Mike Portnoy’s new supergroup, Sons of Apollo, is the prog metal bombast we have been waiting from the legendary drummer ever since he left Dream Theater. While DT have struggled to define their sound moving forward, Portnoy has dabbled in seemingly disparate genres in an endless number of bands (all of them admittedly amazing). Sons of Apollo finds him coming home to the wonderful world of prog metal with a lineup of extremely talented musicians.
Featuring Portnoy on drums, Bumblefoot (formerly of Guns N’ Roses), on guitar, Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater keyboardist circa “Falling Into Infinity”), Billy Sheehan (Winery Dogs) on bass, and Jeff Scott Soto on vocals. I initially was hesitant when I heard Sheehan would be playing bass, because I’m not the biggest fan of his heavily distorted bass tone, even though I think he is a brilliant player. However, in a heavy metal setting, his tone works quite well. Soto’s vocal range matches the music quite well. He can go from Brian Johnson-esque screams in the beginning of “Coming Home” to Steve Perry highs later in the same song.
In a way, Sons of Apollo reminds me of AC/DC if they were super proggy, super complex, and had a keyboard master. Sherinian really is a brilliant keyboardist, and I like that he uses more traditional organs rather than the nintendo theme-song keyboards that other DT keyboardists have overused. In the music videos, it is clear that Sherinian is thrilled to be working with Portnoy again, and based upon the drummer’s Twitter feed, the feeling is mutual.
I kept my expectations pretty low for Sons of Apollo’s “Psychotic Symphony” because there seemed to be a lot of hype surrounding it. After listening to it several times, the album has grown on me, and I can honestly say the hype is justified. This is a fantastic metal album well worthy of any progger’s collection.
5 thoughts on “Metal Mondays: Sons of Apollo Bring the Heat”
Not to mention that Sir-Mike ALSO handles a lil “backing-vocals” during this tune as well!!! Lol. 😉 ~Peace~
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Portnoy remains a great artist and award winning drummer, however, I wholly disagree on your DT critique. Dream Theater has now evolved and succeeded to become a powerhouse and dominate the prog rock and metal scene. Mike Mangini is an amazing drummer, a loyal and passionate artist. Portnoy is a control freak who was strangling the life out of DT and LaBrie. Portnoy is part of the past. DT with Mangini is the now and the future of prog rock.
Thanks for the comment, Margot.
I will say that I have enjoyed aspects of post-Portnoy DT. I love the self-titled album, and “Breaking All Illusions” is one of the best songs the band has ever written. Having Myung contribute again on lyric writing was brilliant. However, I think their last album was a big step back for them, and it showed how they are silencing some voices in the group. Mangini is an amazing drummer, but he hasn’t been given a creative role or voice in DT at all, which I think is a huge mistake. Portnoy is part of the DT past, but he is still shaping the future of prog.
I completely disagree that DT is the future of prog. If anything, Haken is the future of prog, especially within the prog metal subgenre. Creatively, Big Big Train is currently leading the genre. DT has extremely loyal fans (and equally loud detractors), but I haven’t read anyone in mainstream prog journalism say that DT is leading the pack creatively. Of all the older musicians and bands, I would say Steve Hackett and Marillion are leading the pack. But, that’s just my opinion.
With all that said, I’m thinking of going to the upcoming DT show in Chicago on November 3, as long as I can find the time.
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DT is inimitable.
Your insight is amazing. Thank you for your words. As you can see, I’m a big DT fan that won’t give up on them. You speak the truth. Marillion is incredible! Can’t wait to see them soon in concert.
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