As I listen to this double album of progressive metal magnificence all I can think of is Sin. What a sin I never heard of these guys in the 90's. What a sin their core influences "Crimson Glory" and "Heir Apparent" never become the supernovas I always wanted them to be. I guess in a manner of speaking the same thing happened to Apocalypse but I am overjoyed they left a lyrical legacy of progressive brilliance that will live on in the hearts of metal lovers.
The vocalist of Apocalypse has the perfect voice for power/progressive metal flexibility with overtones of Alice in Chains phrasing yet faithful to Queensryche stirrings of passionate outbursts presented in the tracks "Visions of War" and "Unknown Origin." As much as I love Rush and so do a great many metal musicians it is quite infrequent to hear any homage to them but "Bullet Proof Attitude" is nice example of guitar work structured similar to a mid-80's Rush song perhaps from the classic albums Grace Under Pressure or Power Windows.
There are those who prefer a band to sound live-like in the studio. It's a lovely romantic notion too many cling to as if rehearsals are some wretched affair. But I'd rather my band practice their craft and give it their all for everyone's benefit. There's plenty of time to make mistakes and sound crappy on the tour road. I prefer my band to sound like well-oiled machine ready to do battle with creative demons and my hard-earned dollars. Apocalypse is a band's band that takes pride in arrangement, musicianship and lyrical content.
The final track of Disk 1 is "The Denial" a nearly thirteen-minute lush epic full of early Geoff Tate-influenced power vocals and an incredible percussion support that really leads the song to heights not found in lesser players.
Disk 2 launches a missile with "Burning the Candle" a strong track of progressive metal aggressiveness but unlike the entire Disk 1 it noticeably feels faster, louder and less under the influence of Queensryche or Crimson Glory. The four years between the discs has obviously matured the band and they are confidently stepping out on their own as evident by the gems that follow such as "Glimpse" and "Vacant."
"Silver Lining" is my favorite in this sixteen-song history of a band that belongs in the same league of Queensryche, Crimson Glory and Heir Apparent. It's the one song you automatically notice is Apocalypse as Apocalypse. Their collective sensibilities met with time-tested talent produces a highly original composition of depth and determination. I started this review pointing out Sins. There are more as I close. It's a sin I didn't review this incredible gift of musical legend much sooner than I did. And it's a mortal sin if you do not rush out and grab this double dose of progressive daring to dream the bigger dream.
Track list: DISC I:
1. Losing the Future....To the Past 6:34
2. Visions of War 7:44
3. Stronghold 5:46
4. Unknown Origin 8:29
5. Bullet Proof Attitude 4:53
6. Serpent's Kiss 5:43
7. The Denial 12:58
1. Burning the Candle 4:19
2. Glimpse 4:33
3. Vacant 5:02
4. Shining in the Distance 7:06
5. Someone 4:19
6. Rewind 2:52
7. Silver Lining 3:59
8. Means to an End 4:10
9. Trails End 2:36
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