This is not a side project, the band has made that clear and one way to prove that Sons of Apollo is a band is to tour and they did. But the show they decided to record wasn’t just a tour show, Nope! It was so much more. And it needed to be. They needed to capture the true essence of what this band is about and I have to say, I believe they did that and then some. They recorded the show back on September 22, 2018 at The Ancient Roman Amphitheater in Plovdiv Bulgaria and what a beautiful setting it is. Worthy of the Sons of the God Apollo. And the show couldn’t just be the band playing, Nope. It needed a little something extra so they brought in the Plovdiv Orchestra and a choir nicely named for this show as the Psychotic Symphony. This isn’t a band playing their songs with a symphony like so many bands, this is different, fresh and exciting.
You get it all packaged in a 3 CD set, that is right…3 CDs cover the whole entire show. Over 2 1/2 hours of rock & roll & prog bliss!! And if that isn’t enough, they throw in a DVD of the entire show as well. And the DVD is really where it is at in my book. Listening to the CD is great and you will enjoy the show, but when you watch it live and see these guys in action, Holy Shit!! These guys can play and they put on a master class of what musicianship really is. With Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, Mike Portnoy and drums, Derek Sherinian on Keyboards, Billy Sheehan on bass and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar, these are some of the best in the field and they show you how it is done.
Alright…You Picked It! This one was really close and we actually ended in a tie. That is right. Two artist got the same # of votes. The winner for this month’s picks ended up being Queensryche’s ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ AND Saigon Kick’s ‘The Lizard’ and I am real excited about this fact. So, what we are going to do is review them both, but with a twist. First, we will review Queensryche’s ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ and down the road, we will do Saigon Kick’s ‘The Lizard’ as someone out there has agreed to review it at the same time with me so I am taking him up on that offer. Here are the results.
Queensryche – ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ – 5 votes
Saigon Kick – ‘The Lizard’ – 5 votes
Arcade – ‘Arcade’ – 4 votes
Collective Soul – ‘Collective Soul’ – 2 votes
Stryper – ‘Against the Law’ – Disqualified as I already reviewed that one…doh!!
Thanks to all for participating. The March choices will be up on Saturday! And the choices are all from my collection and the next one will all be more modern European Bands that never really made it in the States. Hopefully you can help me decide which one I should review.
QUEENSRYCHE – ‘HEAR IN THE NOW FRONTIER’ (1997):
Back around 1997, music was a sort of black hole for me. I was lost, wandering around trying to find something I liked and whenever bands from the 80’s put something out, I would get excited and grab it. As I did this one back in the day. Queensryche’s 6th studio album was ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ and it was released on March 25, 1997 and I wasn’t one of the first to get it, but I did get it that year. The CD was no longer in my collection for some reason, and when I was out digging, I found it and saw the name of the song “Sign of the Times” and thought, I liked that song, let me get this as it was only about $3m. Man, did I over pay for this thing. Also, now I remember why it was no longer in my collection. This was my jumping off point for Queensryche and honestly, never have revisited anything that has come after. They completely lost me with this one.
I wasn’t planning on doing a review of this album until my daughter asked if I was doing a review. It made me think that maybe she wanted me to do a review, so after numerous listens of the album, here is my review.
Before I listened to the album, I really didn’t know what to expect. I know what I hoped to hear and that was an album that was nothing like One Direction, his former band. The Harry Styles solo album needed to show creativity and give us a different look than what we have seen before. The pressure for him to deliver is huge. I know I didn’t care for Zayn’s album (although “Pillowtalk” was an amazing song) so I was hoping this didn’t end up giving me a similar feeling.
Gladly, I wasn’t disappointed. I was actually pleasantly surprised. Harry delivered an album of very diverse songs yet they seemed to be cohesive at the same time. Sonically, the album is pure British. It has a lot of British musical influences and stylings. I hear the essences of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis and even Robbie Williams. And looking at the songwriting credits, I see Harry has his hand in all the songs which is a good thing…just how much of the writing he did is unknown.