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APPLE PIE

Neo-Prog • Russia


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Apple Pie picture
Apple Pie biography
With APPLE PIE (formed in 2000 in Kursk) post-Soviet Prog scene enters new dimension. Gone are cassette-recorded demos and home-made CD-Rs with half-professional hardly-bearable material: APPLE PIE's sound is equal to the best American or European examples! Clear English vocals, excellent guitar-work, powerful keyboards and groovy rhythm-section completes the whole picture. Musically these guys are very much early SPOCK'S BEARD-like plus DREAM THEATER circa 1997-1999. Their debut album "Crossroads" is a concept story dealing with "searching for a truth" issue. It was preceded by a self-recorded "New Day" demo (which wasn't Prog actually, but had a future "Crossroads" main musical theme), but the band's melodic and energetic manner has finally shaped with the release of "Crossroad" - a wonderful example of Symphonic Neo Prog with some Prog-Metal/Heavy Prog influences.




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Apple Pie is a wonderful example of Symphonic Neo Prog with some Prog-Metal/Heavy Prog influences.



Discography:
Crossroad, Studio Album (2007)

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Buy APPLE PIE Music


The Gates Of NeverThe Gates Of Never
Apple Pie Records
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APPLE PIE discography


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

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

3.86 | 115 ratings
Crossroad
2007
3.65 | 38 ratings
The Gates of Never
2013

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

APPLE PIE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

2.14 | 2 ratings
New day
2004

APPLE PIE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Crossroad by APPLE PIE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.86 | 115 ratings

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Crossroad
Apple Pie Neo-Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

4 stars When I heard for the first time Apple Pie, it was because I read very good comments about the band and they are from Russia, so I wanted to hear some neo prog music from that country to see the results. The outcome? Incredible, it's a very good album with excellent music passages in different styles that create a very good environment surruonding the whole album. Maybe not the level of the great bands in neo prog music such as Marillion or IQ, but definitely they deserve a good place in your collection. As it is typical in this sub-genre, the keyboard sound and the landscapes created with it are the ones that create the special landmark, the voice, trying to sound kind of retro from the 80s, and one song is a complete tribute to old swing music. Really amazing album!
 The Gates of Never by APPLE PIE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.65 | 38 ratings

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The Gates of Never
Apple Pie Neo-Prog

Review by Morsenator

4 stars It's always delightful to find new bands that turn out to be a real splendor of good progginess. Apple Pie is the latest find for me, and perhaps even the "find of the year" so to speak. They emerge from what seems to be a third generation of prog rockers, with more clear references to acts like Spock's Beard, Ayreon, Dream Theater etc. than the innovators of the 70's. To me it is always nice to see people build upon well settled ground while exploring their own melodical and structural ideas. The Russian three piece group's second album The Gates of Never contains a bunch of grooviness (such as the upbeat ender Strange Thing Called Love), some strong yearnings for peace and justice (No Reason for This War), a well written and nicely variating while cohesive enough 23-minute suite (Letters of a Deadman) and even a pure prog metal song with a growl part (The Gates of Never). It is quite evident that these guys a very capable musicians, not a trace of amateurism can be found on this cd. With a running length of just under 55 minutes, the album doesn't feel any bit too long and it is one of those that leave quit a happy expression on my face after a listening session. So, recs from here, surely.
 The Gates of Never by APPLE PIE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.65 | 38 ratings

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The Gates of Never
Apple Pie Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars On Apple Pie's second album, The Gates of Never, the Spock's Beard-meets-Salem Hill approach taken on their debut (Crossroads) is swapped out in favour of a prog metal approach that really cranks up the Dream Theater influence on the band to 11 - so it's no surprise to find Derek Sherinian guesting on keyboards. The material here consists of competent and enjoyable prog metal with the occasional twist - the various parts of Letters of a Deadman being the most varied part of the album - and the band will probably pick up a few fans with this one. That said, the shift in their sound may alienate some listeners who fell in love with Crossroads, and the band still don't seem to have carved out a distinct identity for themselves.
 The Gates of Never by APPLE PIE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.65 | 38 ratings

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The Gates of Never
Apple Pie Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well, this is what I call evolution!! A few years ago I found out about this then quartet from Kursk strangely called Apple Pie. I liked their debut Crossroads very much, although with a few reservations, which was not a bad thing, since it was only their first efford and showed much promise. Now, six years after that comes their sophmore release, called The Gates of Never. Keyboardist Oleg Sergeev is out now, so they enlisted no one else but ex Dream Theater keysman, Derek Sherinian, to join in as a guest. Again I was impressed by the overall musicanship of the players, capable of using their great technique for the music. This is really a great team work.

