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Sons Of Apollo - Psychotic Symphony album review

Rock and metal allstars offer a gleefully indulgent jamboree

Cover art for Sons Of Apollo - Psychotic Symphony album

The list of credits for the musicians here is enormous. From Dream Theater to Guns N’ Roses, via Black Country Communion, Avenged Sevenfold… well, that’s enough. But while Sons Of Apollo do draw on their experience, the sound is fresh and relentless. It’s prog metal full of intricacies, yet also brimming with brooding riffage as virtuosity nestles against rampaging metal. Mike Portnoy shines on drums, Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal unleashes stunning guitar licks, Billy Sheehan offers concise bass touches, Derek Sherinian crafts keyboard explosions and Jeff Scott Soto complements the heavyweight musicianship with melodically effortless vocals. Each track is allowed to develop at its own pace, with God Of The Sun, Labyrinth and Opus Maximus showcasing the band at their finest, weaving a style traversing the spectrum from concussive complexity to surprising brutality. One of 2017’s most essential debuts.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.