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Symphonic Prog • Brazil

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Apocalypse biography
Apocalypse is a Brazilian band formed in 1983, and spent their first several years as a regional band playing festivals and other local venues. The band's first album released in 1981, and includes a cover of the Marillion classic "Lavender" which like all the band's early albums is sung in Portuguese. The early lineup was a power trio that including keyboardist Eloy Fritsch, guitarist/vocalist Chico Casara (who also played bass for the studio recordings), and drummer Chico Fasoli, with additional guitarist Ruy Fritsch added after the first album.

The band were forced to look beyond Brazil's borders during a lull in the progressive market in the mid-90s, becoming the first Brazilian band to release on a French label in 1995 ("Perto Do Amanhecer"), and later touring and recording extensively in the United States.

While the band's early sound was heavily steeped in synthesizers and Hammond, the international albums gravitated toward a simpler, more melodic style with shorter tracks and more emphasis on guitar and percussion, although the keyboards still played a significant role in the band's sound. Possibly due to their growing international appeal, the band began to include more instrumental tracks sans the Portuguese vocals in the latter nineties. The band's 2000 "Live in USA" release marked the first time a Brazilian act recorded and released a live set in the United States.

The band's lyrics deal mostly with humanistic themes - war, mysticism, nature, and death, but with a melodic instrumental style. Fans and the band themselves suggest similarities to ELP and Marillion, but in fact their better known recordings are closer to perhaps Rush, Saga, even Camel during the more sanguine parts. By 2000 the band had developed a polished sound that bordered on power rock at times, and at times can remind the listener very much of AOR bands like Survivor and Whitesnake. As with so many South American bands however, the lilting inflections in the guitars and keyboards are uniquely Latin in flavor. Drummer Chico Fasoli plays an extensive kit, giving the band a broad and deep rhythmic sound.

In 2004 bassist and vocalist Chico Casara left the group; singer Gustavo Demarchi and bassist Magoo Wise joined and the group announced that future recordings would be in English. They also decided to re-record some of their old songs in English, and the EP "Magic - The Radio Edits" was released in 2005.

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APOCALYPSE discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

APOCALYPSE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 8 ratings
3.86 | 33 ratings
Perto Do Amanhecer
3.81 | 44 ratings
Aurora Dos Sonhos
3.61 | 26 ratings
Lendas Encantadas
3.49 | 25 ratings
3.69 | 29 ratings
The Bridge Of Light
3.62 | 28 ratings
2012 Light Years From Home

APOCALYPSE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 6 ratings
Live In USA
2.69 | 7 ratings
Magic Spells
3.17 | 9 ratings
Live In Rio

APOCALYPSE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.00 | 5 ratings
Live In Rio
4.33 | 3 ratings
The Bridge Of Light

APOCALYPSE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of
4.50 | 2 ratings
The 25th Anniversary Box Set

APOCALYPSE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 4 ratings
Magic - The Radio Edits


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Magic Spells by APOCALYPSE album cover Live, 2006
2.69 | 7 ratings

Magic Spells
Apocalypse Symphonic Prog

Review by ramien

2 stars I recently started listening to this brazilian band, Apocalypse. They have very good albums, and some of them (Aurora dos Sonhos and Lendas Encantadas really deserve everyone's attention. With this album, Magic Spells, the brazilians start a new direction, changing the lyrics from portuguese to english, and recruiting a new vocalist. Even if Chico Cassara (the previous one) didn't fullfill my expectatives, there was something special and soft about his voice that did match Apocalypse perfectly. With the enter of Gustavo Demarchi here, sometimes I have the sensation of hearing a bad copy of Arena. The keyboards and the guitars are still ok, but it's shocking how much a voice can change the atmosphere. Not so much new here, this disc is most made of old songs, with english vocals (instead of portuguese). Good only if you are a fan, and want to listen the beginning of the new road. Some versions include 13 songs, the last 2 being studio tracks. Of these, "Escape" is interesting and in fact I enjoyed it, but "Not like you" is a complete bore. 2 stars. Just for the fans and the collectors.
 Apocalypse by APOCALYPSE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.04 | 8 ratings

Apocalypse Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The undisputed leader of the Brazilian Neo/Symph Prog scene.Apocalypse were found by keyboardist Eloy Fritsch in 1983 around the Caxias do Sul area with some schoolmates being his supporting crew at the very beginning.First solid line-up comes within the same year with Ruy Fritsch on guitars and Chico Fasoli on drums.In 1984 comes the first demo of the group and for five years Apocalypse played numerous lives in the biggest Rock festivals, building a good fame.A second demo was produced during these years and in 1990 they entered the studio to record their first proper album with Eloy Fritsch on keyboards, Fasoli on drums and Chico Casara on lead vocals, guitar and bass.It was released the following year in vinyl format on the Acit label.

