Concert Review – Sons of Apollo @ Music Factory, Battle Creek, Michigan + Videos + Pics…

Concert Review – Sons of Apollo

The Music Factory, Battle Creek, Michigan – February 17th, 2018

Review by Eric Layhe 

Photos by Eric Layhe & Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Review:
Speaking as a fan of Progressive Metal, this show was basically a dream come true.

On a chilly February night in Battle Creek, Michigan, a seemingly endless crowd of people representing nearly every age demographic (albeit almost entirely male) crammed themselves into a fairly small music venue for the opportunity to see a group of veritable giants of the music industry play- but more on that later. The night consisted of three musical groups, each of a different distinct sort of progressive metal. As we entered the venue, the stage was packed with instruments, including two normal-sized drum sets and Mike Portnoy’s drum kit, which is so ridiculously large it should have its own zip code and no fewer than five keyboards including a full-sized Wurlitzer Organ.

This jam-packed stage presented something of a challenge for the first act, Dark Trilogy. Dark Trilogy are an instrumental, progressive metal band from South Bend, Indiana with (rather fittingly) three members. Nevertheless, they seemed a bit cramped on the already jam-packed stage setup. That said, I have to say that they made the most of it, delivering a short but well-crafted setlist consisting mostly of shredding prog that gave each member more than enough opportunity to showcase their considerable talents, the peak of which was an excellent drum solo featuring entertaining theatrics and an impressive display with LED drumsticks!!

After a relatively quick reprieve between bands and the removal of one drum set, second act Sifting took the stage. Sifting are a Progressive Metal band from Los Angeles, California. Sifting, the touring opener, has a very radio-friendly but still proggy sound, as if Avenged Sevenfold took some songwriting lessons from Claudio Sanchez of Coheed & Cambria. From the first note, it was immediately apparent why Sons of Apollo chose Sifting to tour with them; While they are indeed a young band, they have immense talent, expertly blending complex guitar work with classically-influenced songwriting and well-executed vocal harmonies.

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After the clearing of one more drum set, finally leaving enough room for a band to perform, Sons of Apollo took the stage, and they did not disappoint. For the uninitiated, Sons of Apollo is a Supergroup, comprising of former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, Mr. Big Bassist Billy Sheehan, Former Guns N’ Roses Guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra and former Journey vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. This virtuoso pedigree made itself apparent right out of the gates with their album’s opener, “God of the Sun.”  The band transformed and contorted with incredible aptitude to fit each and every song from their epic album “Psychotic Symphony”, including several covers (see below). In Sons of Apollo’s case, each member (debatably barring Portnoy) had an entire song peppered throughout the setlist to showcase their world-class talents.

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Keyboardist_Good

Sheehan and Sherinian each had an original (and possibly improvised) solo section for each of the two, while Thal had a beefed-up cover of Henry Mancini’s famous theme to “The Pink Panther” and Soto had given himself the previously-thought-to-be-impossible feat of covering Queen. He began by mimicking the now-famous call and response schtick popularized by Freddy Mercury and then transitioned into a downright exquisite cover of Queen’s deep track “Save Me”, tastefully backed by Thal on guitar.

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Re-sized Singer_Drummer

The aspect of the show that was most impressive was just how comfortable Sons of Apollo felt with each other on their very first tour. The entire group, even the famously stoic Derek Sherinian, were smiling like goofballs through the entire set, and were playfully joking with each other throughout the show, with special mention going to the mesmerizingly energetic Jeff Scott Soto. Most important, they were clearly having the times of their lives, and if you want to as well, do not miss Sons of Apollo on their continuing tour.

