Apocalypse — The 25th Anniversary Box Set
(Financiarte FONOCD2460, 2012, 2CD+DVD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-04-01
Fans of this popular Brazilian band will surely revel in this package: one CD (Magic Spells) captures the band live in 2005, there’s a second CD of new music (2012 Light Years from Home), plus a DVD of the band on stage (The 25th Anniversary Concert). Also included are a poster and a 128-page book stuffed with photos and info (in Portuguese and poorly translated English). Disc one proves that it's always dangerous to judge a band by a live recording, since for the first 11 of 13 tracks I was wondering what the fuss was all about. Guitar player Ruy Fritsch and singer Gustavo Demarchi sound like they just stepped out of an 80s metal band, keyboard player Eloy Fritsch wears his neo-prog influences on his sleeves, and the rhythm section betrays a lack of seasoning and practice. There are moments when the group rises above sounding like a mediocre Marillion or Arena cover band but for the most part I was looking for the exit on this disk. Then the two studio bonus tracks appear and — while the players are the same — the writing is improved and the band sounds much more mature. Fortunately this carries forward to the album of new music. Demarchi delivers some astonishing vocals, including Rundgren-like flourishes on "New Sunrise" and a gospel turn on "Take My Heart." Eloy Fritsch also proves himself on a variety of keyboards, including organ on the Deep Purple-flavored "Set Me Free" and elegant piano on the melodic ballad "Blue Angel." Ruy Fritsch is obviously at home on rockers like "Find Me Now" though he has a supporting role on the album for the most part. In fact, guitar is largely absent from the 13+ minute title track, with Eloy showing off chops that will even please ELP fans. The live DVD encapsulates the strengths and weaknesses shown on the two CDs, with highlights being the songs with guest violinist Hique Gomez. If Apocalypse ever figures out how to translate what they do in the studio into a live setting they will truly be a force to be reckoned with.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more