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jueves, 17 de diciembre de 2015

Apocalypse - Light Years From Home (2012)


Más del buen rock brasilero de mano de Apocalypse en las resubidas de Sandy. Tremendo grupo aunque le guste tanto cantar en inglés. Pero está bueno en serio.

Artista: Apocalypse
Álbum: Light Years From Home
Año: 2012
Género: Rock sinfónico
Duración: 61:48
Nacionalidad: Brasil

Lista de Temas:
1. New Sunrise
2. Set me Free
3. Take my Heart
4. The Angel and Seven Trumpets
5. On the Way to the Stars
6. Till Another Side
7. Morning Light
8. Find me Now
9. A Cry in the Infinity
10. To Kiss the Tears You Cry
11. Blue Angel
12. 2012 Light Years from Home

Alineación:

- Gustavo Demarchi / vocals, flute and acoustic guitars
- Eloy Fritsch / keyboards, synthesizers, programming, bass and vocals
- Ruy Fritsch / electric guitars
- Fábio Schneider / drums and percussion


Apocalypse, formación originaria de Brasil que ya hemos presentado en este blog, presentó un trabajo que en realidad contiene CD y DVD, pero que traemos solamente el material sonoro, o sea los temas editados para este disco. Este despliegue fue realizado debido a la conmemoración de los 25 años de carrera musical de la banda, siendo su octavo disco de estudio (su disco debut, homónimo, data de 1991) mientras que su discografía continúa con "Perto Do Amanhecer" (1995), "Aurora Dos Sonhos" (1996), "Lendas Encantadas" (1997), "Réfugio" (2003), "Magic Spells" (2005) y "The Bridge Of Light" (2008). De más estaría decie que esta banda es considerada como la más importante dentro de lo que es el Prog Rock Sinfónico brazuca.
Aclaro que el álbum es cantado otra vez (¡otra vez!) en inglés y es un álbum conceptual que se refiere a la cultura azteca. El disco muestra otra vez la gran técnica de los músicos, mientras que Gustavo Demarchi muestra un registro vocal que viaja entre David Coverdale, Geoff Tate y Bruce Dickinson (al menos para mi oído), hermosas melodías de flauta combinado con los teclados del maestro Eloy Fritsch (claramente influenciado por Yes y todo su parafernaria sinfónica) mientras se desplieguan las armonías y riffs de la guitarra y la base se fusiona entre el bajo y la batería de manera compacta y correcta.
Este disco viene con una onda más hard rock que en los discos anteriores, mientras que aparecen nuevamente las bellas y bien elaboradas melodías, intensos niveles de emoción y (obvio) destrezas varias llevadas a cabo principalmente por los teclados y la guitarra dan como resultado un álbum intenso y disfrutable, más allá que a mi torpe oído le suene también como algo falto de originalidad.

Pero el disco fue reconocido, si, no es un sueño, hubo un galardón para un álbum de progresivo sinfónico, pasó, de verdad, y por suerte fue grabado, sino no me creían:

