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Apogee - The Garden Of Delights CD (album) cover



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4 stars Wow.This one is good, indeed!

We got Arne Schaefer from VERSUS X here, who sings and plays all the instruments.I got few VERSUS X albums - nothing exceptional - so I didn't care much for this one too.But when I chanced to listen to it, I've changed my mind!

So, this is New Symphonic Prog in SPOCK'S BEARD/ FLOWER KINGS/ VERSUS X/ DISCIPLINE/ you-continue style, and it's really GOOD. Sometimes music flows into a more Hamillian territory with dark and sinister atmosphere and gloomy lyrics ; sometimes you may found yourself inside an almost MARILLION-like spot filled with emotions and melody... All tracks are long and varied, with memorable tunes and amazing musicianship. If you dislike one-man-bands, try this one - it'll change your mind! Thanks Arne, that was great and I want more! Recommended!

Report this review (#111668)
Posted Sunday, February 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. APOGEE and VERSUS X are both the brain-child of Germany's own Arne Schaefer. Arne is a multi-instrumentalist and singer and on this album he is helped by drummer Uwe Vollmar who helps out on the follow-up to this one, as well as the two most recent VERSUS X albums. I never really noticed this before but Arne's singing reminds me of Andy Tillison's vocals on here. By the way this album is over 70 minutes in length and consists of 5 tracks.

"The Garden Of Delights" is by far my favourite. I was pretty excited the first time I heard this track thinking i'd stumbled upon a great album, but sadly the rest of the songs don't measure up to this one. It opens with atmosphere as piano comes in slowly then reserved vocals. It kicks in before 2 minutes with a beat, guitar and organ. I love the melancholic synths before 6 minutes as they seem to jam. Great section until it settles before 10 minutes but it kicks back in a minute later. Great track. "To Keep The Balance" opens with background synths and drums. It picks up and vocals arrive 2 minutes in. Guitar to the fore after 4 1/2 minutes when the vocals stop. It settles with piano after 8 minutes before kicking back in at 10 1/2 minutes. Good tune but not even close to being as good as the opener.

"The Cassini Division" is the only instrumental and the shortest track by far. It's mostly acoustic guitar melodies throughout. "Paying The Bill" is almost orchestral sounding with some energy too early on. It does settle 1 1/2 minutes in with piano, reserved vocals and relaxed guitar.The intro soundscape returns as contrasts continue. Some tasteful guitar before 11 minutes. "Swallow The Illusion" opens with atmosphere then the music kicks in around 1 1/2 minutes.Vocals before 4 minutes as it settles. It picks up again before 5 1/2 minutes with some nice bass.This song which is the longest at 21 1/2 minutes continues to change moods and tempos.

I like this album but not enough to offer up the fourth star. Worth checking out though.

Report this review (#409653)
Posted Monday, February 28, 2011 | Review Permalink

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