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Sphinx biography
Sphinx was an Italian-German band (comprised of four Italians and two Germans) who released an LP in 1981 on the Peak label. The album was recorded in Kirchheim, Germany, in November and December of 1980, and was originally given the title Here We Are. In 1985, however, this same album was reissued on Mausoleum Records/Camel Records under the different title of Burning Lights (after one of its seven tracks), and also given a radically different sleeve picture. The band relies on dual keyboards and have a sound that reminds of American Symphonic Prog bands like Kansas with noticeable AOR and Hard Rock elements. Sphinx came to an end very shortly after the recording of Here We Are was made, but they are said to have won several band competitions during their brief existence.

The band's part-American, part-German guitarist Thomas Metzger previously contributed guitar to the German Prog band Pancake's debut album Roxy Elephant in 1975 (at a very young age). Metzger is now much better known under the name Tommy Newton and as a guitarist of the Metal band Victory, as well as a distinguished music producer. His breakthrough as a producer came when he produced Helloween's acclaimed Keeper Of The Seven Keys albums.

Anton Fritz - SouthSideoftheSky

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3.82 | 6 ratings
Here We Are

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SPHINX Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Here We Are by SPHINX album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.82 | 6 ratings

Here We Are
Sphinx Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgLine

4 stars I never thought that I could find this album on ProgArchives. On my mind, it was perhaps too heavy-metal oriented... It reminds me the first Angel albums (With Guffria) and closer to now Black Bonzo...

For the information, this album had been released on CD (the one I bought) on the german label Aurophon in 1990 with a different tracklist :

1. 666 (6:18) 2. Jane (5:31) 3. Spirit Of Life (7:41) 4. Burning Light (3:51) 5. Gally (6:53) 6. Superstar (4:42) 7. I Quell Angelo (5:15)

On Drums, the guy is called Michele 'Mike' Catena My favorite song is the last one "I quel angelo' and that is very different from the previous ones as it is a purely pop progressive track sung in italian (with the poppish side of Il volo and the more dynamic side of PFM for the middle keyboard section]

 Here We Are by SPHINX album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.82 | 6 ratings

Here We Are
Sphinx Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars A few days ago, this lost gem by the Italo - German band SPHINX was added to the Symphonic database despite the lack of information, so the time has come to release their debut and only release Here we Are, an elaborate blend of different sounds and influence maybe too complex for 1981, when people was searching for simpler music.

The album is opened by Burning Lights, some sort of Heavy Symphonic with reminiscences of several bands, from URIAH HEEP to KANSAS (Somehow makes me think in Miracles Out of Nowhere. If something impressed me were Rolando Scarponi vocals reminiscent of Steve Walsh, the double keyboard and the frantic drumming. A delightful song for those of us who are old enough to have witnessed the first attempts of fusion between Symphonic Prog and Hard Rock.

I'm not misogynous (by the contrary, consider women as the greatest achievement of God), but each time I see a song with a girl name, I have some prejudices, because it's normally a balladesque track with which the band tries to reach a hit single, and Jane is not the exception. Even though it's too elaborate for a top 40 song, they blend some 80's Heavy AOR (A la Europe) with POP and hints of Symphonic provided by the keyboards. Surely the weakest track of the album, even when not bad due to the delightful Mellotron).

Superstar is heavier than the two previous, reminding me of SPINAL TAP (with better lyrics) with an impressive duel between Thomas Metzger (guitar) vs the double keys by Thomas Kircher and Rosario Condello, really impressive, even when not Symphonic at all. Luckily this guys balance the strength of this song with the delicacy and complexity of I Quell Angelo (The Passionate Angel), a track that has everything, from pristine Symphonic, to Tarantella and Heavy Prog, a marvelous mixture of sounds, genres and flavors.

Well, until know I have enjoyed the eclecticism of SPHINX, but wasn't ready for Spirit of Life, another song that has everything a Proghead loves, including lush keyboards, great vocals (now reminiscent of David Byron) plus something that was missing.POMP, hey I won't even try to deny I love the excesses. Most likely Spirit of Life, inspired the name of the band because the mysterious and almost Egyptian atmosphere.Don't miss the guitar solo, its breathtaking.

After listening 666, I'm sure this guys heard APHRODITE'S CHILD, because this track combines the almost electronic keyboards of Vangelis, the cvocals in the style of Roussos and tbe power of the Greek band's masterpiece. Even when the sound is heavier they take some of the atmosphere of 666 (The album) with more than a hint from IRON MAIDEN.

Here we Are is closed by Galley, in which they leave Symphonic and Hard Rock territory to introduce us in Metal realms, but still they carefully blend melodic and delicate operatic passages that break the aggressive atmosphere. The keyboards are simply outstanding and the vocals at the peak.

Well, I must say that this album is not for the classic Symphonic fan of YES and GENESIS, but for those of us who love the combination of Classical influences and very heavy Rock, this is a great collector's item? For me it's worth 4 solid stars.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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