The brazilian progrock band Apocalypse receive the Açorianos Music Awards!!!
The awards ceremony happened on May 09, 2012, Wenesdey night at the São Pedro Theater, Porto Alegre, Brazil. The Açorianos Music Awards honor contribution of the Apocalypse band to the music in South of Brazil.
The musicians Eloy Fritsch - keyboards, Ruy Fritsch - guitar, Gustavo Demarchi -- vocal and flute, Fabio Schneider drums, Rafael Schmitt - bass guitar, and the former members Chico Fasoli and Chico Casara received the honorable mention in a very exciting and unforgettable night for the brazilian progressive rock. The singer Gustavo Demarchi also received a trophy for creating the best artwork for the Apocalyse 25th Anniversary Box Set.
The Apocalypse released 6 studio álbuns, 2 DVDs, 5 live albuns and completed 28 years in the stages playing progressive rock.
In 2011 the Apocalypse performed their main compositions with Orchestra and Choir and released The 25th Anniversary Box Set. Unpublished work in the brazilian pogressive rock, the box brings a DVD of the concert recorded in September 2009 at Porto Alegre, the live CD Magic Spells bringing classic tunes of the band's career, a book written by the journalist and producer Eliton Tomasi telling the whole story of the band and, finally, the new APOCALYPSE studio album. Titled 2012 Light Years From Home, the new album is the successor of the high acclaimed The Bridge Of Light from 2008 (Musea Records). 2012 Light Years From Home was recorded at Refugio Studios in Porto Alegre and produced by the band. The album brings the tracks "Take My Heart", "The Angels And Seven Trumpets", "On The Way To The Stars", "Till Another Side", "Morning Light", "Find Me Now", "I Cry In Infinity", "To Kiss The Tears Your Cry", "Blue Angel", the epic "2012 Light Years From Home", besides "New Sunrise" and "Set Me Free" that are available on Apocalypse Official Myspace . The new album 2012 Light Years From Home and all the content of the box is accompanied by a very special package. An exclusive poster is also be part of the package. APOCALYPSE's 25th Anniversary Box-set is a product funded by the project "Financiarte" from the city of Caxias do Sul and is distributed by Musea Records in Europe, Kinesis and CDBABY in USA.
Apocalypse recebe o prêmio açorianos
Realizado na última quarta-feira, 09/05, o Prêmio Açorianos de Música teve sua cerimônia realizada no Teatro São Pedro, localizado no centro da capital gaúcha, o Apocalypse recebeu dois troféus, um pelo 'conjunto da obra', relativo à suas quase três décadas de intenso trabalho, e outro, ao seu vocalista, que ganhou o troféu de 'melhor projeto gráfico', aludido à arte do Box comemorativo The 25th Anniversay Box Set (2011).


Todo el álbum mantiene un muy buen nivel de punta a punta y cierra con la magnitud adecuada que este trabajo debe tener. Aires de Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Rush, Genesis, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Whitesnake, Uriah Heep, Rainbow, Yes, The Flower Kings, y Marillion, instrumentaciones que nos hacen viajar, exuberantes melodías, buenas voces, interpretación impecable, todo ello hace que esta sea un muy buen álbum para conocer (si es que aún no lo han hecho) a uno de los bastiones del rock progresivo brasilero y latinoamericano.
He de mencionar que el pack completo incluye un libro de 128 páginas (en portugués e inglés) que detalla la historia de la banda, un DVD en vivo, un CD en vivo, un póster plegable y este nuevo CD de estudio, todo empaquetado en una preciosa caja. Para los fans de la banda, eso será una auténtica delicia, y para los nuevos escuchas de la banda, una gran introducción al grupo. Aquí solamente traigo el CD de estudio, aclaro.

En definitiva, un muy buen álbum con cortes furiosamente sinfónicos y e impresionantes, logrando un contundente rock sinfónico que si bien no lo definiría como "heavy prog" no es por falta de potencia, pero sin embargo Apocalypse es una banda progresiva desde su núcleo, por lo que, por supuesto, ¿por qué no poner fin a este maravilloso CD con la acrobacia para deleitar al más acérrimo seguir del progresivo sinfónico clásico, una canción de 14 minutos con el más puro estilo ELP. Aquí, Eloy Fritsch más muestra sus habilidades con varios teclados, mientras las voces apasionadas de Demarchi son la guinda del pastel.


Si todo esto no te convenció, vamos a algunos comentarios, lástima que ninguno en castellano, bueno, es lo que hay, peor en nada:

Tocar rock progressivo no Brasil é para poucos. Apesar da grande quantidade de fãs, o estilo, tradicionalmente com pouco apelo comercial e muita ambição artística, não encontra espaço nas rádios, TVs e publicações especializadas. Quando se fala do gênero em nosso país a maioria das pessoas pensa em nomes como Pink Floyd e Yes, quando muito conhece algo de excelentes bandas como King Crimson e Gentle Giant, e, em grande parte casos, nunca ouviu falar em artistas nacionais que se aventuram pelo estilo. Por tudo isso, ser uma banda brasileira e estar há 25 anos na estrada executando o gênero é um feito e tanto. Essa é a história do Apocalypse.
A carreira do grupo gaúcho é uma prova de amor e fé no rock progressivo. A banda encontrou o seu público e o cativou ano após ano, conquistando espaço e uma legião de fãs não só em nosso país, mas também no exterior. Instrumentistas de técnica apurada e focados única e exclusivamente na ideia de produzir uma música diferenciada e de qualidade, o grupo comemora um quarto de século com um lançamento pra lá de especial para os fãs.
A caixa The 25th Anniversary Box Set é composta por um livro, dois CDs e um DVD, que juntos formam o documento definitivo sobre a carreira do Apocalypse. O primeiro CD traz o novo álbum de estúdio dos caras, intitulado 2012 Light Years From Home. Nele, a banda mantém o alto nível característico de seus discos, e o resultado final é um álbum que cairá no gosto de quem aprecia a refinada sonoridade do grupo. O segundo CD, com o título Magic Spells, traz canções de diversas fases da carreira do Apocalypse, gravadas ao vivo durante a tour de 2005 do conjunto. E o DVD The 25th Anniversary Show contém a apresentação especial comemorativa aos 25 anos da banda, realizada em setembro de 2009 no Salão de Atos da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, que contou com a participação especial do músico gaúcho Hique Gomez.
Mas, pessoalmente, o grande destaque do box na minha opinião é o livro que o acompanha. Escrito pelo conhecido jornalista Eliton Tomasi, editor da infelizmente extinta revista RockHard / Valhalla (e aqui faço um parênteses lamentando o fato de a publicação não estar mais na ativa, já que a forma diferenciada com que tratava o heavy metal a tornou, na opinião desse que vos escreve, a melhor revista dedicada ao heavy metal que o Brasil já teve), o livro conta a história do Apocalypse em um ótimo texto repleto de curiosidades e fotos inéditas. Além disso, Leonardo Nahoum, autor da excelente Enciclopédia Brasileira de Rock Progressivo, traça a cronologia do grupo. Fechando, o livro tem também uma discografia comentada e depoimentos de diversos músicos e personalidades sobre a banda. Pra completar, o box vem com um poster exclusivo.
Tudo que faz parte da caixa tem um ótimo padrão de qualidade, tanto gráfico quanto sonoro e audiovisual, mostrando o cuidado e atenção da banda com o material que está disponibilizando para os fãs. E outro ponto digno de nota é que todo o projeto foi financiado pela Prefeitura Municipal de Caxias do Sul através do programa Financiarte, em um raro e elogiável exemplo de aplicação de verbas públicas em projetos culturais de qualidade.
Nunca ouviu o Apocalypse? Então aproveite o lançamento de The 25th Anniversary Box Set e corrija já essa lacuna em sua coleção!
Ricardo Seelig

