Sons of Apollo – Psychotic Symphony
Release Date: October 20, 2017
Label: Inside Out Music
What do you get when you take Jeff Scott Soto, Bumblefoot, Billy Sheehan, Derek Sherinian, and Mike Portnoy, put them in a studio together, and let them create something? You get a lifeless band called Sons of Apollo and a faceless, forgettable, dull, and eye rolling album called Psychotic Symphony. The 11 minute opening opus “God of the Sun” kicked things off and regardless of how open minded I tried to be going into this album, the over indulgence of this song had me rolling my eyes and assuming that I knew what lied ahead.
Well, by the time the fourth song “Labyrinth” kicked on, I literally could feel the anxiety settling in. This album was literally so bad that it was making me anxious. I know that prog metal is all about playing all the notes but at the same time, if done well, the music can be truly exceptional. Blind Guardian has proven this as has Portnoy’s former band, Dream Theater. Where Sons of Apollo fails is that it’s almost as if they, as a band, are relying on the combined egos of musicians who pretty much fail to see that even in the creating of a new band, the egos are much more prevalent than quality songwriting. The lyrics are flat out ridiculous: “So get out of my way, I’m going out on my own…” Really?
It’s kind of funny because the strongest presence of this band is hands down vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. To this day he has without a doubt one of my all time favorite metal voices but much like with Ripper Owens, if you aren’t singing anything worth listening to, the quality of your instrument is pretty much null and void. I don’t care how great a singer you are, if you’re singing over indulgent wanky prog shit, than, that’s what you are and nothing more.
It’s really a bummer because I love nothing more than to be proven wrong. In many cases, I have been very pleasantly proven wrong but with Sons of Apollo, they just confirmed assumptions and pretty much met my expectations which reside on the lowest rung possible. In a recent interview, keyboardist (and Dream Theater member kicked out by Portnoy) Derek Sherinian said that He and Portnoy were, “taking back the prog metal crown.” Well, if that’s the case they must still be looking for it. Mike Portnoy also replied to a negative review by saying not everything can be The Estonishing (last Dream Theater album). You are so correct, Mikeyboy but honesty, Psychotic Symphony made The Estonishing sound like a lost King Crimson masterpiece.