Psychotic Symphony is the long-awaited, highly anticipated release from what most people are calling the next new super group known as Sons of Apollo. I think the more fitting term is something more than human. For context Apollo (son of Zeus) was recognized as a god of music, truth, poetry, healing, the sun and the light so it would only be befitting to call these “Sons” the demigods of music; if that seems to be overboard for us mere mortals. Then there is this all-star cast of musicians just being super in what they do.
Rumors of this “Supergroup” started to circulate earlier this year when former members of Dream Theater (The Del Fuvio Brothers a nickname given to the two over 20 years ago during their time in DT) Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian announced to the world this new band called “Sons of Apollo” A Progressive Metal themed band that would reunite the two and bring together guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns n’ Roses, Art of Anarchy), bassist Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteens’s Rising Force). A line up that will bring prog lovers to their knees.
If there is a Chicken Soup for the Soul then Psychotic Symphony (InsideOut Music) has to be the Campbell’s of the Progressive Metal Soup. This release contains all of the ingredients to heal (Apollo would be proud) the mind, body, heart, and soul. From start to finish it keeps your heart pumping and pounding with just enough musical breaks to help you catch your breath before your next roller coaster ride of emotions.
Portnoy seems to play with reckless abandon on each and every track as if he has something to prove. I guess I don’t blame him with the few MP haters still out there; maybe he feels he does. But, what I say to them “Live in the NOW man. Live in the Now”. Mike’s drumming style on this release is very raw, unadulterated while playing with a meticulous purpose. Ron Thal and Billy Sheehan seem to be having a battle of wits, as they appear to try and outdo each other as they blister through their signature trademark scales throughout the tracks. Now don’t get me wrong, this is no battle they gel together like no other guitar/bass combo I’ve heard in decades. These two were made for Prog Metal period! The two together? All I can say is “LOOK OUT”!!!!! What can I say about Derek Sherinian? The man is a savant at those keys. His writing and playing technique really seems to bring all of this together and anchor it with pure keyboard poetry. Bringing all of the Sons together to tell this new historic tale is Jeff Scott Soto. Not only has Jeff fronted the likings of Journey and Yngwie, but if you happen to be a Trans-Siberian Orchestra fan then you have also heard him sing some timeless classics like ‘Dreams We Conceive’ and ‘Prometheus’. Jeff is very versatile and sings with power and a dynamic range, which has made him one of the most in-demand throats in all of hard rock!
Some notable tracks to pay close attention to in my humble opinion: ‘God of the Sun’, ‘Labyrinth’, Figaro’s Whore/Divine Addiction (Figaro’s Whore is a short intro to Divine Addiction, but both seem to pay tribute to a great keyboard legend Deep Purple’s Jon Lord), and of course I can’t leave out the final track a true Prog instrumental epic ‘Opus Maximus’. This album pulls influences from the likings of Kansas “With balls” (as Derek describes track ‘Sign of the Times’), Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs and all of their personal work over the years all put together for one of tastiest soups for the progressive musical soul.
This is a must have add to your musical library. My ADHD mind had to listen to it a multitude of times, just to catch what I missed the time before, and I’m listening to it as I type. Yes. It’s that good! It’s truly a gift from the Gods – Or Demigods!!!!
Sons of Apollo will be hitting the road in 2018 and has to be on the list of must-see live acts. This is their only album so you can imagine some of the other work they’ll obviously have to bring to the table to create a full show setlist? Think about it go through your minds. The options are limitless.