A outra surpresa de The 25Th Anniversary Box Set é o novo trabalho do Apocalypse, o álbum 2012 Light Years From Home ( sucessor do The Bridge Of The Light, de 2008 ), gravado entre janeiro de 2008 e dezembro de 2010 no Refugio Studios em Porto Alegre/RS com produção do tecladista Eloy Fritsch e mixagem de Gilberto Ribeiro Jr ( realizada no Mubemol Studios em Porto Alegre/RS ). Já a masterização deste ótimo novo trabalho ficou a cargo de Marcos Abreu e sua capa remete à cultura Asteca. E a formação responsável pela gravação do cd foi a seguinte: Gustavo Demarchi nos vocais, flauta e guitarra, Ruy Fritsch na guitarra, o novo integrante Fábio Schineider na bateria ( para o lugar de Chico Fasoli ) e Eloy Fritsch nos teclados, órgão, piano, sintetizador, baixo, backing vocals
New Sunrise exibe a já dita grande técnica da banda em uma linha alto-astral presente no Rock Progressivo dos gaúchos, com muitos solos de guitarra e singelas viagens nos teclados, que são dotadas de versos emocionantes cantados por Gustavo Demarchi. Depois em Set Me Free, a guitarra de Ruy Fritsch aparece em um estilo mais Hard Rock, que lembra muito o Asia, em uma elaborada linha instrumental muito bem vocalizada.
Take My Heart apresenta uma melodia bonita com flauta e vocais saídos do coração de Gustavo Demarchi, que é acompanhada em uma pulsante e viajante sequencia instrumental. Em The Angels And The Seven Trumpts, a flauta do vocalista é combinada com os teclados de Eloy Fritsch em um andamento nitidamente influenciado pelo Yes e Jethro Tull que agrada logo na primeira audição desta quarta música de 2012 Light Years From Home. Atente seus ouvidos para a harmonia de guitarra, teclados, flauta e baixo devidamente mesclados à interpretação do vocalista da banda. On The Way To The Stars entra com um riff mais Hard Rock harmonizado pelos teclados de Eloy Fritsch e também pela cozinha do agora quarteto ( lembrando que o baixo está no comando de Eloy e bateria é de Fábio Schineider ) para que os vocais de Gustavo Demarchi novamente nos encantem com sua forma de cantar.
Em Till Another Side os teclados exibem belas melodias que são acompanhadas por dedilhados no violão que mantém o clima positivo do cd e desta vez mergulhando em curtas e bem trabalhadas viagens que levam à um crescente esplendoroso. Morning Light tem seu inicio cantado em coro aumentando o nível de emoção desejado passar pelo Apocalypse e entre trechos de guitarra e violão, o Apocalypse, nos mostra uma canção que dá vontade de cantar com eles. Mila Pulita participa emprestando sua linda voz nos backing vocals trazendo ainda mais sutileza nesta composição.
A curta Find Me Now é uma incursão voltada para o que chamamos de Art Of Rock, especialmente nos solos de guitarra mais fortes, bons vocais e uma base instrumental exalando muita competência. A nona do cd é I Cry In The Infinity com uma melodia mais pesada que dá lugar aos emocionantes linhas do piano de Eloy Fritsch em linhas de vocais cativantes e com a atuação brilhante do guitarrista Ruy Fritsch.
Com a marcação de um relógio cuco, sinos e efeitos que parecem um avião em meio a um bombardeio ouvimos a notável harmonia presente em To Kiss The Tears You Cry, e a forma que o Apocalypse conduz essa balada progressiva com corais, orquestrações e guitarra com distorções, é para fechar os olhos e viajar experimentando suas sensações a cada uma de suas notas e versos. Blue Angel começa no piano e exibe o agradável vocal de Gustavo Demarchi em um ritmo mais suave que te convida a cantar o refrão, e novamente, de olhos fechados.
A suíte título, 2012 Light Years From Home, encerra o cd com a devida magnitude que o trabalho deveria ter. Sabia porque: logo no inicio o piano e o andamento que se segue é inspirado nos improvisos lembrando nada menos que Emerson, Lake & Palmer, e a viagem que é intensificada a cada instante, possui vocais perfeitos. E depois, recebemos viagens instrumentais que exibem o porque da banda ser considerada uma das melhores do Rock Progressivo na atualidade. Te convido a prestar atenção na letra e perceber a grandiosidade da viagem principal de 2012 Light Years From Home, que acontece mais ao meio e sinta como ela penetra na alma, nessa canção meus caros leitores(as) eles lembraram com maestria os criadores do estilo. Te recomendo incluir este trabalho em sua coleção, pois além de toda a técnica exibida, as exuberantes e viajantes melodias a cada música, a produção muito bem feita, o Apocalypse também incluiu letras positivas em cada uma delas, enfim, escute uma vez acompanhando as letras e outra viajando em suas harmonias.
Enfim, fazendo um breve resumo de tudo que escrevi nestas três resenhas sobre este Apocalypse - The 25Th Anniversary Box Set, seguramente posso dizer: quem é fã do Apocalypse encontrará um olho nas celebrações ao passado da banda ( com o cd Magic Spells, o DVD The 25Th Anniversary Concert e o livro The 25Th Anniversary Book - The Apocalypse Hystory ) e o outro no presente ( com novo álbum 2012 Light Years From Home). Você terá em suas mãos caro leitor(a) um lançamento sem precedentes no Brasil e para os que ainda não conhecem, esta é a oportunidade de aprender e conhecer um dos baluartes do Rock Progressivo Brasileiro e mundial, então não perca tempo. Parabéns pelos 25 anos Apocalypse, que vocês continuem nos presenteando com grandes lançamentos. Longa vida ao Rock Progressivo deste naipe que é criado no Brasil.
Nota: 10 ( e um dos melhores que resenhei em 2011 ).
12 Faixas

Heroes of the Brazilian progressive rock, APOCALYPSE prepares for the release of the most audacious project of its career: a box-set in cellebration of its 25 years!
Unpublished work in the national progressive rock, the box will bring a DVD of the concert recorded in September 2009 at the Hall of Acts of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, the live CD Magic Spells bringing classic tunes of the band's career, a book written by the journalist and producer Eliton Tomasi telling the whole story of the band and, finally, the new APOCALYPSE studio album.
Titled 2012 Light Years From Home, the new album will be the successor of the high acclaimed The Bridge Of Light from 2008 (Musea Records). The album will mark the premier of the new drummer, Fábio Schneider.
2012 Light Years From Home was recorded at Refugio Studios in Porto Alegre and produced by the band. The album will bring the tracks "Take My Heart", "The Angels And Seven Trumpets", "On The Way To The Stars", "Till Another Side", "Morning Light", "Find Me Now", "I Cry In The Infinity", "To Kiss The Tears Your Cry", "Blue Angel", the epic "2012 Light Years From Home", besides "New Sunrise" and "Set Me Free" that are available on Myspace - www.myspace.com/apocalypsebr
The new album 2012 Light Years From Home and all the content of the box will be accompanied by a very special package. An exclusive poster will also be part of the package.
APOCALYPSE's 25th Anniversary Box-set is a product funded by the project "Financiarte" from the city of Caxias do Sul and hits the stores in April.
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - E-Zine

One of the main aspects of progressive rock was always the movement. The progressive sound is the mutation of music.” Quoted from the biography on their own webpage, I feel this statement describes progressive rock in a uniquely special way, in that progressive rock takes a wide variety of standard rock sounds and experiments with them, mutating them to see if something new and special will come out of it. From the early days of Yes and ELP to the present, prog bands have been pushing the limits of what rock is capable of, and have come up with an endless supply of pure magic. Brazilian prog rockers Apocalypse have been a part of this for 25 years, and celebrated their endurance with the release of a 25th anniversary box set, which contained a new studio album, 2012 Light Years from Home.
The career of Apocalypse is a fascinating one, formed initially in 1983 by Eloy Fritsch and some friends for a music contest, they soon added guitarist Ruy Fritsch and drummer Chico Fasoli, all three of whom still form the core of Apocalypse today. Their history has many international dates and credentials to it, stylizing their music after such giants as Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, all in their native language, Portuguese. In 2004, original bassist and vocalist Chico Casara leaves the band, and in came vocalist Gustavo Demarchi and bassist Magoo Wise. With the new additions they decided to embark on a much greater challenge, re-recording old songs and writing new songs in English. The first product of this venture is The Bridge of Light, a live album of entirely new music. Three years later came 2012 Light Years from Home.
Hitting play, the first thought that comes to mind is yes, this is prog, they are bending the rules and pushing limits. Not hard or far, but just enough to make the listener work a bit, in all the best ways. Guitar and drums take the forefront, Fasoli’s fills are just wonderful, and Fritsch bends the notes with the best of them. The opening song, New Sunrise, is one of my personal favorites. The changes are marked by solid drums and bass, echoed by the keys, with phenomenal guitar licks carrying the transition, just awesome stuff. Demarchi’s voice is soulful and solid, and accents the music well. The final product is a complex structure of music that is put together in a way that is clean and uplifting. Throughout the rest of the album, they change and vary the structures and moods of the music, but always in a solid manner. The second song, Set Me Free, takes a slightly harder edge, with a rough timbre entering Demarchi’s voice that translates the darker elements of the song well. Guitars take on a harder edge, and the rhythm is more pounding and solid. The third song, Take My Heart is a soulful ballad that pushes the edge of sappy, but that ends at song four, The Angels and the Trumpets.
Here the solid prog kicks in hard, and with the addition of Demarchi’s flute and dramatic vocals, gives it a solid Jethro Tull feel to the opening of the song, but again they push, change, mutate, into something their own. This song has more of a storytelling element to it than most of the others on the album, and though it’s put in biblical terms, I feel the song is about getting through the harsher parts of love, about moving past the bad times, about giving the power of love the opening to triumph over and heal all. All of the songs are pretty much love songs, the messages are simple, poetic, and solid. Much of it has religious and spiritual overtones, especially Morning Light, another ballad. The lyrical elements of this song, and many of the others, tie together the love elements of spirituality and the loving bonds between people, in essence making them one and the same. It’s very uplifting stuff, and extremely sensual at parts. In the final song, and the title track, 2012 Light Years From home, they burst through all the barriers set in the previous songs.
Opening with soft keys, the synths kick in, the time changes are often and quick, drum accents are timely, and the only thing that comes to mind is ELP, but they mutate it into their own sound, and quickly we are in the air of a soft celestial jazz club. I just have to say I loved this part, made me want to light up a smoke and kick my feet up. Apocalypse had other things in mind though. The jazz elements hang throughout the song, and are deftly handled, but accented by a solid prog sound. This is a complex and wonderful song. Thematically, it culminates all the elements of love presented, with the message that through living and loving, the world can be changed, “The more we live, the more we learn, the more we fear, the more we lie, the spirit of imagination, can lead us through the shadows, so let’s change the world.” They are not leaving out the negative elements, but accepting that all aspect of love and life are needed for completion and fulfillment. Love can’t be just rainbows and sunshine, it has to have color and depth. Longer than any other song on the album by at least seven minutes, it is a fantastic musical journey.
With all the doomsday predictions of the year 2012, this band gives an opposing one, that the love between us will triumph. The 25 years of experience, and the duration most of the original lineup, shows in the maturity of the music. The passion for love and life shows in the lyrics. It is a warm and welcome album all around, and it pleases this author to see that someone still writes music to lift the soul. With the individual talents of each musician, the influences of their predecessors, and a simple yet soulful lyrical element, Apocalypse manages to mutate a wide array of musical themes to make 2012 Light Years from Home a delightful journey.
lonestar

Before attending my ears to the music, my eyes really appreciate the incredible artwork this album presents itself with. A fantastic display of colour, set to succeed in appealing to the listener.
Once I got started in the listening process of the album, my initial thoughts "Yes." This album possesses an incredible likeness to the glorious prog band Yes, with special mentions to the fantastically done harmonized vocals opening the song "New Sunrise", a great sound that continued throughout the album.
Additionally, with the Yes sound, the band proceeding in allowing the great bass grooving of Eloy Fritsch to soar through the sound and let the well played instrument speak its mind, boosting the full sound even farther. This fantastic bass sound certainly had likeness to Yes' Chris Squire, with album Drama in mind. This is certainly not to be disliked.
The vocals, done by Gustavo Demarchi, who also does flute work on this LP, I found I was not a big fan of at first, not that I did not like it outright (some songs he did very well), but I couldn't get into it right away. However, despite this, I found Demarchi's voice worked incredibly well with the bulk of the album, and I was certainly reminded vaguely of Marillion's Fish, which was a delight. In short, I feel Demarchi has a voice not to be hated, but to be appreciated with time, much like wine.
One thing I certainly love finding in great music, is the proper utilization of layering. 2012 Light Years From Home is an album that stand among some of the best for the use of layers in music. All parts of the music accented and highlighted everyone else. I love how well this album has been written and recorded. One of my favourite examples comes from a section hovering around the 1:30 mark in the song "Set Me Free" which has the lower synth accenting a higher synth being harmonized with guitar, all pushed up by the incredible rhythm of Fritsch's bass, and drummer, Fábio Schneider's, well done drumming. It was incredibly glorious. The layering carried the incredible melodies of this album. Melodies I certainly enjoyed in every song. Very bright and awesome.
Overall, this album is a great prog album. Though I found the first few songs a little difficult to really get into, it relly started to pick up around the song "The Angels And The Seven Trumpets" where the strength this band possesses started to show well. After "The Angels And The Seven Trumpets" this album took off. It was incredibly easy to groove my head with the music, as it was very likeable. What is not to like? The production was awesome, the instruments are played very well, the voices, both lead and harmonized, soar around the music. Despite a slow start, this album kicked it into seventh gear, and let themselves coast through an incredible journey, to a glorious final by the fantastic epic, anchor song, the title track "2012 Light Years From Home" Well done Apocalypse, I look forward to the next album you have in store.
Eric Zecchel

