Intro: Dimitris Kaltsas
16 / 06 / 2017
The sudden bloom of the progressive rock sound in Greece in recent years is obvious even to non-fans of the genre, although most of the bands are DIY and belong to the underground scene, probably fortunately for us. Fortunately, because there is no trace of compromise in the music of those groups, whose artistic intention is a priority. This is the case with Apolis, a band formed in 2008 in Athens as The Sun Has Fallen, a name that became the title of their self-released debut.
A rare (Greek) debut
Even though a so-called “new stream” is in the spotlight during the last few years, which owes its musical direction to the 1970s, it would not be an exaggeration to say that only a few bands carry out the mission successfully. Undoubtedly, Apolis with their album The Sun Has Fallen are ranked as successful.
Although it took them long to release this (they were formed in 2008 and were originally called The Sun Has Fallen), about nine years later Apolis released a debut that undoubtedly has to be heard, mainly by the Greek audience. This does not mean that it cannot have an international success, quite the opposite. OK, let’s explain. There are three elements that strike upon first listen and which are related to each other. Firstly, in the purely technical part the group seems to have done a great job. Besides the members have an already long professional experience. Secondly, and in relation to the first one, there is a very good proportion of the influences on each song. As they themselves say, the “triple” Socrates – Pink Floyd – Manos Hadjidakis is the starting point of their musical quests. Thirdly, and rather as a result of the first two, Apolis succeed in creating something unique without imitating or copying whatever is in fashion (or not).
It’s really hard to get a hold of a full-length album that runs for almost 50 minutes. From the keys of Christos Kyrkilis in Ridin ‘in the Night, taken through a more Mediterranean and serene Any Color You Like, up to the Floydish solo of Tassos Loukou, and from the Socrates intro of Solve Me to the sweet closing of Just a Sweet Melody, it’s obvious that a solid variety characterizes the whole thing. This is evident especially in moments like Inside War or Bring Me Home (with the inspirational groove of Simos Melissourgos), where the flirting with other elements emerges vaguely – until it culminates in the Waltz of Fear in its Hatzidakian expressive form.
A necessary album for Greek friends of good music. A pleasant listening for all those who try to find authentic elements in the Greek rock scene today. Apolis remind us that great efforts are being made, and there are no excuses on our part.
8.5 / 10
The fact that the Greek prog scene has entered the frantic pace of this international stream is something that we have all realized. Inside this scene Apolis emerged with their first full-length album. Initially, we have three-minute songs and then the durations get longer as we get into more lyrical and more acoustic mood. With electricity intervening where necessary, the influences also appear, ranging from Floyd to Socrates. Tracks that stand out are Ridin’ in the Night for its gentle craftsmanship, Ariadne’s Thread for its very progressive riff, Bring Me Home and Waltz of Fear for the darker innovations and Inside War for its beautiful keys. Perhaps we are at the first step of a very good band with great talent. It would really be a good question, how good would this album be if Apolis had a high-level production. In any case, the start was made and it was successful.
8 / 10