Although billed as neo prog, there is nothing of the genre in here. In fact, the band now sounds more symphonic rock than ever, with a few nods to prog metal here and there. The album´s self titled opener is a real surprise with its heavy riffing and even more heavier vocals (including a few brief growls, believe it or not). This is the most Dream Theater influenced track of the whole disc and shows the band could handle this style easily. However, from the epic suite Letter Of A Dead Man (divided in four individual tracks) on the sound definitly takes a Spock´s Beard twist (around the time of their V CD) and some of Neal Morse´s latter, more symphonic works, including Transatlantic. Even Vartan Mkhitaryan´s voice reminds me of Morse´s. By the way, the guy did a great job and his vocal delivering is so good you can hardly believe he is also playing such a mean guitar. Add some jazz, classic Yes and even blues parts on some tracks and you have a good idea of what this new album is all about.

The results could be desastrous in less capable hands, but I found that The Gates Of Never does live up to the expectations. The songs are absolute winners, the arrangements tasteful and the perfomances of all involved are impeccable. Honestly, rarely I´ve seen lately such symphonic music flowing so evenly, from beginning to end, with every note falling so naturally at the right place. If they are yet not exactly too original in terms of style, they have the talent to at least do that with power, conviction and guts. Even the last track, with the corny title of Strange Thing Called Love, and its opening salvos of deceptively AOR synthesizers is really a terrific song that becomes a great melodic symphonic epic during its glorious 15 minute running time.

The production is top notch. Both the instrumental and vocal parts are simply perfect and there are no weak parts to be found on the whole album.

I`ve been listening to this CD for the last few days almost non stop and I can assure everybody that this is one of the best symphonic prog records I´ve heard in years: complex, yet melodic, full of virtuosity and yet accessible. With the Gates Of never the band reaches new heights and more than fulfills the initial promise. Congratulations for the fantastic upgrade in terms of songwriting and vocal department!

Final rating: 4,5 stars (not so final, since probably I´ll uprate this one to five in a few more spins). Remember the time when virtuoso progressive rock also meant great songs, emotion and melodies? Well, they are back! Highly recommended!!

 Crossroad by APPLE PIE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.86 | 115 ratings

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Crossroad
Apple Pie Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have to admit that I haven't really had much experience with Russian prog bands, so I can't say how well Apple Pie represents the Russian prog scene, but their debut album (and so far only album!) Crossroad sounds as American as... well... Apple Pie! The stylings of US prog greats like Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, Salem Hill, and perhaps a little Kansas infuse the album, and whilst on the whole it doesn't quite hit the spot for me the band show a lot of potential and I'd say that if they ever get around to producing more material, they might end up creating some really neat results.
 New day by APPLE PIE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2004
2.14 | 2 ratings

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New day
Apple Pie Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The story of Russian Art-Rock band Apple Pie begins in 2000 in the cold city of Kursk,when they were formed under the force of guitarist/vocalist Vartan Mkhitaryan.In the line-up was also included Little Tragedies' bassist/saxophonist Alexey Bildin.Between July and November 2004 the band records a demo album entitled ''Новый День'' (New Day) with all music and lyrics written by Mkhitaryan.

In this album Apple Pie play a happy mixture of Pop,Rock,Jazz and Funk,a style quite challenging but definitely far from what one calls ''progressive rock''.In fact they sound a lot like the accesible side of SPOCK'S BEARD in their short tracks.The majority of the compositions are in a pleasant groovy style,rather straightforward, with lots of vocals and under a surprisingly good production.Mkhitarayan's guitar's style ranges from Classic Rock to Jazz to Funk,depending on the track,and he is always accompanied by the organ of Oleg Sergeev.Sometimes keys have a more symphonic edge,while Bildin shines with his excellent and demanding bass lines.Ten out of the fifteen tracks are sung in Russian,the rest in English with a bit of an accent.The problem here is that the compositions are too catchy and groovy with almost no instrumental sections and, while they are well-executed,they tend to get the listener stuffed from this material.Additionally the wide range of different styles between the tracks avoids the listener to get to a specific mood.A couple of boring ballads could have also been avoided.

''New day'' finds Apple Pie searching their way onto a more specific music style.This demo album is well-produced and executed and the band is definitely tight,but it is way too accesible to satisfy the lover of intricate sounds.Not recommended.

 Crossroad by APPLE PIE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.86 | 115 ratings

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Crossroad
Apple Pie Neo-Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The good thing I experienced with this band was that I knew nothing about the band and what sort of music they play. Once I listened to it for the first time, the music flew nicely and naturally into my mind. I only noticed that there were many changes in style and tempo throughout the music which I did not see the booklet at all until I spun the entire album. I re-spun the CD naturally because the first experience was quite nice with me, honestly. AT the second spin I then realized the biggest influence the band had: it's Spock's Beard. But it's knid like funny to me, as I was initially not a big fan of Spock's Beard even though I like their 8th album "Octane" after the front-man Neal Morse left the band for solo works. Having known the big influence, it did not stop me to re-spun the album again and again until I found more than 5 spins in its entirety. I enjoy the music, really.

The introduction of opening track "1. a) Overture b) Once Upon a Time" (8:21) is basically unplugged thing (acoustically driven music) which sets its stage for the next segment with heavy prog style in the vein of Spock's Beard. It's quite a nice adrenalin-exploding track with its energetic style with changing tempos. The next track "2. Sunrise" (9:17) starts mellow with clear voice backed with acoustic guitar and stunning electric guitar solo. Yeah, the music is quite Spock's Beard, and I like it very well especially the one at the middle of the track where the music turns to move into heavier style with nice riffs with typical progressive metal style, combined beautifully with excellent keyboard work. The interlude is really rocking and it's hard for you who love heavy prog for not liking this beautifully crafted track.

The third track "Crossroad" (7:57) starts off beautifully with a dynamic drums work followed with energetic music in riff-based style. Yeah, you may call it still like Spock's Beard until you find guitar solo that sounds different than typical Spock's Beard music. The middle part of the song (interlude) there is a beautifulparts combining great guitar work and inventive keyboard solo. Bass guitar, as with previous tracks, play a distinctive roles during the track. It's an excellent composition. "Nothing" (3:42) is an ambient track with programming rhythm section. It brings back to an energetic - this time is NOT Spock's Beard - in "Temptation (4:40)" as the music is now using brass section with different singing style. Oh man .... This is a very nice music even though it sounds like a pop music. There is a very nice bluesy guitar work in the middle. It's so interesting!

"Escape" (10:30) sounds like a heavy prog music than a neo prog scene, much more driven with riffs and frequent tempo changes and style changes. With its long duration, I believe this one was destined to be an epic. The composition is nice and not like Spock's Beard. The interlude part with keyboard solo is really killing! " Still got my Faith in You" (4:02) is like a ballad to me, with an opening acoustic part combining acoustic guitar and vocals. The guitar work is really nice. "Solution" (7:26) starts with an energetic keyboard work that reminds me to the intro of Van Halen's "Jump". What follows is still another music with excellent composition - this time in the vein of SB even though Apple Pie has its own style.

The opening acoustic guitar solo that opens "Nothing Comes Everything" (8:06) is really cool and it's followed with beautiful piano work. This instrumental work moves the music beautifully from mellow parts in the beginning and goes into complex one. It flows seamlessly to the concluding track "Final" (13:00) with inventive keyboard work that reminds me to Gentle Giant.

Overall, I have to admit the beautiful composition these guys have made - creating an energetic music with nice harmony, frequent style and tempo changes. There are many influences from Spock's Beard. It's a highly recommended album. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Crossroad by APPLE PIE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.86 | 115 ratings

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Crossroad
Apple Pie Neo-Prog

Review by sargassov

5 stars We have lived up to that exciting moment when Russia's progressive music gradually comes out of hiding. Example of Apple Pie, I hope, will prove contagious. Published in Russia a fresh plate received excellent press in Europe and has all chances to get loose on the full program - in certain circles, of course.