Eleven tracks of fast, dense and MARILLION-esque Neo Prog was the band's early style, still containing plenty of symphonic hints, albeit less apparent compared to their future releases.The music is heavily based on Fritsch'es fantastic synthesizers and the sporadic guitar breakouts of Casara, who had also a passionate and expressive voice with all lyrics being delivered in Portuguese.Most of the pieces are characterized by strong synth runs and quirky rhythmic parts with emphatic vocals, where the music of ALPHA III comes often in mind.Among this bombastic Neo-Prog stuff there are still a few pieces with a more grandiose and orchestral atmosphere, led by melodramatic vocals and cinematic keyboards/piano.Despite the fact that the album is heavily relying on keyboards, bass and drums only, Fritsch appears to be a great, talented keyboardist already from his young age, his performance contained floating electronics, symphonic moves and angular solos in equal doses.A very nice surprise comes also from the group's decent cover on MARILLION's ''Lavender'', sung in Portuguese.

These realy footprints of Apocalypse are no less than British-influenced Neo Prog delivered in their native language.Nice and collectable vinyl with some passionate music and even a few vibes from E.L.P. and RICK WAKEMAN in the keyboard section.Recommended.

 Aurora Dos Sonhos by APOCALYPSE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.81 | 44 ratings

Aurora Dos Sonhos
Apocalypse Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars With a stable line-up and a good contract with Musea, things couldn't have gone much better for Apocalypse.Actually Musea believed so much in the Brazilians that instantly included one of the debut's tracks (''Notre Dame'') in the late-95' compilation ''Le meilleur du rock progressif instrumental''.The next year Apocalypse returned with their sophomore effort ''Aurora dos Sonhos''.The album dealt with different issues like conservation of nature, science fiction and spirituality.

Musically the band attempted to deliver longer and more complicated arrangements with the result being partly succesful.Succesful because the beautiful elements already presented on their debut are again on par: Haunting melodies, dramatic atmospheres, elaborate solos and sharp, grandiose synthesizers.Partly because the long tracks contain overstretched intos or themes that prevent them from being absolutely stunning.Some extended hypnotic guitar solos and Classical-inspired piano preludes are still interesting, but way too long to be warmly appreciated.Fortunately the band is generally in excellent shape.The tracks scan the fields of Neo Prog and Symphonic Rock with comfort, most of the guitar melodies are fantastic, while Eloy Fritsch seems to be another talented keyboard wizard, torturing his minimoog synthesizer with easiness.Lots of shifting moods and diverse textures guarantee another enjoyable release by the band.

Not as consistent as their debut, but the majority of ''Aurora dos Sonhos'' is engaging Neo/Symph Prog with quite a few impressive passages.Had the band avoided the aforementioned flaws, we would be talking about another masterful work.Still strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 2012 Light Years From Home by APOCALYPSE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.62 | 28 ratings

2012 Light Years From Home
Apocalypse Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Having only just gone Anglo with a more accessible, AOR skirting symphonic style on "Bridge of Light", APOCALYPSE has elected to keep things pretty much as they are for "2012 light years from Home". Perhaps there is more of a conscious, even self conscious effort, to progify their trip through rapid lane and speed shifts. When this works, as in the shimmering opener, "New Sunrise", it works wonders, but the title track and closer pinpoints the group's limitations with more ambitious material. At its best, they sound like a clone of an ELP clone on this epic, while at its worst, they barely strike a memorable chord at all.

Elsewhere, the story is much as on "Bridge of Light", and again the material strengthens towards the mid point, with the dreamy "Till Another Side" finding the acoustic guitars and Gustavo Demarchi's voice caressed by the spacey keyboards, and including a beauteous flute solo. The rhythm section fills in strongly here as Ruy Fritsch's heavier guitars provide a welcome counterpoint to the balladic aspect. They also show they can rock out successfully on "Find Me Now", while some of the harmonies of "Morning Light" reflect greater respect paid to the inherent musicality of their material. On the other hand, cliched riffs hold sway over the rather prosaic "on the Way to the Stars" and "Set me Free". In fairness, even when the music fails to impress, the group manages to straddle the sort of metaphysical lyrical themes trodden to excess in prog rock while rarely eliciting a blech.

While occasionally soaring and usually entertaining, "2012 Light Years from Home" falls short of the hoped for masterpiece, this time around, due to general inconsistency, lack of inspiration, and an over reliance on AOR shibboleths.

