Apogee is the solo outing from mainman of Versus X Arne Schafer (lead and backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, bass and sound effects). This time, with the fine drumming of Uwe Wollmar, I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised by the sheer talent displayed on this 4th solo release from 2003.
It has everything you'd want from a solid prog album! Now Arne is not, as such, a singer, but his commanding voice makes you listen! Well, kinda like Pete Hammill (that's not bad at all!) when he is reciting, but the main features are really the music and the delivery ... wow what a brilliant musician he is!
This album holds 5 tracks, in which 4 of them clock in at over the 13 minute mark; well actually the longest is some 21:26 minutes of sheer bliss, namely track #5 "Swallow The Illusion" and that I do ? swallow the illusion; this track roars, glides and soothes its way through several of prog music's favourite idioms in such a brilliant way that you must surrender; great tunes, great keys (mellotron), great guitars and superb composing!
Another track I'd like to mention is track #1, the title track "The Garden Of Delights," again with the mesmerizing voice of Schafer, interrupted by some serious guitar theme, and again the drumming of Vollmar shines! I really have to say that this album is great! Although Apogee are somewhat different to Versus X, you can hear the talent shine through on both albums. Well why not? After all, it is that same genius that delivers the music!
So my final verdict? Get this album (well get all of them while you're at it) and then search for Versus X, you wont be disappointed, promise!! Apogee are brilliant and so are Versus X! They're just waiting for you to find out!!
The Garden Of Delights (16:24)
To Keep The Balance (15:52)
The Cassini Division (2:45)
Paying The Bill (13:40)
Swallow The Illusion (21:26)
Arne Shaefer - all instruments & vocals
Uwe Volmarr - drums
Border Of Awareness (1995)
On The Aftertaste (2001/2006) The Garden Of Delights (2003)