People of Earth, hear this: SONS OF APOLLO have a new album out called MMXX, available now via InsideOutMusic/Sony Music. I’ve been a big fan of this band since the first note I heard, so believe me when I tell you I couldn’t wait to get this record in my grubby little paws. Unfortunately life got in my way over the holidays, so I only got to fully digest the disc recently. But what I can tell you is this: the debut was no fluke. These guys play really well together, and the new songs showcase that fact. I saw them live two years ago and they fucking killed, so I know what I’m talking about.
Album opener and leadoff single “Goodbye Divinity” is already one of my favorite songs of 2020, Jeff Scott Soto singing his ass off while the band is on a mission. Keyboardist Derek Sherinian is the straw that stirs the drink on this one, while Billy Sheehan (bass), Mike Portnoy (drums), and Bumblefoot (guitars…ALL the guitars!) just go to town. “Wither to Black” and “Asphyxiation” are heavy and catchy as hell, reminding us that this band can write amazing songs that blow away the compositions of their peers. “Desolate July” is slow in tempo, but there is so much going on that you’ll be enthralled.
“King of Delusion” starts with some lovely piano work from Sherinian before we get into a very heavy landscape over nearly nine minutes. “Fall to Ascend” was another instant winner for me, what with a very cat and mouse vibe on the verses followed by a big swinging chorus that brought everything home. If you listen to “Resurrection Day” and don’t feel the blood pumping through your veins like some thrill-seeker cowboy with a “Born to Lose” tattoo on his chest robbing a liquor store then something is clearly wrong with you. It’s just what it is. But we’re not done yet…
Closing the record is “New World Today”, clocking in at damn near 16 minutes. This is significant to me because not only do I love epics, but the late Neil Peart from RUSH who passed away recently would have loved a track like this. It is goddamn majestic, and every single person in this band swings for the fences. This is without a doubt the best song on the album, and also one I play often. Anyone who thinks otherwise can go fuck themselves with a power washer.
When all is said and done, SONS OF APOLLO have produced an excellent record and MMXX is a tremendous follow-up to Psychotic Symphony. As far as I’m concerned, it’s even better. We’re a few short weeks into 2020, and this is the best album I’ve heard so far. Will it be my Album of the Year? That remains to be seen. But I can already say it will definitely be in the running. Pick up your copy wherever you buy your music, then crank this bitch, and crank it up to 11!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM