OT: Sons Of Apollo - MMXX

bigbonzo

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I recently ordered the newest CD by Sons Of Apollo called "MMXX". I'm listening to it now.

So far it seems like a good one. I'm glad that Mike Portnoy finally got into/started a good band.

Anyone else listen to it? What are your thoughts?
 

Vistalite Black

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I gave it a spin. I wish the guys luck. They've certainly taken on an enormous challenge. Hard rock/metal fans don't typically embrace new acts made up of dudes in their 50s. In fact, I don't think it's ever happened, so the progress SoA have made so far is remarkable.

In the first couple of minutes, it struck me that this is an album specifically engineered to be a "metal" album that appeals to people who don't like actual metal. So, it has the double-bass drums (and lots of that) and song titles like Wither to Black,
but instead of screaming or
harsh vocals, it's a very classic rock sound, especially the multi-tracked gang vocals you hear not only through the choruses, but in the verses, as well. With that, each tune manages to sound pretty familiar (to classic rock listeners) while not sounding exactly like any specific song.

So, there's a little too much guitar noodling and it's sometimes hard to tell whether you're hearing a guitar or a keyboard with all the processing and studio polish on the guitar parts.

My biggest, impression, though is that the lyrics are absolute garbage. In a metal world it seems every radio song must have the theme, you were there at my lowest point, but I will arise, I will be strong.
SoA really embraces that approach (which really springs from bands like Creed) but adds phrases that appear to be even more meaningless.

Here's the opening track, Goodbye Divinity:


Shot down in vain
Still we rise above salvation, goodbye divinity
In the core of our damnation, goodbye divinity, yeah, yeah
We defy the fascination, goodbye divinity, I'm here to stay, go!

I feel for the young who'll never really know
How to harness the pain
Changin' times, realize can't fight the undertow
Can't survive in the game

In the very next song, Wither to Black, you have practically the same thing:

Rise from the feeling
I'm never looking back
Now I rise from believing
That I won't wither to black
Hey, yeah

So, my overall impression is that if you're an older classic rock guy who likes to pretend you like listening to metal and you like to sing along to lyrics about Withering to Black and getting a big hunk of white meringue Goodbye Divinity candy, this is a great album for you.

If you don't mind a bit of metal, it's been done much better by countless bands, starting with Meshuggah, InFlames and, why not ... Slayer.

On a scale of 10, I'd give this new SOA record a 3 with a massive deduction for the spectacularly dumb lyrics.
 
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mgdrummer

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I saw them a few weeks ago for the second time, they were fantastic! Haven't really spent much time with the new album but everything I've liked everything I've heard. It's funny, I wasn't a huge fan of Dream Theater when Derrick Sherinian was in the band (saw them on the Falling Into Infinity tour in 98) as I preferred Kevin Moore's approach on the two albums prior. While I still like and appreciate Dream Theater I feel like the "human" aspect of their music has gone by the wayside as Pettruci has continued to become more of a perfect "robot" guitarist. The addition of Mike Mangini further enhances the "non-human" feel/ability of the band. Not a slight to MM, he's in a whole other league and can split his brain & limbs into four separate time keeping entities. Sons Of Apollo brings me back to, and I feel expands upon, the "technicians with feel" element that I liked about DT's Images and Words, Awake, etc.
 

ppfd

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Seems like Portnoys bands don't last, yet the man stays busy.
Winery Dogs were something special.
Anything the guy plays in is great. Trans Atlantic was a great "jazz/fusion/prog" band.

JSS is a criminally underrated vocalist.
Look any of his Queen tributes.
 

GeeDeeEmm

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I gave it a spin. I wish the guys luck. They've certainly taken on an enormous challenge. Hard rock/metal fans don't typically embrace new acts made up of dudes in their 50s. In fact, I don't think it's ever happened, so the progress SoA have made so far is remarkable.

In the first couple of minutes, it struck me that this is an album specifically engineered to be a "metal" album that appeals to people who don't like actual metal. So, it has the double-bass drums (and lots of that) and song titles like Wither to Black,
but instead of screaming or
harsh vocals, it's a very classic rock sound, especially the multi-tracked gang vocals you hear not only through the choruses, but in the verses, as well. With that, each tune manages to sound pretty familiar (to classic rock listeners) while not sounding exactly like any specific song.

So, there's a little too much guitar noodling and it's sometimes hard to tell whether you're hearing a guitar or a keyboard with all the processing and studio polish on the guitar parts.

My biggest, impression, though is that the lyrics are absolute garbage. In a metal world it seems every radio song must have the theme, you were there at my lowest point, but I will arise, I will be strong.
SoA really embraces that approach (which really springs from bands like Creed) but adds phrases that appear to be even more meaningless.

Here's the opening track, Goodbye Divinity:


Shot down in vain
Still we rise above salvation, goodbye divinity
In the core of our damnation, goodbye divinity, yeah, yeah
We defy the fascination, goodbye divinity, I'm here to stay, go!

I feel for the young who'll never really know
How to harness the pain
Changin' times, realize can't fight the undertow
Can't survive in the game

In the very next song, Wither to Black, you have practically the same thing:

Rise from the feeling
I'm never looking back
Now I rise from believing
That I won't wither to black
Hey, yeah

So, my overall impression is that if you're an older classic rock guy who likes to pretend you like listening to metal and you like to sing along to lyrics about Withering to Black and getting a big hunk of white meringue Goodbye Divinity candy, this is a great album for you.

If you don't mind a bit of metal, it's been done much better by countless bands, starting with Meshuggah, InFlames and, why not ... Slayer.

On a scale of 10, I'd give this new SOA record a 3 with a massive deduction for the spectacularly dumb lyrics.
I haven't heard any of the Sons Of Apollo songs yet, so I'll need to dive into YouTube, I guess.

However, I LOVE this review. Excellent job, really good writing, Vistalite!!!!

GeeDeeEmm
 

MrDrums2112

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I did not care for the first album, but I do like this one after only 1 listen. I have really become a Mike Portnoy fan throughout all the projects he is involved in.
 


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