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Sons of Apollo - Live with the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony Award winner

Sons of Apollo
Live with the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 12 October 2019, 5:16 AM

A band with only one studio album releasing a double live album isn’t a usual thing to see. It could be a commercial suicide, if the band weren’t an act like SONS OF APOLLO, one of the greatest names of Progressive Metal today. So be prepared, because “Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony” is really a remarkable live album, indeed. If someone still doesn’t know, the band’s lineup can be labeled as “crème de la crème” of Metal/Rock, bearing musicians that played on DREAM THEATER, MR. BIG, TALAS, YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN, ALICE COOPER, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, SOTO, ASIA and many other relevant bands. It can called as a Progressive Metal album in some ways, but the main core of what is heard on “Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony” seems to be divided in two parts (as the show is): a live album like those of the past, with an organic approach during the first part of it, but the second one is being played along choir and orchestra. Of course that the album presents covers from bands as DREAM THEATER (three songs of them), LED ZEPPELIN, OZZY OSBOURNE, QUEEN and others, some solos, and tracks from the band’s first (and only) studio album. Oh, is it good? Yes, it’s excellent!

The songs from “Psychotic Symphony” are really sounding excellent, and “God of the Sun” (an amazing song filled with energy and groove), the raw chaotic energy of “Signs of the Time”, the bittersweet melodies of “Divine Addiction” (excellent keyboards parts), the modern and brutality heavy “Lost in Oblivion” (bass guitar and drums are really great here), the bluesy feeling on some parts of “Alive”, the charming Prog Metal ambience of “Labyrinth” and “Coming Home” (that ends the show and becomes a giant that lasts more than nine minutes) is proof of that. But their versions for “Just Let Me Breathe” (what a modern and chaotic approach, with excellent vocals), “Kashmir” (lovely version, with excellent guitars and vocals), “Gates of Babylon” (where the oriental melodies where preserved), the deeper feeling that comes from the violins and orchestral parts during “Dream On”, the grandiose ambience given to “Diary of a Madman” and “Comfortably Numb”, the lovely hymn “The Show Must Go On”, the other two versions for DREAM THEATER songs “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Lines in the Sand”, and “And the Cradle Will Rock” will make you hold your breath due their talent and spontaneous feeling. And all the band’s members present long solos as well.

All that’s left to say is that “Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony” isn’t a live album for Prog Metal fans exclusively, but for all Metal fans worldwide. And thanks for the band for such lovely live album! But one question remains: why in the blazes did Mr. Dave “That Metal Guy” Campbell pass over this release for me?

Originality: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. God of the Sun
2. Signs of the Time
3. Divine Addiction
4. That Metal Show Theme
5. Just Let Me Breathe
6. Billy Sheehan Bass Solo
7. Lost in Oblivion
8. JSS Solo Spot: The Prophet’s Song/Save Me
9. Alive
10. The Pink Panther Theme
11. Opus Maximus
12. Kashmir
13. Gates of Babylon
14. Labyrinth
15. Dream On
16. Diary of a Madman
17. Comfortably Numb
18. The Show Must Go On
19. Hell’s Kitchen
20. Derek Sherinian Keyboard Solo
21. Lines in the Sand
22. Bumblefoot Solo Spot
23. And the Cradle Will Rock
24. Coming Home
Lineup:
Jeff Scott Soto - Vocals
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal - Guitars, Vocals
Derek Sherinian - Keyboards
Billy Sheehan - Bass
Mike Portnoy - Drums, Vocals
Plovdiv Symphony Orchestra - Orchestrations
Record Label: InsideOut Music
     


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