 2012 Light Years From Home by APOCALYPSE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.62 | 28 ratings

2012 Light Years From Home
Apocalypse Symphonic Prog

Review by IcedPorcupine

4 stars Apocalypse "2012 Light Years From Home" 7/10

Before attending my ears to the music, my eyes really appreciate the incredible artwork this album presents itself with. A fantastic display of colour, set to succeed in appealing to the listener.

Once I got started in the listening process of the album, my initial thoughts "Yes." This album possesses an incredible likeness to the glorious prog band Yes, with special mentions to the fantastically done harmonized vocals opening the song "New Sunrise", a great sound that continued throughout the album.

Additionally, with the Yes sound, the band proceeding in allowing the great bass grooving of Eloy Fritsch to soar through the sound and let the well played instrument speak its mind, boosting the full sound even farther. This fantastic bass sound certainly had likeness to Yes' Chris Squire, with album Drama in mind. This is certainly not to be disliked.

The vocals, done by Gustavo Demarchi, who also does flute work on this LP, I found I was not a big fan of at first, not that I did not like it outright (some songs he did very well), but I couldn't get into it right away. However, despite this, I found Demarchi's voice worked incredibly well with the bulk of the album, and I was certainly reminded vaguely of Marillion's Fish, which was a delight. In short, I feel Demarchi has a voice not to be hated, but to be appreciated with time, much like wine.

One thing I certainly love finding in great music, is the proper utilization of layering. 2012 Light Years From Home is an album that stand among some of the best for the use of layers in music. All parts of the music accented and highlighted everyone else. I love how well this album has been written and recorded. One of my favourite examples comes from a section hovering around the 1:30 mark in the song "Set Me Free" which has the lower synth accenting a higher synth being harmonized with guitar, all pushed up by the incredible rhythm of Fritsch's bass, and drummer, Fábio Schneider's, well done drumming. It was incredibly glorious. The layering carried the incredible melodies of this album. Melodies I certainly enjoyed in every song. Very bright and awesome.

Overall, this album is a great prog album. Though I found the first few songs a little difficult to really get into, it relly started to pick up around the song "The Angels And The Seven Trumpets" where the strength this band possesses started to show well. After "The Angels And The Seven Trumpets" this album took off. It was incredibly easy to groove my head with the music, as it was very likeable. What is not to like? The production was awesome, the instruments are played very well, the voices, both lead and harmonized, soar around the music. Despite a slow start, this album kicked it into seventh gear, and let themselves coast through an incredible journey, to a glorious final by the fantastic epic, anchor song, the title track "2012 Light Years From Home" Well done Apocalypse, I look forward to the next album you have in store.

 2012 Light Years From Home by APOCALYPSE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.62 | 28 ratings

2012 Light Years From Home
Apocalypse Symphonic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars The first thing I have noticed about Apocalypse, before even getting to the music, is the lavish beautifully illustrated album covers. The artwork on "2012 Light Years From Home" continues the fantasy elements seen on the previous 6 releases, featuring an individual in a top hat staring at a monolith with a blazing Mayan ornamental dish, ordained by sunfire, and the hourglass in the foreground signifies time is quickly running out. The Mayan temple on the horizon is an allusion to the Mayan calendar as 2012 signifies the apocalypse of planet earth; did you know that? It is a fascinating idea and draws one into the music. With a cover like this I was expecting a tirade of very heavy metal riffing, but it certainly was a more ambient approach.

'New Sunrise' opens immediately with a barrage of melodic vocals in the chorus, with a modern Yes vibe. The vocals of Gustavo Demarchi are high register and reminded me instantly of Ian Gillan. Although the band are from Brazil all the vox are English, rather than in Portuguese as some other releases were, so it has mass appeal. Eloy Fritsch's keyboards add a symphonic texture, and there are some dynamic guitars from Ruy Fritsch. The rhythms are usually straight forward, not intricate like Threshold, and they are well performed by Eloy Fritsch on bass and Fabio Schneider on drums.

'Set me Free' continues the symphonic rock style and there is an infectious riff and some labyrinthine passages of keyboard. The vocals again have that Gillan sound, and are easy on the ears, every word is discernible.

'Take my Heart' is a great track that features the flute playing of Demarchi,that sounds like Ian Anderson high jacked the studio for a few moments. It is rather odd to hear with all the rocking guitars and keyboards, Jethro Tull was never like this, but it is a compelling sound.

