Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Mahavishnu Orchestra - Apocalypse CD (album) cover


Mahavishnu Orchestra


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.64 | 271 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Owl
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Johnny Mac was not one to do things halfway, that's for sure! Not only forming a new and larger version of MO, but also enlisting the aid of orchestrator Michael Gibbs, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony, he creates a song cycle of incredible color, passion, variety and power.

Among the highlights are Jean Luc Ponty's soaring lead violin passages, the fiery rhythm section of Ralphe Armstrong and Narada Michael Walden and of course Johnny Mac's compositions and the London Symphony giving its all.

On the minus side is Gayle Moran's howling at the moon on"Smile Of The Beyond", easily the weak track, but the other songs make you forget that in a heck of a hurry.

Hard to pick a favorite as each song (save for "Smile--") is so strong and compelling. "Power of Love" is downright spellbinding between Ponty's soaring violin, the orchestra providing a subtly shifting landscape and McLaughlin's somber acoustic guitar. "Vision Is A Naked Sword" is one of the scariest pieces of music I've ever heard, I mean this is "wrath of God, end of the world" type stuff here, not for the faint of heart. "Wings of Karma" is a nice orchestral interlude and the closer, "Hymn to Him" is beyond description, tear-jerkingly beautiful and wrecklessly fierce at the same time. Gotta love how Ponty and Johnny Mac fire phrases back and forth with the full symphony.

The only other gripe I have is the fact that John's guitar was not recorded that well, sounding very tinny and harsh, not having the full, thick meaty tone he's normally known for. Otherwise, the production quality is first class, with veteran Beatles producer George Martin at the helm.

One star off for "Smile Of The Beyond". If that wasn't there. this would been 5 stars easily. Despite that, grab this and play it at 11! Especially "Vision Is A Naked Sword".

The Owl | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.