CD Reviews

Apollo - 'Waterdevils'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 26, 2017    
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We say it far too often, but this really is an album that's "all killer, no filler". Be a devil and treat yourself.

Apostolos "Apollo" Papathanasio (to give him his full Sunday title) is of Swedish birth but Greek ancestry and 'Waterdevils' is his first solo album. Opting for a life as a Rock/Metal vocalist when he was still in his teens, Apollo has spent over two decades fronting numerous bands, the most notable being Time Requiem, Meduza, and Evil Masquerade. However, it was in 2005, whilst mixing an album for TR, that a chance meeting with guitarist and fellow Greek Gus G (Mystic Prophecy, Dream Evil, Ozzy Osbourne) eventually led to him fronting Greek Power Metal band Firewind. Apollo remained with the band until 2013 and recorded four albums before concentrating his vocal prowess on his second job, Stoner Metal band Spiritual Beggars.

Since then, Apollo has been busy writing and recording material initially intended to be used under a "project band" moniker, but friends and collaborators persuaded him to emerge from the shadows and become a solo artist for the first time. 'Waterdevils' features a cornucopia of Classic Rock influences from the late seventies to the mid-eighties. I picked out nuances from Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Kiss, Rainbow, the Scorpions and early Iron Maiden ... but I'm sure you'll find a multitude of others. That said, this is not a copycat album – this is clearly Apollo (supported by a cast of close musician friends) flexing his exceptional vocal chords, unassuming guitar skills and delivering an opus that reflects his impregnated love of the Classic Rock genre.

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Opener 'Revolution For The Brave' sets the bar high; up-tempo, galloping riffage with a Metal edge and a contagious chorus to boot. Initially, the vocal sounded very Paul Stanley-esque but as the album evolves I could clearly hear Ian Gillan, David Byron, David Coverdale and Ronnie James Dio influences too. 'Liberate Yourself', 'Buried In A Flame', 'Safe And Sound', 'Crossing The Lines' and 'Chasing Shadows' all display the Classic Rock fundamentals, but each song has more than enough variation to maintain interest and enjoyment. On the home straight, 'Rise Up', 'I Need Rock 'N' Roll' and 'Through The Fire' exhibit a more commercial element. 'Fallen Endlessly' and 'Stop' deserve special mentions – the former is a sumptuous, slow-tempo song whilst the latter evokes resemblances to Dio's halcyon days.

We say it far too often, but this really is an album that's "all killer, no filler". Be a devil and treat yourself.

Dave Crompton

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