'The Angel and Seven Trumpets' is a reference to Revelation in the Bible, and it rocks along with a nice tempo. 'On the Way to the Stars' has a scorching lead guitar break from Ruy Fritsch; one of the best tracks. The tempo is measured, rarely fast or thrashy, and the keys of Eloy Fritsch keep things in symphonic territory.

'Till Another Side' has a fabulous shimmering organ sound and some delightful acoustics; one of the quietest songs with a melancholy atmosphere. Demarchi's vocals are excellent maintaining a strong high register and always integral to the melodies woven in the tapestry of guitars and keys. I like the way the guitar howls towards the end and is joined by wafting gentle flute.

'Morning Light' opens with those Yes like harmonies before the music chimes in with a soaring lead break and very slow tempo. The vocals over acoustics are well executed, and Apocalypse create a musical soundscape of orchestrated synths and ascending guitar string bends that feels majestic and suits the mood perfectly. The lyrics in the infectious chorus are effective; "Our sun is coming out to shine again, come and take my hand to be free, Morning light, the magic horizon will come, take my hand and we'll be in a dream." The female soul improvisations at the end are very nice too.

'Find me Now' is a short ballad style song reminding me of Whitesnake, and it is followed by majestic AOR rock style with 'A Cry in the Infinity'. A strange soundwave of a clock chiming, soldiers marching and aeroplanes soaring above, followed by guns and grenades exploding leads to the opening acoustics on 'To Kiss the Tears You Cry'. After such a powerful intro it settles into a melancholy approach, almost sounding like 80s AOR like Survivor or Journey. Ruy's wailing lead break further augments the emotive lyrics; "I'm here, close enough to kiss the tears you cry." A child's voice speaks and it leads to an extended coda with a crescendo of guitars and keys, on a fractured time sig. The Gentle Giant-ish a cappella vox harmonies are a nice touch, and the isolated whistling. 'Blue Angel' is a steady melodic rock, gently sung with lyrics that focus on longing for paradise with the blue angle; "you show me the paradise, you are my hope, you are my heart, my blue angel."

The final track is the mini epic clocking almost 14 minutes, opening with piano runs, and the more progressive time sig on the album. the organ lines are fast and frenetic, and is reminiscent of Keith Emerson from that band. Indeed, there are references to 'Tarkus' which is surprising after the melodic rock previous. It settles into a mod tempo jazz figure as the vocals enter. '2012 Light Years from Home' is no doubt exploring areas not visited previously on other tracks, and it is a breath of fresh air that they have left their most adventurous music till last. It really is designed for headphones and one would gain the full experience if they concentrated on the lyrics as they have a powerful story to tell; one that seems to run as a theme on the album, preparing for the apocalyptic end times.

Each song builds up this story and there does not seem to be a happy ending as, after all, not everything turns out like a fairytale. Though the lyrics have an optimistic ray of hope, "For you are light inside your dreams, Inside your dreams the sun will lead us, be ready to save the world, our reason to be here, the more we live, the more we learn, the more we fear, the more we lie, the spirit of imagination can lead us through the shadows, so let´s change the world." The symphonic strings and piano are strikingly like Emerson Lake & Palmer's 'Take A Pebble', and then a synth solo like 'Karn Evil 9' enters with staccato Hammond stabs and an irregular synth rhythm. An extended hammering synth sound follows and some of the best keyboard wizardry from Eloy.

I love this final track and particularly the extended passage of music, even though it was a soundalike of ELP; at least it was adventurous and musically challenging rather than some of the straight 4/4 sig AOR previously. If the whole album had been something like this, at least as musically dextrous, I might have been more impressed. As it stands, this is a decent quality album, and though it is overall songs with a safe rock structure, there is nevertheless a lot to offer the symphonic prog listener.

 2012 Light Years From Home by APOCALYPSE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.62 | 28 ratings

2012 Light Years From Home
Apocalypse Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars This is the seventh studio release by this brazilian act. By far the most active Progressive Rock band in the country.

2012 Light Years From Home was release in The 25th Anniversary Concert Box Set ( that also have a live CD called Magic Spells, a DVD called The 25th Anniversary Concert and a book written by Eliton Tomasi called The 25th Anniversary Book - The Apocalypse History, that tells the 25 years band's history.

The album as a whole is a very good effort and shows tha band growing every new release, but still, I'm bothered with Gustavo Demarchi vocals, not cause of his tone, but because of his English, isn't that bad, but it's a little bit harsh I think, it could be better. But I guess after 6 years singing in English it'll not change anymore. When he plays the flute in his TULL style the band gains a lot of strength, but unfortunatelly it appears on few tracks.

The highlight are the initial track, the YES alike 'New Sunrise' and the different vocals and wonderful bass sound that Magoo Wise delivers. The title track (also the last one) is another wonderful gem with some ELP signs.