Nothing is so amazing and magical staff in his attempt did not create, but their mix of classic Spock's Beard Neal Morse with the old mic stand and a Dream Theater album version of the last two 90-ies (the atmosphere, in the first place) listens well. Thus the sound of the national team does not allow her to consider a choir of clones. The musicians skillfully varied influences, moving from the classic British symphonic rock to neo-prog last wave, from hard to funk. This adds a record of lightness, airiness. So in Russia, it seems, no one has ever played. Apple Pie initially rejected the artificial complexity of the material, with an emphasis on melody and atmosphere. Very nice work, which warms the soul with their origins. Keep it up.

"Crossroad" is the debut CD by Russia's APPLE PIE, which is a quartet comprising Vartan Mkhitaryan on guitars and lead vocals, Oleg Sergeev on keyboards, Andrey Golodukhin on drums and Alexey Bildin on bass (I'm just wondering, is this the same Alexey Bildin who plays saxophone in Little Tragedies?). Although the band is on the run already for seven years, all its members have full-time jobs, which explains their relatively low production. Alongside perfect (with no accent!) English vocals, the group's remarkable compositional, arrangement and technical skills are all brightly reflected on each of the ten tracks present, seven of those ranging from eight to twelve minutes. The style is a fusion of symphonic Art-Rock and Prog-Metal, suggesting something halfway between Spock's Beard at their most intricate and hard-edged and classic Dream Theater. This is just a brilliant album, really; it's definitely worthy to be viewed in detail, but since I had to spend ten days in the health center this month, while still having more than 100 discs in my queue on average, it is beyond my powers to do any detailed reviews this time around, for which I offer my apologies to all the musicians whose recordings I have examined for this update, as well as the readers.

 Crossroad by APPLE PIE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.86 | 115 ratings

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Crossroad
Apple Pie Neo-Prog

Review by nandprogger

4 stars Dream Theater + Neal Morse / Spock 's Beard = Apple Pie

For those who like labels, Apple Pie is a shot of the best things I ever heard in the Neo-Prog, does it sound like bands that want to imitate the keyboards of Marillion. While mixing the sound of the bands mentioned above, such as the title track (where the drummer literally copy a turn of Portnoy) and the melodies very reminiscent of some work Neal Morse, but it is a sound and enjoyable and easily digestible Swing.

Keyboards, organs, and worked with an instrumental comassos compounds always present; baladinha to a retro sound that way. Progger for a conservative would mean, for someone with more open mind, a pleasant revelation.

 Crossroad by APPLE PIE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.86 | 115 ratings

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Crossroad
Apple Pie Neo-Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Crossroad´s is the debut album from the russian band Apple Pie. It´s really nice to see that the Russian prog rock scene is producing more and more professional sounding bands. Apple Pie sounds very professional even though Crossroads have a couple of flaws that keeps it from being excellent.

The music is very inspired by Spock´s Beard and Dream Theater ( Scenes From a Memory, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence and there are numerous examples throughout the album where I think I have heard the riffs before. A song like Nothing is bit too close to Dream Theater´s Another Day with the sax solo in the end and Temptation with it´s brass arrangement smells a bit too much of the James Labrie fronted Mullmuzzler´s Beelzebubba song from the Keep It to Yourself album. It´s not a complete ripp-off though. The music is very well played and composed and that saves this from being a bad clone experience. I have to mention that Crossroads is a concept story and I´m sorry to say that it´s a really pathetic seaching for the meaning in life/ praise God like story and I´m sick to my stomach whenever I listen to the lyrics. Still got my Faith in You is the worst example here with the gospel choir in the background.

The musicians are very well playing and it´s one of the most enjoyable things about Apple Pie. They are really good musicians.

The production is very good even though I miss the bass in the soundscape sometimes.

One of the previous reviewers nailed it very good when he wrote Images and Beards as a headline to his review. If Apple Pie wants more than 3 star ratings for making good compositions and playing them with conviction they need to make original music and keep away from the most obvious influences. I was even considering a 2 star rating because this is really not more than a good clone band, but on the other hand they are really good so I´ll go for a small 3 star rating.

Thanks to Prog-jester for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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