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Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Hey, another good prog from Germany. And in English language (as ussual), exactly as I like it. Extremely used synthetizers here, beware those who dislike them.

So, album with three epics (two tracks 3-4 minutes, three tracks 17-19 minutes), so which of them is more epic ? Also, it is fair to judge one man project in same way as classic band (3-4 members) ? Well, same as Rick Wakeman, or Anthony Phillips proved, they have a lot to offer too. I'm hesitating between 4-5 stars, but I'll probably give it worse 5 stars. It's all here, but it lacks something. But it has mellotron (or something what sounds similarly), so it's (+).

Melodies here are nice, sometimes very original. Lyrics probably good and his vocal clear and strong. Almost without German accent, so another (+). "Cruel Jokes" is remarkable track, you will remember it for sure. So, rememberness time is over, let's head to simple question. Is this album good ?

Yeah, it is.

Report this review (#229563)
Posted Sunday, August 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars What? Only one review so far? For such interesting and strong CD? It is strange. Anyway, I was also delighted by the high quality of the compositions. And I could hardly believe that this complex and well perfomed work was writen and performed by one man only: incredible Arne Schäfer not only plays everything here (keyboards, guitars, bass and drums) but also sings with quite conviction and technique (and, surprise!, without a noticeable accent). The music inside is a mix of what seems to be two of Schäfer´s strongest inlfuences, Van Der Graaf Generator and Gabriel era Genesis (plus some early King Crimson parts too). So the music is paradoxially very interesting: dark and gloomy on one side and melodic and colorful on the other.

There are only five tracks, and the three epics are definitly the best ones. This is a keyboard driven outfit, although the guitar parts (all played by Schäfer as I stated before) are very good and original. I´d think it was really a five member group instead of a one man band. Lots of analogic sounding keyboards (Hammond organ and mellotron) The arrangements are tasteful, the perfomance is outstanding and the lyrics are quite good too. All helped by the crystal clear production. The songwriting is superb: the guy knows how to produce something new out of the old. Very 70´s sounding, of course, and still very modern too. If you want to check a highlight try the third track, the 19+ minutes Cruel Joke. One hell of a great prog song!

Conclusion: a very nice surprise by this german genius. I´m looking forward to hear more of Apogee´s discography. Fans of 70´s symphonic prog (with dark overtones), don´t miss this one! Rating: 4 strong stars. Definitly recommended.

Report this review (#289548)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars During the 90's Musea was hunting every single name, the music of which was resembling to the sound of the 70's.After his solo work on ''The Border of awareness'', Schaeffer focused on his work with Versus X and their next album ''Disturbance'', which came out in 1996.But he also kept the Apogee thing rolling and two years later the album ''Sisyphos'' is published on the French label.

It seems that Schaeffer has really captured a grandiose Teutonic flavor in this album and the vibrations of ELOY and ANYONE'S DAUGHTER are more than apparent next to his retro references to monsters like YES, KING CRIMSON and PINK FLOYD.The album contains two short pieces along with three monster epics, the shortest of which clocks at over 17 minutes.Additionally this sounds as a more focused effort, Schaeffer has dominated the sound with symphonic orchestrations and complex textures, but he also has a strong sense of melody, a much needed characteristic in such ambitious pieces.The result is a sound that comes and goes through time, expect to listen to some fantastic Mellotron, dreamy harpsichord and deep Hammond organ coming out of the 70's, but be ready to face also the nervous synth stylings of modern Progressive Rock in the album.The guitar work is excellent, very sharp and tricky with some nice solos and discreet Fusion twists.Even Schaeffer's vocals sound a bit better in a majestic enviroment, based on multiple variations and thematic changes with Classical influences and a strong Teutonic Prog flavor.The production is very good and the mix is masterful, no dead holes or flaws, and that is a positive fact for an album filled with impressive, pompous and grandiose Progressive Rock, performed by a single person.

Among the highlights in Arne Schaeffer's long discography.Beautiful Symphonic Rock with blinks to the past and fascinating, rich, atmospheric arrangements.Highly recommended.

Report this review (#1206566)
Posted Monday, July 7, 2014 | Review Permalink

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