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Apocalypse: The 25th Anniversary Box Set

Apocalypse is perhaps the biggest progressive rock band to ever come out of Brazil, and to celebrate their 25th anniverary, the group has put together this lavish box set celebrating their history. Not only does the set include a 128 page book (in both Portuguese & English) detailing the history of the band, but also a live DVD, live CD, brand new studio CD, and a fold out poster, all housed in a lovely box. For fans of the band, this will be an absolute treat, and for those new to Apocalypse, a great introduction to the group.

Count me in as a first time listener to the wonderful music of Apocalypse. I'd heard about this Brazilian prog act for many years, as they were one of the most talked about acts at the ProgDay 1999 festival, as well as a staple of the Musea label for many years. With a sound that can be best described as 'Fish-era Marillion' meets Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Rainbow, Yes, Genesis, and The Flower Kings, Apocalypse have released a slew of albums over the years and toured feverishly, cementing a reputation as one of the hardest working prog bands around.

The live disc included here, titled Magic Spells, was recorded in 2005 on their 'Magic Tour' of that year, and it contains plenty of energetic performances. From the dark "Cut", with its references to Script For a Jester's Tear era Marillion, the Deep Purple influenced "Crying From Help", the synth dominated "South America", all the way to the gorgeously symphonic "Blue Earth", this live CD is just sparkling with virtuosity, melody, and emotion. The line-up here for this tour was Gustavo Demarchi (vocal and flute), Ruy Fritsch (guitar), Eloy Fritsch (keyboards), Chico Fasoli (drums), and Magoo Wise (bass). Eloy Fritsch, long known as one of the best keyboard players in all of prog, is all over these recordings with his wide array of synths and vintage keyboards, and his brother Ruy is a stellar player in his own right, contributing plenty of meaty riffs and sizzling lead guitar solos. What's most interesting are the lead vocals of Demarchi, an extraordinary singer who doesn't really have the style you normally hear in a progressive rock band. At times you can hear bits of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, Queensryche's Geoff Tate, Whitesnake & Deep Purple legend David Coverdale, as well as iconic prog star Fish. He has one of the best combinations of metal & prog styles that you'll hear in a band of this nature. Just listen to his soaring pipes over the blistering synth/guitar/bass exchanges on the raging prog cut "Time Traveller"-very impressive indeed. With 11 tracks, you get a nice sampling of some of the classic cuts from the Apocalypse discography on this very fine live album.

For the new album 2012 Light Years From Home, Fasoli is now out of the band, and replaced by Fabio Schneider, and the bass guitar work was completed by Eloy Fritsch. Once again, hard hitting symphonic rock is the name of the game here, with a huge emphasis on powerful vocals, heavy guitars, and a wide variety of keyboard sounds. "New Sunrise" kicks things off in grand fashion, a wild combo of ELP, Deep Purple, and The Flower Kings style wise, featuring a great vocal from Demarchi and plenty of scorching guitar & keyboard solos. "Set Me Free" is a heavy rock gem straight out of the Deep Purple/Uriah Heep playbook, and Demarchi's flute comes out on the proggy ballad "Take My Heart". That flute is present again on the soaring & majestic "The Angels And Seven Trumpets", and the band get into some hard rockin', almost Whitesnake-meets-Uriah Heep blues/boogie on the energetic "On The Way To The Stars". The lush acoustic tones on "Till Another Side" are just gorgeous, and complement the more rocking sections, and the bluesy elements of "A Cry In Infinity" will take you back to Burn era Deep Purple. Let's not forget though that Apocalypse are a prog band at their core, so of course why not end this wonderful CD with the acrobatic, ELP influenced 14 minute title track. Here, Eloy Fritsch more than shows his capable skills on various keyboards, and Demarchi's passionate vocals are icing on the cake.

As if all this wasn't enough, you get a bonus DVD with the 25th Anniversary concert from 2009 , showing the band in all their glory onstage (unlike most prog acts, Apocalypse tours regularly), as well a few added clips from other shows. The band is in fine form, and the concert is expertly shot. Just check out Demarchi on the awesome "Cut", showing the influence of Peter Gabriel, Fish, Ian Anderson, and Crimson Glory's Midnight, as he dons a mask and delivers a passionate, theatrical performance.

The 25th Anniversary Box Set is both a stunning & fascinating package commemorating 25 years in the business for Apocalypse. Two CDs, a DVD, book, & poster, what more could any fan want? If you've failed to check out this fantastic symphonic prog/hard rock band before, you owe it to yourself to do so now.

Track Listing
Live From Magic Tour 2005
1- Refuge
2- Crying From Help
3- Mirage
4- Magic
5- Cut
6- South America
7- Tears
8- Blue Earth
9- Time Traveller
10 Freedom
11 Peace In The Loneliness

New Studio Album
1- New Sunrise
2- Set Me Free
3- Take My Heart
4- The Angels And Seven Trumpets
5- On The Way To The Stars
6- Till Another Side
7- Morning Light
8- Find Me Now
9- A Cry In Infinity
10- To Kiss The Tears Your Cry
11- Blue Angel
12- 2012 Light Years From Home

DVD The 25th Anniversary Concert
Live from The Bridge Of Light Tour 2009
1- Cut
2- South America
3- Follow The Bridge
4- Dreamer
5- Blue Earth
6- Not Like You
7- Magic
8- Refuge
9- Last Paradise
10- Ocean Soul
11- Waterfall Of Golden Waters

Plus, a 128 page 25th Anniversary book-The Apocalypse History
And, a full color poster

Added: May 15th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2601
Language: english

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