Psychotic Symphony‘s sequencing is so important to note in examining its overall presentation because of how much even it adds to the record. From start to end, the album maintains a solid energy that barely lets up at any point. The most that it lets up (if one can even call it letting up) comes in the opening moments of ‘Labyrinth’ as the string arrangement sets the stage for the song to come. Even that moment isn’t too light. Rather the tension that is built here actually maintains the album’s energy, just in a way that is separate from the album’s first three songs. Even as the band moves into ‘Alive,’ which is arguably the album’s most radio-ready track, the energy there doesn’t even pull back too much. From that point on to the album’s end, the band keeps things moving almost nonstop, insuring that much more, listeners’ engagement. Keeping this in mind, that maintained energy proves to be important in its own right. Had the album been presented in any other order, that might not have been the case. Lukcily though, that didn’t happen, meaning again only positives. That becomes even more the case as this element is joined with the album’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes. All things considered, they make Psychotic Symphony a solid work from a group of brilliant musical minds.

Sons of Apollo’s debut album Psychotic Symphony is a solid first outing from some of today’s great musical minds. From start to finish, this progressive metal offering is a work that any prog rock purist will enjoy. That is proven in part through the record’s varied musical arrangements. Its equally varied lyrical themes are just as certain to impress because of their ability to generate so much discussion among audiences. The album’s sequencing proves in its own way why this record is so impressive. Each element plays its own important part in the whole of Pyschotic Symphony. All things considered, they make this record yet another successful outing for some of the titans of progressive rock. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Psychotic Symphony is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

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