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APOGEE

Crossover Prog • Germany


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Apogee biography
Arne SCHÄFER - Born June 17, 1962

APOGEE is another one-man band from Germany. Arne plays all the instruments and sings in a "Hammillian oriented" progressive style. Although the thoughtful lyrics feature in the music, there are very good intrumental textures in the background. This combination makes the music very interesting, although ground-breaking sounds are found here... there's always a component referring to "I have listened to this before somewhere". Its worth to mention that the albums are very well produced in general.

See also: VERSUS X

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APOGEE discography


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

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

3.46 | 28 ratings
The Border Of Awareness
1995
3.96 | 42 ratings
Sisyphos
1998
3.52 | 26 ratings
On The Aftertaste
2001
3.68 | 36 ratings
The Garden Of Delights
2003
3.69 | 33 ratings
Mystery Remains
2008
2.65 | 10 ratings
Die Gläserne Wand / Schleifen
2012
3.94 | 33 ratings
Waiting For The Challenge
2012
3.37 | 33 ratings
The Art Of Mind
2015
3.34 | 22 ratings
Conspiracy Of Fools
2018
3.91 | 33 ratings
Endurance of the Obsolete
2020

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

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

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

APOGEE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Endurance of the Obsolete by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.91 | 33 ratings

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Endurance of the Obsolete
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Multi-instrumentalist Arne Schäfer is back with his tenth album under the Apogee name and has been joined again by drummer Eberhard Graef. It is safe to say that I have not been the greatest fan of his releases to date, which go back some 25 years, but did think his previous album, 2018's 'Conspiracy of Fools" was his best to date, and here I find myself saying exactly the same thing again. Historically I have not been the biggest fan of his vocals, but now we have much improved singing with the music arranged in such a way as to play to his strengths and minimise the weaknesses. It is the arrangements that really make the album stand out, with strong use of acoustic guitar, some nice, dated keyboards, and electric guitar leads which are quite reminiscent of Jadis and Pendragon.

Apogee are generally classified as crossover prog, but this album sees them also move firmly strongly into neo prog. Given my previous concerns over his vocals I am surprised to hear a layered a capella section in opener "Interpretations", and the use of xylophone during that number also gives it a much stronger feel. The digipak contains all the lyrics in a booklet, and although I must confess, I was not really looking forward to playing this album, I was really surprised at just how good it is. I may not have have recommended Apogee in the past, but this album sees a step change in the music, which means that now really is the right time to investigate the band who are mixing together some commercial and interesting progressive styles to produce an album which is immediately enjoyable.

 Endurance of the Obsolete by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.91 | 33 ratings

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Endurance of the Obsolete
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron lover

4 stars So. Another one-man band. Well, I must say that I usually have issues toward one-man bands. Generally speaking, the singing is is OK (sometimes bad), the guitar is OK, the bass is OK, the keys are OK and the drum is OK. No virtuosity expected. The new Apogee album, Endurance of the Obsolete, checks in all categories. But, as a whole, does it make Endurance of the Obsolete an "OK" album ? A little more than that I must say, much to my surprise. Arne Schäfer, the man behind Apogee (and behind Versus X) manages to give us very nice melodies. The 6 songs of the album (3 of them are more than 12 minutes long, which I like) are anything but complex nevertheless structurally well balanced and pleasant to the ear. The opening song song, "Interpretations", is particularly interesting with its three-parts canon (ā la Haken's Cockroach King) and its fine cello, harpsichord and vibraphone harmonies. Overruled, a 16-minute epic, is a good example of a perfectly well written and composed composed piece of progressive music. This is Apogee's tenth album and it was about time for me to discover Schäfer's work. Endurance of the Obsolete is, despite its minor flaws, a very interesting album that will surely force me to make up for lost time and listen to Apogee's old stuff. Well deserved 4 out of 5 stars here (could have been 4,5 with a guest singer !).
 Endurance of the Obsolete by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.91 | 33 ratings

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Endurance of the Obsolete
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars I must say that this album gave me a nice surprise, since one can find here a lot of tasteful and intricate vocal conterpoint in the loving style of Gentle Giant, but without incurring in a plain copy or pastiche. There's also, along with the recognizable pattern of voices and acoustic guitars, some original flavor in melodies and arrangements, as well as clever and skilful song writing, and that makes this new listen worth. I can point out a resemblance to dutch prog rockers Focus too, for example in the keyboards fanfare and vocal chorus of the opening track ("Interpretations"). But that one, and the other influences, are organically integrated in the music that runs fluid following its own path, and conforming an original and solid idea
 Endurance of the Obsolete by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.91 | 33 ratings

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Endurance of the Obsolete
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German project APOGEE have been releasing material at a steady pace for the past 25 years or so, a venture that started out and still is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Arne Schäfer, but now with drummer Eberhard Graef appearing to be a permanent member as well. "Endurance of the Obsolete" is the tenth album to be issued under the Apogee moniker, and was released by German label Progressive Promotion Records in the summer of 2020.

