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APOGEE

Crossover Prog • Germany


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Apogee biography
APOGEE is another one-man band from Germany. Arne Schäfer plays all the instruments and sings in a "Hammillian oriented" progressive style. Although the thoughful lyrics feature in the music, there are very good intrumental textures on 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.

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Buy APOGEE Music


SisyphosSisyphos
Import
Musea 1998
Audio CD$10.47
$22.21 (used)
FantasticFantastic
Import
Imports 2006
Audio CD$39.62
$10.58 (used)
Touch in LightTouch in Light
VICTOR JAPAN
Audio CD$27.96
$10.28 (used)
The Garden Of DelightsThe Garden Of Delights
Import
Musea 2003
Audio CD$13.00
Mystery RemainsMystery Remains
Import
Musea 2009
Audio CD$15.66
$21.04 (used)
AhiruAhiru
Single · Import
VICTOR JAPAN 2007
Audio CD$14.99
$14.22 (used)
Apogee / IllusionsApogee / Illusions
Bulletproof
Vinyl$7.06
Apogee / Tribal AffairApogee / Tribal Affair
Captivating Sounds
Vinyl$8.63 (used)
The Border Of AwarenessThe Border Of Awareness
Musea 2003
Audio CD$17.57
$87.14 (used)
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APOGEE shows & tickets


  • APOGEE???????2015?LIVE OF BLUE? on 22 Mar 2015

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)

3.42 | 15 ratings
The Border of Awareness
1995
4.05 | 18 ratings
Sisyphos
1998
3.26 | 8 ratings
On the Aftertaste
2000
3.66 | 20 ratings
The Garden of Delights
2003
3.55 | 18 ratings
Mystery Remains
2009
2.59 | 6 ratings
Die Gläserne Wand und Schleifen (feat. Gerald Heimann)
2012
3.94 | 16 ratings
Waiting for the Challenge
2012

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

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

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

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

APOGEE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Waiting for the Challenge by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 16 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.

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 Sisyphos by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.05 | 18 ratings

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Sisyphos
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 Die Gläserne Wand und Schleifen (feat. Gerald Heimann) by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.59 | 6 ratings

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Die Gläserne Wand und Schleifen (feat. Gerald Heimann)
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars German project APOGEE is the creative vehicle of composer and multi-instrumentalist Arne Schafer, a solo vehicle for material that doesn't fit in his main band Versus X. Since the first Apogee disc appeared in 1995 a total of six full length productions have been released under this moniker, of which "Waiting for the Challenge" from 2012 is the most recent. The double feature "Die Glaserne Wand & Schleifen", also released in 2012, isn't truly a part of the Apogee project. But as this is solo material by Schafer as well, the Russian label MALS Records opted to issue these archival recording under this already established moniker.

These archival recordings courtesy of Arne Schäfer, released under his Apogee moniker, document an ambitious musician with a need to cover and explore a lot of ground in terms of structures, arrangements and style. Some technical and instrument details do come across as fairly dated, and a certain taste for 80's style sounds will be needed to enjoy this double CD. But if you don't regard that as a major drawback and tend to enjoy a fairly eclectic and demanding take on the symphonic art rock universe, then you might want to inspect this production, alongside existing fans of Arne Schafer and his musical escapades.

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 Die Gläserne Wand und Schleifen (feat. Gerald Heimann) by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.59 | 6 ratings

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Die Gläserne Wand und Schleifen (feat. Gerald Heimann)
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

2 stars This album contains material from 1988 ? 1989, before Arne Schäfer became involved with Versus X. Apogee has always been intended to push the boundaries of what could be accepted as prog, so Throbbing Gristle and Kraftwerk have as much influence as VDGG or King Crimson. On this double CD set he is joined by vocalist Gerald Heimann, and while all of the vocals are in German there is an English translation of the lyrics in the booklet. I really wasn't sure what to expect from this album, as although I have albums by all four bands mentioned above in my collection ? how would it all fit together? Also, when I saw that the five songs on disc one (and the first song on disc two) were all described as movements of the same piece. Now, when someone states that it is a movement (as opposed to a section or individual song) they raise the stakes as normally movements are associated with classical music ? so just how good is this?

Well, to be honest, not very. There are some sections where it is really very good, but that is overweighed by the times when I was wondering just how much longer it had to go on. Some of the keyboard sounds being used are incredibly dated, even allowing for the fact it was recorded more than 20 years ago. There are times when it reminded me more of some of the worse elements of electronic music that was around twenty years ago ? but there again I don't believe that I am the intended audience as this is part of a series of releasing some of Arne's archives, so there must be people out there who are demanding this. To me this just sounds like a series of demo recordings that I am unlikely to listen to again. www.mals.ru

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 The Border of Awareness by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.42 | 15 ratings

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The Border of Awareness
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Apogee is a solo project of Versus X-guitarist Arne Schäfer,a dedicated Classic Prog fan.While playing in various bands and eventually finding his Ithaca on Versus X,Arne was composing and recording his own material on a two-track tape.Meeting the guys on Musea through his regular band,Arne sent them his self-produced material and so Apogee was born.Musea decided to release Apogee's first solo output under the title ''The Border of Awareness'' in 1995,a year after Versus X self-titled debut, containing material Arne wrote between 1989 and 1994.

