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Apogee: Conspiracy Of Fools

Apogee is the brainchild of German multi-instrumentalist/composer Arne Schäfer. My introduction to Apogee’s music was their last album titled The Art Of Mind, released in 2015. I was very impressed with that effort and the fact that Schäfer plays and sings everything himself, sans drums, is quite eye opening. The music is influenced by the usual ‘70s suspects; Genesis, Jethro Tull and Yes. Schäfer (lead and backing vocals, electric, acoustic and slide guitars, keyboards, bass guitars, orchestral arrangements) and Ebi Graef (drums and percussion) have done a marvelous job with this one. Multilayered arrangements, great use of keyboards and orchestrations and Schäfer’s rather unique and sometimes layered voice is what you will hear. If not mind boggling, the music is certainly superbly played with enough strong melodies and hooks to ensure this one will have staying power.

The disc consists of six tracks with five of them exceeding ten minutes so you can be rest assured the musicians have room to expand their musical horizons. The album begins with the title track, a symphonic piece with nice acoustic and electric guitar, diverse keyboard sounds and solid lead vocals. Some seem to think Schafer’s vocals are a weak link, but I quite like his Hammill-esque style. They aren’t perfect but sound pretty good to these ears and the use of backing vocals adds even more lushness. The layered vocals near the end of the song are excellent. At over fourteen minutes is “Incomprehensible Intention” featuring dramatic symphonic builds and fine keyboard sections including solo piano. Schäfer’s vocals really reminded me of Peter Hammill on this track and the guitar solos are superb. “Override Our Instincts” is another superbly played epic and one of the catchiest tracks on the disc. Some of the orchestrations have a Beatles’ feel and at times the duo reach for a higher complexity. That’s only half the album, there’s another thirty minutes left to explore.

With about seventy minutes of quality music to dig into, Conspiracy Of Fools should very much appeal to those who appreciate long form compositions. An excellent production from our good friends over at Progressive Promotion Records.

Track Listing:
1. Conspiracy Of Fools (13:08)
2. Incomprehensible Intention (14:15)
3. Override Our Instincts (12:56)
4. Losing Gentle Control (4:58)
5. Colors And Shades (11:46)
6. The Whispering From Outside (12:52)

Added: March 31st 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 836
Language: english

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