(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
The symphonic neo-progressive band Apocalypse has just released their new CD entitled The Bridge of Light. The band was formed in 1983 in southern Brazil by Eloy Fritsch and a few of his school mates at the time. Several line-up changes and nine albums later brings us to the present. In the band are Gustavo Demarchi (lead vocals, flute), Eloy Fritsch (keyboards, backing vocals), Ruy Fritsch (electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals), Chico Fasoli (drums, electronic drums, percussion) and Magoo Wise (bass, backing vocals). Upon the first couple of listens the music did not really hit me, but on the third try I finally started to get it. The closest comparison to other bands would have to be Fish-era Marillion partly because the voice of Demarchi occasionally takes on a Fish flavour, which is not a bad thing in my book. It took me a while but I really started to warm up to the lead vocals and the background vocals are well done and quite tasteful as all band members provide their vocal prowess. There are also hints of early Genesis and a helping of mid-70s Yes.
The packaging is quite nice with striking artwork and lyrics (in English) also included. This is a concept album that I believe to be about the life of Jesus or someone whose life parallels his. For those of you who have trouble with religious themes and preachy lyrics, fear not, you will not find that here. The band is simply retelling their own version of the Biblical story by contrasting it with modern times. This is a live album, but all the material is brand new and the recording quality is pretty good. My only complaint is that some of the lyrics are not always grammatically correct, but that can be expected when English is used as a secondary language. This is only a minor complaint and does not detract from the music in any way.
The bluesy vocals of “Next Revelation” gets things off to a rocking start, complete with soaring vocal harmonies, organ fills and a catchy guitar hook really taking me back to the 70s. Demarchi has a very emotional delivery. The Marillion-like “Dreamer” is next and gets the full symphonic treatment while Demarchi does his best Fish imitation. “The Dance of Dawn” combines the symphonic elements of Yes and the flute of Ian Anderson, including great harmony vocals and another irresistible melody making this one of the albums best songs. The flute playing throughout the album is very good.
Most of the songs are upbeat as there is no dourness to be found so if you are looking for brooding atmospherics and somber melodies you will not find it here. What you will find is well-executed symphonic music so if you are a fan of the genre this will more than likely suit your needs. If you find any of the above intriguing this should be an enjoyable CD and I can safely recommend this without hesitation.
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score: 8 Stars