The German musician (and professional chemist) handles all bass,guitars and keyboards,sings and uses drum samples on this album,which contains four long numbers of Classic Prog-influenced music along with a short one.While I will pass by Arne's voice,which is decent but a bit accented,I won't do the same with the more than fine musicianship.The tracks are full of great guitar work,grandiose keyboard passages,sudden breaks,mellow moments and atmospheric passages to fullfill every prog fan's dream.Influences are diverse but definitely through the Classic Prog era: GENESIS, YES, KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, PINK FLOYD and the list goes on.And while Arne is a more than talented guitarist as we know them from Versus X,he surprisingly prooves to be an excellent keyboardist as well.I do not know his exact equipment but I can detect sounds from organ,moog synths and church organ among the common digital synths used,which make his work trully varied. Orchestral passages, spacey synths, organ solos, even electronic soundscapes are some of the great instrumental parts you can listen to ''The Border of Awareness''.And Arne achieved to keep a good balance between the vocal-based parts and the dramatic instrumental music on this.

While ''The Border of Awareness'' will never find itself among the personal and original releases of progressive rock,it is certainly a great album, defining the meaning of progressive rock and offering long cuts of impressive and intricate music.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 The Garden of Delights by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.66 | 20 ratings

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The Garden of Delights
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Mystery Remains by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.55 | 18 ratings

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Mystery Remains
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This fifth effort by German band Apogee, a side project of Versus X member Arne Schäfer, is an effort that should cater rather well for an audience who appreciate a dark and elaborate variety of the symphonic progressive rock universe. Closer to a band like Van der Graaf Generator than Genesis or Yes in overall style, but also with a nod or two in the direction of bands like Eloy and Pink Floyd.

Organically evolving compositions with an emphasis on a variety of more or less subtle contrasts is what's offered to potential listeners on this occasion, from the majestic epic title track opening this album to the more sophisticated and varied mammoth ending this affair. Long instrumental passages is a key feature throughout, and all compositions explore the specific contrast of having dampened and subdued motifs followed by rich, multiple layered efforts and vice versa. All the compositions are well made and well performed, and none of them falters or stagnates to any degree worth mentioning.

Odd sounding, cheesy synth textures and Schäfer's somewhat limited vocal range, the latter comparable to Eloy's Frank Bornemann, are the main features that makes this a very good and not a perfect album as far as my personal taste goes. But still, well worth investigating for anyone with a soft spot for elaborate and sophisticated symphonic progressive rock.

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 Sisyphos by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.05 | 18 ratings

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Sisyphos
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Mystery Remains by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.55 | 18 ratings

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Mystery Remains
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Apogee is the one-man ensemble 8or almost) incarnated by German guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Arne Schäfer, also active in one of the most prominent German symphonic prog bands in later times (Versus X). Actually, one cannot help but remember how solidly Versus X has been evolving into a retroactive reconstruction of old- school symphonic prog rock with their 2008 album "Primordial Ocean", and now we listen to the Apogee material and can hypothesize about the place that the prime foundations for this sort of evolution came from, considering that Versus X started under a more neo- friendly guise with flourishing leanings toward the robust atmospheres of mid-70s VdGG and early King Crimson. Apogee's overall sound, however, as always been more agile and softer at the same time, and regarding this factor, "Mystery Remains" brings no great surprises to our ears. This doesn't mean at all that this album isn't attractive or interesting, because it is both, indeed. Now, let me confess that I don't enjoy the elaborated instrumental travels and variations in this album as I did for this same sort of thing as exposed in the various Versus X items I own in my collection. But again, this is an album I enjoy very much and it makes me appreciate Arne Schäfer's enthusiasm and creativity with greater factual knowledge. The album kicks off with the monster title track, lasting almost 13 minutes. The motifs and moods tend not to be excruciatingly intense, but the utilization of moderately dense ambiences in some passages brings a wealthy source of variety to the whole framework. It is somewhat akin to Discipline, Brighteye Brison and? well, Versus X, at least, to a degree. 'Get Your Reward' refurbishes the contemplative facet for its first half, until a more electric second half brings in some heat. 'The Claws Of Insanity' shifts things a bit toward a PF-related scheme. At the 4 ½ minute mark or so, the track explodes into realms of a bigger expressiveness, signaling some stylistic connections with High Wheel and Cliffhanger. The moderately bombastic finale states a properly ceremonious for the resulting melodic development. 'Point Of Ignition' isn't exactly too dissimilar from the preceding track. In a way, you can tell that these two tracks point out the basic standard for the whole album: in the particular case of 'Point Of Ignition', the more expansive use of keyboard inputs is remarkable, as well as the intensity built up during its interlude. 'Tracing Experience' occupies the album's last 20 minutes, which mostly recapitulates moods and sonic schemes we have found earlier in tracks 1?3. Of course, in a 20 minute span we can enjoy lots of motif transitions and mood shifts, all of them delivered across elegant links. Now it's time for the general balance. With 4 out of 5 tracks that last 12?20 minutes and the remaining one lasting almost 9, this repertoire clearly aims at exploring the inherently ambitious melodic drive of symphonic progressive rock: so, all avid symphonic prog lovers everywhere should check and appreciate this very good effort by Apogee. I give 3.4 stars to this one.

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 The Border of Awareness by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.42 | 15 ratings

BUY
The Border of Awareness
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Thanks to my dear friend BW. that he told me about Apogee. Listened right after Syshiphos, one can't resist to compare these two. This one, or other one, ermmm... this one is worse. Not so much, but it crosses imaginary line between 4-|+|-5 stars.

I don't see so strong composition here, catchy melodies, instruments handled so well. It's probably because of this is his first album, but who knows. Maybe there are other, weird reasons. Maybe I'm just tired after first one, but that shouldn't be problem. Few guitar solos, clear vocals, in general same things as in Syshipos are here, but I don't like it so much. Maybe it's silly, but I see it in that way.

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