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Apocalypse: The Castle

If you’re one of those proggers always harking back to the glory days of the mid 70s, while remaining resolutely unmoved by the more current scene, then let me introduce you to Apocalypse and their up until now unreleased 1976 album, The Castle. Hence, if it’s an authentic sounding prog album that harks back to a Renaissance, Yes and maybe even Soft Machine sound that you hanker after, then this is pretty much it. Sourced from original masters that sat unused until now, the work that this four-piece created all these years back finally receives a release on both vinyl and digital format, with no CD version available. That may well feel a little presumptive for an unknown act, but there’s no doubting that the correct medium on which to experience the five tracks unearthed here is big, black and round.

Hailing from Chicago, Apocalypse were something of a near family affair, Tom Salvatori (bass) teaming up with older brother Michael (guitar and lead vocals), Michael’s wife Gail Salvatori (keys, violin and vocals) and Tom’s classmate Scott Magnesen (drums). Although utilising a slightly grittier sound, Michael undoubtedly had something of a Steve Howe attack about his guitar playing, while the manner in which he and his wife combined vocally really was a marriage made in heaven. The album’s title track possibly illustrates that side of their approach most strongly, and yet in terms of the overall feel, something more pastoral is often the order of the day. The closing “All The People” being meandering, but never aimless, as muted whistles combine beautifully with some clever keyboard, guitar and percussion work.

“The Spirit” on the other hand initially feels much more like Fragile era Yes, the guitars and bass working in unison around a gently driving beat, with the melody here as important as the mood and tone. However, once that introductory movement gives way to gently surging keys, you know that Apocalypse were never going to be satisfied with mining one direct influence source. All five tracks maintain this high standard and while hindsight possibly suggests that there’s not too much that’s original being presented, when you consider when The Castle was recorded, you have to listen to things in a different light.

It’s maybe taken 46 years to be heard, but with The Castle, it’s fair to suggest that the debut album from Apocalypse is a fine, progressive outing that’s as cutting edge and timely as any album recorded in 1976 - and I mean that as a compliment.


Track Listing
1. The Spirit 

2. Only the Children Know

3. Turning Around 

4. The Castle 

5. All the People

Added: September 5th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Apocalypse @ bandcamp
Hits: 225
Language: english

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