Never thinking we would be getting another studio album from Sons Of Apollo I was shocked to find out... we were!!!! After all, the band members are the best of the best and have numerous projects to keep them busy. There was something about the band’s debut album, PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY that checked off all the boxes for me; heavy yet melodic, progressive but not pretentious and solid vocals and melody. Now I, I mean we get album number two... MMXX or 2020 from InsideOut Music/Sony.
Following their debut, a brilliant live album and a lot of touring, Sons Of Apollo really have cemented as a band, writers and musicians. The first thing I notice with the eight new songs is a lot of depth and chances for everyone to shine, but not at the expense of the song. When you have the musical pedigree of guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, bassist Billy Sheehan, keyboardist Derek Sherinian and drummer Mike Portnoy, there is a chance that the music can become just a showcase of talent and come apart very quickly. Here, more than on their debut, I feel the songs truly come first. Goodbye Divinity, King Of Delusion, Wither To Black and Desolate July weave in and out of styles and emotion thanks to the amazing vocals of Jeff Scott Soto. That dude has got to keep up with a lot going on underneath his voice, a voice I have loved since I first heard him on the first Rising Force album (with Yngwie Malmsteen) way back in 1984.
On MMXX, Sons Of Apollo have captured the elements I love about the players as individuals and the styles/genres they play within. Every song will strike a chord with the listener differently and bring them to a good place. For me, MMXX is a cross between the legendary RAINBOW RISING and King Crimson’s RED, especially on the 16-minute epic, New World Today! Beautiful.... This is the album that sadly every new release in 2020 has to measure up to.
The question I have been getting asked by fans of the band and friends who know I will be reviewing the album is what does MMXX sound like? Guns N’ Roses, Dream Theatre, Art Of Anarchy, Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, Talisman, UFO, Rising Force, ASIA, Black Country Communion? My answer is a simple... yes.
THAT is the sound of Sons Of Apollo!!!
Matman Rating – 9 out of 10
For tour information - https://sonsofapollo.com/live/
For 2020 album pre-order - https://soa.lnk.to/MMXX
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.