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Apollo Under Fire
Apollo Under Fire
Cavigold Records/EMP Label Group
Release Date: June 3, 2016
Apollo Under Fire came together in 2014 in Florida. This self-titled offering is their debut release through Seattle-based Cavigold Records and EMP Label Group, led by Megadeth’s David Ellefson and Thom Hazaert. The album is chock full of pristine guitar work, heartfelt vocals, and anthemic songwriting in an AOR vein.
The thing here that immediately grabs you are the vocals and the guitars. They are both spotlighted in the mix, which makes for a lighter sound than I bet they have live. “Weightless” is a highlight here for sure. The vocals are mildy grittier than on some of the other tracks and it’s got a really bright chorus that makes you feel empowered. It’s an easy song to connect with lyrically as it’s all about being free and being able to be who you are, a common struggle for any person, but the band expertly keep it out of cheesy territory. The explosive “Wings” is another highlight here in my opinion. It’s deep acoustic verses are complimented well by anthemic choruses and some damn good drumming that pushes the whole thing along like a freight train, reminding me a bit of the last Fuel album. The barebones album cap “Sweet Freedom” is another excellent moment that shows off vocalist Donald Carpenter’s obvious talent in a raw way that will easily connect with listeners.
I really enjoy this album. It’s got a really light, radio-friendly feel to it that is easy to get lost in. The only thing that holds this album back really is the mix. While the production is pristine, the drums and bass are really low in the mix and it keeps a lot of the songs from really becoming the powerhouses that I believe they are. With a different mix, Apollo Under Fire might appeal to a broader audience but if you like radio-friendly anthems then this is a great listen that you’ll be happy you found.
Reviewed by mark1340