Apogee as of 2020 strikes me as a band that should have a fairly good appeal among progressive rock fans. "Endurance of the Obsolete" is an album in need of fans that enjoy epic length compositions with enough twists and turns to merit the description challenging, as well as those who do not see the need for such creations to be within or in touch with the symphonic landscapes of the progressive rock universe at all times. In my view this is probably the most accomplished creation form this venture I have come across so far, and a strong album overall.

 Conspiracy Of Fools by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.34 | 22 ratings

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Conspiracy Of Fools
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

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.

 On The Aftertaste by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.52 | 26 ratings

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On The Aftertaste
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Progresearcher

4 stars This album was released by the Italian label Mellow Records in 2006 - not in 2000. "On the Aftertaste" is the fourth official CD release by Apogee, though this is actually the project's very first studio album . It consists of the tracks Arne Schafer composed and recorded from 1989 to 1991 (i.e. quite long before the appearance of "The Border of Awareness"), none of them were available previously, of course. Musically, there is a lot in common between "On the Aftertaste" and most, if not all, of the other albums that Arne released under the Apogee moniker. The only exception would probably be "Die Glaserne Wand & Schleifen". Recorded in 1988, this collaborative effort between Arne and singer/lyricist Gerald Heimann is much more classically influenced than any of Schaefer's subsequent releases.
 The Art Of Mind by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.37 | 33 ratings

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The Art Of Mind
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

2 stars Apogee is a side project of Versus X singer, guitarist and composer, Arne Schafer, and here he provides everything except for drums, which are provided by Eberhard Graef. According to the press release this 2015 album revives the typical characteristics of the golden age of prog, and references Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Rush, Zappa and UK. Hmm, I guess that means that the album I'm listening to isn't this one at all, as this is the type of album that gives prog a bad name. Normally, when I come across an album where the opening song is twenty minutes long, and the others are all eight minutes plus then I am singing the praises right off the bat. Here, not so much.

There are bits here and there that are quite pleasant, but just when I think it's just me there is another dire passage, or melody switch that doesn't make sense. It is almost as if he has taken those classic bands and has tried to pull together bits and pieces into a coherent whole, but if he was given a jigsaw puzzle there are pieces missing and he's lost the picture he is supposed to be recreating. I find it incredible that this is his eighth album, as in many this is reminiscent of so many tapes I was being sent more than twenty-five years ago, although in fairness the production is a lot better (and easily the best part). My last review of an Apogee album had me feeling rather the same way, that this is likely never to darken my player again.

 The Art Of Mind by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.37 | 33 ratings

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The Art Of Mind
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German project APOGEE is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Arne Schafer, otherwise known as a member of the German band Versus X. He has been releasing music using the Apogee moniker ever since 1989, and so far this is an eight album strong project. "The Art of Mind" is the title of the project's brand new album, which was released in 2015 by the German label Progressive Promotion Records.

"The Art of Mind" comes across as a well planned and executed production of progressive rock, made with a similar approach and touching base with the classic-era bands, yet also including the odd detail here and there with more of an atmospheric character, adding a touch of what many would call neo-progressive rock to a production that has symphonic progressive rock as a firm foundation. The instrumental sections, themes, arrangements and motifs leave little to be desired, as far as I'm concerned, but the vocals are a rather weak point, and on a few occasions a detrimental one at that. Still, if you have an affection for classic progressive rock of the symphonic variety, this is a disc that merits an inspection.

 Waiting For The Challenge by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 33 ratings

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Waiting For The Challenge
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German project APOGEE is the creative vehicle of composer and instrumentalist Arne Schafer, a side project from his main band Versus X. The first Apogee album "The Border of Awareness" was released back in 1995, and a grand total of seven studio productions have been released under this moniker so far. "Waiting for the Challenge" is the most recent of these, released through the French label Musea Records in December 2012.

"Waiting for the Challenge" comes across as a well planned, well executed and cohesive production through and through. Variations in pace and intensity are used to good effect; the compositions smoothly move through multiple themes and arrangements; contrasting elements and sequences are applied to good effect throughout. If you tend to enjoy progressive rock of the symphonic variety that comes across as vintage oriented then this is a production that merits an inspection, it's as simple as that really.

 Sisyphos by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.96 | 42 ratings

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Sisyphos
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator 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.

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

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