1. God of The Sun
2. Coming Home
3. Signs of The Time
6. Lost In Oblivion
7. Figaro’s Whore
8. Divine Addiction
9. Opus Maximus
This record already had prog fans everywhere frothing at the mouth before a note was even put to tape.
A super prog group consisting of Mike Portnoy, Bumblefoot, Derek Sherinian, Billy Sheehan and Jeff Scott Soto... It's easy to see where the excitement came from.
Let's see if the record lives up to what will be immense expectation.
As a huge DT/Winery dogs fan I was already thoroughly aware of Sherinian, Sheehan and Portnoy. New to me are vocalist Jeff Soto and guitarist Bumblefoot.
The album opener is monolithic in both in scope and presentation. From the open guitar intricacies from Bumblefoot to Soto's blinding vocal performances “Gods of the Sun” truly sets the scene and silences every critic if there ever was going to be one. The song ends with a blissful cacophony of prog chaos before segwaying joyously into a final chorus.
Keyboard solo!!! Lead single “Coming Home” is the blistering antidote to prog noodle fests. An absolute powerhouse of a song. You will never hear such a monstrous bass tone than on this song. Billy... you disgusting man you. Perfect. Bumblefoot's solo is alright I guess. He is no Nick Jonas though...
Sons of Apollo are embracing some modern prog elements here. Dare I say DURRRRRRJENT? Soto really reminds me of Russell Allen in this track, stunning range and control. His voice is really giving these songs life. I often find the weak point of most prog metal bands to be the vocals. So it's nice to hear virtuosity in the vocals as well. OH.... AND the guitar solo in “Sign of The Time”. Nuff said. Yes lad. Sorry I am Mancunian.
We say hello to some cellos in “Labyrinth”. Soto adds a haunting vocal over the top and the song drives into the grooving heart with the strings still powering in the background. The chops in this band is again reminded at the instrumental section of this song. I think this is some of the best contemporary prog I have heard in years. I get the feeling Portnoy truly had an itch to scratch here.
“Alive” is basically the ballad of the album. It's not a ballad but in comparison to the enthralling heights of the other songs, this is a simple number to let the vocal sing. Melodic and blissful throughout.
From melodic bliss to “Lost In Oblivion” which is a metal powerhouse full of rage. The song kicks off with an air raid siren and we know S*** is about to go down. We hear the grit in Soto's voice and he really shows off his range of vocal vocabulary. Sherinian's solo here is a stunning virtuosic widdle fest for the ages.
“Figaro's Whore” can do one. 1:04 of prog musicians being prog musicians. Shut up. Next song.
Next song “Divine Addiction” is remarkably MK3 Purple sounding. This I did not expect. The keys sound and the dirty 70's style groove. It's an exciting edition to the album.
The aptly titled “Opus Maximus” begins with a doomy, sludgy, porridge of guitars and bass. I feel like my ears are melting into my increasingly befuddled hair. It's 4am. Too tired for this. It is a mammoth instrumental piece that echoes moments of DT (naturally). A great way to end the record but damn that's another song you could have had Jeff doing vocals on. Nevermind! Let's all play solos for 10 minutes.
Brilliant record. Buy it. If you don't like prog but you are into your metal, this may very well be a great gateway record for you!