By Ken Vantour
I remember the first time I saw Eddie Van Halen play live. I went home and my mom asked me how it was. I couldn’t answer. The concert was one of those moments in my life that I will never forget. I tried my best to explain how great he was, how in awe I was to have witnessed what I had just seen. Words couldn’t do it justice.
Yesterday, I was sent the new album by Sons of Apollo. For those who don’t know, Sons of Apollo is made up of
Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, the ex-GnR, current Art of Anarchy and solo (check out Little Brother Is Watching) axe-master,
Derek Sherinian, ex-Dream Theater and Black Country Communion keyboardist.
Billy Sheehan, (David Lee Roth, Mr. Big, Winery Dogs, The Fell) on bass,
and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Winery Dogs and so many more) .
With these four guys making an album, they could have hired a monkey as their vocalist and it would have sounded good. Instead, (thank the mighty ROCK GODS), they decided to get one of the most powerful voices in the biz,
Jeff Scott Soto, who has performed with Yngwie and Trans-Siberian Orchestra among MANY others, to put it over the top!
When I had finished listening to SOA’s first album Psychotic Symphony and I had successfully picked my jaw up off the floor, I had to think about how I could possibly review this album in a way that did it justice.
It’s like describing that night I saw EVH.
This is all I could think of:
I HAVE NO IDEA!!
But, I’ll try.
I’ve heard a lot of “supergroups”. I always get nervous when I hear the term. It very rarely really works. Too many cooks, too many egos etc.
When I first heard that these five guys were making a band, my first thought was; there’s not enough room for all these artists to fit into one song, much less a full album.
Boy oh boy was I wrong…and I’m so glad I was.
Now, I’ll make no bones about it. I’ve been a Bumblefoot fan for a long time and have had the pleasure of interviewing him two or three times. I became a Sheehan fan when I saw him with Roth and also had the pleasure of interviewing him. Regardless, this is something special.
Psychotic Symphony, is as close to a perfect album as you can get. From Bumblefoot’s first riff on God of the Sun to Sherinian’s fade out on Opus Maximus, I was mesmerized.
Maybe I’m wrong, but the point of reviewing an album is to let people know whether they should dole out their hard earned cash for a product. The answer here is a resounding YES!
I’m not going to do a song by song write-up. It’s been done much better than I could ever do it. But I will say this:
Each member of Sons of Apollo is at the top of their game on Psychotic Symphony, which is funny since I thought they no room for improvement from their already stellar catalogs. The sum of these parts is truly breathtaking to listen to.
Bumblefoot and Sheehan made me want to smash my guitar.
Portnoy is a BEAST. I always liked his playing, but he owns this album. Sherinian compliments every single song perfectly and Soto is the best I’ve ever heard him, and that’s saying a lot.
I can only pray to the ROCK GODS that they continue this SUPER group for many more albums. And that they do a Canadian tour that stops in Ottawa.
I’m rambling! I’m speechless! Psychotic Symphony is a must have for all rock fans. Hell, I’ll say it…It’s a perfect album.
Psychotic Symphony track listing:
- God of The Sun
- Coming Home
- Signs of the Time
- Lost In Oblivion
- Figaro’s Whore
- Divine Addiction
- Opus Maximus
Official Site: sonsofappollo.com