Having only just gone Anglo with a more accessible, AOR skirting symphonic style on "Bridge of Light", APOCALYPSE has elected to keep things pretty much as they are for "2012 light years from Home". Perhaps there is more of a conscious, even self conscious effort, to progify their trip through rapid lane and speed shifts. When this works, as in the shimmering opener, "New Sunrise", it works wonders, but the title track and closer pinpoints the group's limitations with more ambitious material. At its best, they sound like a clone of an ELP clone on this epic , while at its worst, they barely strike a memorable chord at all.
Elsewhere, the story is much as on "Bridge of Light", and again the material strengthens towards the mid point, with the dreamy "Till Another Side" finding the acoustic guitars and Gustavo Demarchi's voice caressed by the spacey keyboards, and including a beauteous flute solo. The rhythm section fills in strongly here as Ruy Fritsch's heavier guitars provide a welcome counterpoint to the balladic aspect. They also show they can rock out successfully on "Find Me Now", while some of the harmonies of "Morning Light" reflect greater respect paid to the inherent musicality of their material. On the other hand, cliched riffs hold sway over the rather prosaic "on the Way to the Stars" and "Set me Free". In fairness, even when the music fails to impress, the group manages to straddle the sort of metaphysical lyrical themes trodden to excess in prog rock while rarely eliciting a blench.
While occasionally soaring and usually entertaining, "2012 Light Years from Home" falls short of the hoped for masterpiece, this time around, due to general inconsistency, lack of inspiration, and an over reliance on AOR shibboleths.
Ken Levine

The first thing I have noticed about Apocalypse, before even getting to the music, is the lavish beautifully illustrated album covers. The artwork on "2012 Light Years From Home" continues the fantasy elements seen on the previous 6 releases, featuring an individual in a top hat staring at a monolith with a blazing Mayan ornamental dish, ordained by sunfire, and the hourglass in the foreground signifies time is quickly running out. The Mayan temple on the horizon is an allusion to the Mayan calendar as 2012 signifies the apocalypse of planet earth; did you know that? It is a fascinating idea and draws one into the music. With a cover like this I was expecting a tirade of very heavy metal riffing, but it certainly was a more ambient approach.
'New Sunrise' opens immediately with a barrage of melodic vocals in the chorus, with a modern Yes vibe. The vocals of Gustavo Demarchi are high register and reminded me instantly of Ian Gillan. Although the band are from Brazil all the vox are English, rather than in Portuguese as some other releases were, so it has mass appeal. Eloy Fritsch's keyboards add a symphonic texture, and there are some dynamic guitars from Ruy Fritsch. The rhythms are usually straight forward, not intricate like Threshold, and they are well performed by Eloy Fritsch on bass and Fabio Schneider on drums.
'Set me Free' continues the symphonic rock style and there is an infectious riff and some labyrinthine passages of keyboard. The vocals again have that Gillan sound, and are easy on the ears, every word is discernible.
'Take my Heart' is a great track that features the flute playing of Demarchi,that sounds like Ian Anderson high jacked the studio for a few moments. It is rather odd to hear with all the rocking guitars and keyboards, Jethro Tull was never like this, but it is a compelling sound.
'The Angel and Seven Trumpets' is a reference to Revelation in the Bible, and it rocks along with a nice tempo. 'On the Way to the Stars' has a scorching lead guitar break from Ruy Fritsch; one of the best tracks. The tempo is measured, rarely fast or thrashy, and the keys of Eloy Fritsch keep things in symphonic territory.
'Till Another Side' has a fabulous shimmering organ sound and some delightful acoustics; one of the quietest songs with a melancholy atmosphere. Demarchi's vocals are excellent maintaining a strong high register and always integral to the melodies woven in the tapestry of guitars and keys. I like the way the guitar howls towards the end and is joined by wafting gentle flute.
'Morning Light' opens with those Yes like harmonies before the music chimes in with a soaring lead break and very slow tempo. The vocals over acoustics are well executed, and Apocalypse create a musical soundscape of orchestrated synths and ascending guitar string bends that feels majestic and suits the mood perfectly. The lyrics in the infectious chorus are effective; "Our sun is coming out to shine again, come and take my hand to be free, Morning light, the magic horizon will come, take my hand and we'll be in a dream." The female soul improvisations at the end are very nice too.
'Find me Now' is a short ballad style song reminding me of Whitesnake, and it is followed by majestic AOR rock style with 'A Cry in the Infinity'. A strange soundwave of a clock chiming, soldiers marching and aeroplanes soaring above, followed by guns and grenades exploding leads to the opening acoustics on 'To Kiss the Tears You Cry'. After such a powerful intro it settles into a melancholy approach, almost sounding like 80s AOR like Survivor or Journey. Ruy's wailing lead break further augments the emotive lyrics; "I'm here, close enough to kiss the tears you cry." A child's voice speaks and it leads to an extended coda with a crescendo of guitars and keys, on a fractured time sig. The Gentle Giant-ish a cappella vox harmonies are a nice touch, and the isolated whistling. 'Blue Angel' is a steady melodic rock, gently sung with lyrics that focus on longing for paradise with the blue angle; "you show me the paradise, you are my hope, you are my heart, my blue angel."
The final track is the mini epic clocking almost 14 minutes, opening with piano runs, and the more progressive time sig on the album. the organ lines are fast and frenetic, and is reminiscent of Keith Emerson from that band. Indeed, there are references to 'Tarkus' which is surprising after the melodic rock previous. It settles into a mod tempo jazz figure as the vocals enter. '2012 Light Years from Home' is no doubt exploring areas not visited previously on other tracks, and it is a breath of fresh air that they have left their most adventurous music till last. It really is designed for headphones and one would gain the full experience if they concentrated on the lyrics as they have a powerful story to tell; one that seems to run as a theme on the album, preparing for the apocalyptic end times.
Each song builds up this story and there does not seem to be a happy ending as, after all, not everything turns out like a fairytale. Though the lyrics have an optimistic ray of hope, "For you are light inside your dreams, Inside your dreams the sun will lead us, be ready to save the world, our reason to be here, the more we live, the more we learn, the more we fear, the more we lie, the spirit of imagination can lead us through the shadows, so let´s change the world." The symphonic strings and piano are strikingly like Emerson Lake & Palmer's 'Take A Pebble', and then a synth solo like 'Karn Evil 9' enters with staccato Hammond stabs and an irregular synth rhythm. An extended hammering synth sound follows and some of the best keyboard wizardry from Eloy.
I love this final track and particularly the extended passage of music, even though it was a soundalike of ELP; at least it was adventurous and musically challenging rather than some of the straight 4/4 sig AOR previously. If the whole album had been something like this, at least as musically dextrous, I might have been more impressed. As it stands, this is a decent quality album, and though it is overall songs with a safe rock structure, there is nevertheless a lot to offer the symphonic prog listener.
Scott Tuffnell

