APOLLO: The ancient Greek and Roman God of music and poetry. SONS OF APOLLO: The new supergroup featuring members of Dream Theater, Mr. Big, Guns ‘N Roses, and Journey.
In early 2017, rumors began circulating about a new secret project including former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian.
Finally, on August 1st, the duo revealed the details to the rest of the world, introducing their new band, SONS OF APOLLO.
Reuniting to form SONS OF APOLLO, Portnoy and Sherinian joined forces with guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), bassist Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force).
What can be expected is a powerful album full of progressive rock/metal.
Where Dream Theater slowly shifted to a more symponic sound on their last album we can honestly say that this album picks up the sound before that,
Psychotic Symphony is not just a in between project so it seems, shows for 2018 are being booked. I have to say i am quite impressed with the way this album turned out.
The opening and slosing song both run over ten minutes in lenght.
All bandmembers get enough space to really shine and do their thing.
“God of the Sun” gives you an instant kick between the legs a massive effort! This track gives the perfect introduction about what to expect. The intro has the same feel DT's song "Home" holds. Many different influences can be heard and Jeff Scott Soto throat gives it a unique blend which gives it a different feel compared to Dream Theater. Slightly less polished vocals.
"Coming Home” starts with a blistering intro and gives JSS space to do his powerful groove.. Also listen to the rythm Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan deliver and the great multi layered solo Ron Bumblefoot thal and Derek Sherinian put on the plate.
“Labyrinth” starts with a haunting guitar riff provided by Ron and leads into a more moody mid tempo hardrocker Just listen to the heavy but perfectly executed solopart which suddenly has a perfect shift into a completely different rythm which makes me think of Deep Purple.
"Alive” gives us a song speeded down to a powerballad. There is enough power in the chorus and there are hooks everywhere. Drek Shines with a nice keyboard solo followed by a beautifull guitarsolo.
Then there is the short instrumental track “Figaro’s Whore”which can be seen as a very technical showcase of what Sherinian is capable of and the perfect intro leading towards the next song “Divine Addiction.”
Here we welcome a very Deep Purple influenced feel but with more power; the opening keyboard made me think of Smoke on the Water for a second, but is different and much more progressive. Love the Hammond sound towards the end giving it some 70's blend for a second.
Psychotic Symphony is closing with a huge explosion on “Opus Maximus.” Very DT.
Over ten minutes in length this song holds everything these hugely talented musicians can bring to the menu. There are some many different things going on, from powerful metal towards multi layered beautiful arranged parts Hooks, twist and much more. Simply a magical wonder! They mamage to keep an instrumental song this long so diverse in a such away it will never get boring.
Conclusion: I take a deep bow to these rock dinosaurs for keeping this kind of music alive and kicking. This album has balls.
This is what technical quality is all about.
Lets just hope they will stick together and provide us music fans with a healthy competition with that other fantastic band in the same genre, Dream Theater.