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Sons of Apollo Set list:

  1. God of the Sun
  2. Signs of the Time
  3. Figaro’s Whore
  4. Divine Addiction
  5. Just Let Me Breathe (Dream Theater Cover)
  6. Labyrinth
  7. Bass Solo
  8. Lost in Oblivion
  9. Prophet’s Song (Queen Cover)
  10. Save Me (Queen Cover)
  11. Alive
  12. The Pink Panther Theme (Henry Mancini Cover)
  13. Opus Maximus
  14. Keyboard Solo
  15. Lines in the Sand (Dream Theater Cover)
  16. And the Cradle Will Rock… (Van Halen Cover)
  17. Coming Home

Temple Of Void – Band Overview + Album Reviews + Music Video + Streaming Music…

Temple of Void 

Demo MXIII (May 13, 2013)  – Album Review – CD // Cassette // DD

Of Terror and the Supernatural (September 30, 2014) Album Review – Vinyl // CD // Cassette // DD

Lords of Death (May 1, 2017) Album Review – CD // DD

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

Motor City’s Metal MonstersPro Band Shot

 

Line Up:
Alex Awn – Guitar
Eric Blanchard – Guitar
Mike Erdody – Vocals
Jason Pearce – Drums
Brent Satterly – Bass

Review:
Hey Metalheads, this The Ancient One, and this is my special shout out for fellow Michiganders Temple of Void from Detroit. In Michigan we have a roaring underground metal scene full of amazing bands people fail to notice. Failing to notice Temple of Void is mighty damn difficult. For more than a decade now they have been working the metal underground with their special blend of somber sounds from the early British doom and Devastating Old School American death metal. This has earned them a reputation and a large following in the underground.

 

Demo MMXIII_Album Cover

MMXIII

Not letting their acclaim go to waste Temple of Void took matters into their own hands by self  producing and releasing “Demo MMXIII” on May of 2013. Soon after the band signed on with four different record labels to distribute it across the world meeting with great success from the underground. This 20 minute 27 second Demo packs quite a punch. While it’s a 3 track offering which can be found on the bands debut album it serves as a preview of what is to come in “Of Terror and the Supernatural.” Of its 3 songs my favorite is ‘Bargain in Death’  a song I believe comes from a movie or short story about a person that tries to scam their life insurance by making people think he is dead through the use of a drug that put him in a deathlike state. Only to awaken buried alive and discover he was double crossed by his conspirators who have no intention of digging him up and sharing the loot. The 10:36 track expresses the mood of the song’s theme amazingly well. Beginning like a funeral procession with a somber plodding doom sludge riff that slows to a near stop before the tempo picks up into panicked horror while the vocalist describes what it might be like to try and dig oneself out of the grave and die buried alive.

 

Of Terror And The Supernatural_Album Cover

 
Of Terror and the Supernatural

A Little more than a year later the band released a 2nd album called “Of Terror and the Supernatural.” A 48 minutes; 8 songs of devastatingly kick ass Doomaphonic Sonic awesomeness that had me hooked after I sampled it’s first song ‘The Embalmers Art’ a demonic ditty about a murderous mortician that made art out of his victims. ‘Savage Howl’ the albums 2nd  track is a song about the terror of being hunted by a werewolf. Besides the fact I really dig the werewolf horror genre I love the heavy drums and guitar tones that create a seance of shock.

 

 

Lords of Death_Album Cover

Lords Of Death

If you enjoy these first two albums you will be happy to know ToV has released it’s 3rd album “Lords of Death” which is meeting with very favorable reviews from being called “A beastly band from the death-encrusted, doom-laden city of Detroit, MI” by Metal Sucks I’d say I agree with their assessment. “Lords of Death” is full of loud sludge and fuzz laden riffs with beastly growling vocals that feel slow until they get rolling like a tank. The best way I could describe this album is Cannibal Corpses meets Cathedral. This album is going quick so I’d recommend putting in your order as soon as you can.  Highly Recommend for the strong of heart!!

 


Taster’s Choice – An Interview with Derange Da Messiah + New Album Details…

Rising Artist Feature – Derange Da Messiah

Lansing, Michigan’s Hip Hop Artist Derange Da Messiah is interviewed by our own Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler.”

Talks about his beginnings, past, present, and future.  He was kind enough to get us a taste of his Sizzling upcoming Album “Fire In My Eyez”

Derange Da Messiah is an Artist/Writer/Author/Producer and Executive Producer of his 2 albums “Portrait Of A Souljah” and “Derange Iz Comin.” Check his music out on YouTube, Reverbnation.com and SoundCloud.Derange is also co-owner of High Risk Ent. with his brother Charles Mathematicz Mathis.

 

Fire in My Eyez_Album Cover

 

Album back cover

Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/Derange-Da-Messiah-1419424858089122/about/?ref=page_internal