This is the seventh studio release by this brazilian act. By far the most active Progressive Rock band in the country.
2012 Light Years From Home (2011) was released in The 25th Anniversary Concert Box Set (2011) that also have a live CD called Magic Spells, a DVD called The 25th Anniversary Concert and a book written by Eliton Tomasi called The 25th Anniversary Book – The Apocalypse History, that tells the 25 years band’s history.
The album as a whole is a very good effort and shows tha band growing every new release, specially with Gustavo Demarchi vocals but still bothers me a little bit, not cause of his tone, but because of his English, isn’t that bad, but it’s a little bit harsh I think, it could be better. But I guess after 6 years singing in English it’ll not change much more. I like when he plays the flute in the Jethro Tull style, the band gains a lot of strength, but unfortunatelly it appears on just a few tracks in this new album, like in thr intro of ‘Take My Heart’.
The highlight are the initial track, the Yes alike ‘New Sunrise’ and the different vocals and wonderful bass sound that Magoo Wise delivers. A good surprise is the fourth track ‘The Angels And Seven Trumpets’.
The title track (also the last one) is another wonderful gem with some Emerson, Lake & Palmer signs.
I still prefered when the band used to sing in Portuguese (on the 2003′s album Refúgio, for example). But it’s always a pleasure listen to their music, specially with this new record. I’m pretty sure it’ll spin a lot of times on my player.
Diego Camargo

Bueno, en definitiva, un muy buen álbum que les recomiendo. Otra joyita del progresivo latinoamericano que es necesario que conozcan y aprecien. Y no es la única, por cierto.
Muy recomendado.

www.apocalypseband.com
www.reverbnation.com/apocalypse





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