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kev rowland
Crossover Team
3 stars Arne Schäfer is back with his ninth album under the Apogee moniker, and again he has been joined by drummer Eberhard Graef while he provides all other instruments and vocals. I was incredibly harsh on his last release, 2015's 'The Art of Mind', as I really didn't like it at all and must confess that I wasn't looking forward to playing this one as a result. But, actually this isn't nearly as bad. Although the vocals are still an issue for me, the songs themselves work much better. We have six songs, of which five are in excess of ten minutes long, with one shorter acoustic number. It certainly doesn't feel like one musician plus drummer, as it really does have a band feel and there is good interplay. Graef makes a real difference here, and the album has far more impact than if Schäfer had undertaken it all himself, as he adds plenty of nuances and touches throughout.

The almost spoken vocals just don't work for a whole album, but musically there is some fairly strong neo prog going on, and while not essential there are times when it actually becomes reasonably enjoyable. There is some strong guitar, and it is when he channelling Camel that this album works best. But, until Schäfer brings in a stronger vocalist I can't see Apogee moving to the next level, although it is certainly better than what has gone before.

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Posted Saturday, September 8, 2018 | Review Permalink

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