I really prefered when the band used to sing in Portuguese (on the 2003's album Refúgio, for example). But it's always a pleasure listen to their music, specially when it's their new record.

I'm pretty sure it'll spin a lot of times on my player.

 The Bridge Of Light by APOCALYPSE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.69 | 29 ratings

The Bridge Of Light
Apocalypse Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This live album almost starts as an Uriah Heep one !

The opening track seems to have come out from the early repertoire from this good band. One is plunged into their universe from the early seventies: pumping Hammond organ, good backing vocals, leading voice à la Byron etc. You name it all! You get it! Quite a ride and a surprise from this band who was more a neo-symph act so far.

"Dreamer" is totally "Marillion" oriented (Fish era); it is even borderline pastiche. The song is powerful and organ is very solid again. As the model, vocals are quite good. Still, it almost sounds as a cover song.

If you fancy some Tull atmosphere, the intro of "Ocean Soul" should delight your ears. The neo mood takes the lead after that. Good synths like Tony, some fluting?huummmmm. Get some "Genesis" feel now. I guess that you see what this album is all about! Some fine trip in the spirit of the giants I have always praised?The same Tull feel is reached during the heavy "Meeting Mr. Earthcrubbs".

The major mood is still the "Marillion" Fish era and you shouldn't look for great originality in this live set. It is just a decent moment of prog music. I still want to mention the good and emotional guitar part during "Wake Up Call". Some songs are also on the edge of the metal genre (which is not my cup of tea as you might know) like "Escape" and are not pushing this work to the four stars rating IMO.

I am afraid that symphonic freaks won't be too much enthusiast about this live release. At least, it is how I feel while I was listening to this "Bridge Of Light". There is nothing wrong with this album, except that the music featured doesn't offer an inch of personality or originality.

It is some sort of a chameleon album which should please any neo-prog fan although a song like "To Madeleine" sounds really too much cliché. To summarize my view: this is not worth than three stars. Sub-par "Fish-Marillion" music.

 Refúgio by APOCALYPSE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.49 | 25 ratings

Apocalypse Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I quite liked their sophomore album « Aurora Dos Sonhos" (four stars in my books), but this one is not quite on par. The music is much harder and has little to share with the symph genre I praise so much.

At times, vocals are sweet and piano relatively subtle. But most of time, the beat is quite "elevated" and the music quite simplistic ("Amazonia"). This is rather a disillusion for me but I was maybe expecting too much from this band after some good earlier work.

Now, the music performed is of great skills but emotion sounds quite alien here. This is a crafted album, with very good musicians but a serious lack in the song writing. Just have a listen to "Prog Jazz" to get confirmation. Lots of jazz and little prog IMHHO.

I can't really call out one single track as being outstanding. And that's a major problem as far as I'm concerned. Some usual neo tendencies during "Lembranças Eternas" are maybe one of the best thing you can experience. But this is far too weak in comparison with the talent of the band.

This album is much more neo-prog oriented. But low-key neo as far as I'm concerned. The melodic closing "Terra Azul" is my fave; but none of the songs from this album can compete with their great "Aurora?").

I am really disappointed with this "Refugio" work. I am generous tough: I will grant it with three stars.

 Lendas Encantadas by APOCALYPSE album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.61 | 26 ratings

Lendas Encantadas
Apocalypse Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the second album I have discovered from this Brazilian band.

After the excellent "Aurora Dos Sonhos", this follow-up sounds more neo with still a fine symphonic angle. It is immediately obvious since this aspect is already available while the opening number is being played ("Miragem"). It is very dynamic and powerful song (reminding me at times "Parallels" but with a "Genesis" angle!).

This good start is not really confirmed with the other tracks: somewhat repetitive recipe: lots of keys, upbeat music and fully (good) neo mood. It is amazing to see how fast the band has changed from style of music. The whole sounds melodic ("Virada do Século") but unachieved. Half of the songs are quite short (around the three minutes mark). This format doesn't allow much research and there is little room for instrumental passages ("Luzes da Vida").

One has to wait for the eighth song to listen to a brilliant and emotive guitar break. Finally! Great ?but too short, unfortunately. Most of the songs though only holds the basics of the neo-prog style ("Chamando Por Ajuda" which almost means "Crying For Help" but there is no relation with "Arena").

Symphonic lovers will probably be disappointed (as I am) with this release which couldn't confirm the excellent "Aurora Dos Sonhos". Even the epic and closing number features little passages to be remembered. Three stars (but this is on the upside).

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to ProgShine for the last updates

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