APOLLO – Waterdevils (2016)

APOLLO - Waterdevils (2016) full

Specialized UK label Escape Music is releasing today “Waterdevils“, the solo debut from APOLLO. After more than two decades of contributing with his voice and songwriting on studio albums, finally it is time for Swedish vocalist Apollo Papathanasio to deliver his first solo CD.

Former Firewind and current Spiritual Beggars vocalist, Apollo was involved in music since a young teenager fronting many bands over the years. As professional was part of Time Requiem, the really good band Evil Masquerade and perhaps his most famous act to date; Firewind.
Writing and recording over the last several years, Apollo thought first of introducing his music via a new band. But friends persuaded him otherwise; he should go solo.
Now 2016, Apollo arrives with his first solo album “Waterdevils”.

To start, there’s a few things we don’t know about this album. Most significantly did Apollo have any help writing and arranging these songs and who played on the album besides him. The credits are in short supply.
But what we do know is the good stuff. As a vocalist and a songwriter Apollo is in fine form.

Having a slight raw edge to his voice, Apollo sounds strong singing melodic and clean. More importantly, the music seems molded and twisted to match his timbre, perhaps more than with his more recent bands.
But having said all these fine things of Apollo as a vocalist, he may actually be surpassed by the songs and music themselves. Upstaged as it were.

Apollo’s “Waterdevils” style is essentially melodic hard rock with a little metal edge, yet still wrapped in AOR accessibility. Melody, harmony, and groove are abundant from the riffs and chords to vocal arrangements, from catchy refrains to the ripping solos. There is some significant and energetic shredding across this album as well.
On to a few song highlights, again with the music taking some precedence. Within ‘Fallen Endlessly’ (something of subtle anthem) the drumming is superb, especially in the outro following the guitar solo.

APOLLO - Waterdevils (2016) inside

For some spirited hard rock and groove ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Liberate Yourself’ churn with energy and enthusiasm. For some of that edge, notably in the riffage and driving rhythm section, look to the brisk ‘Revolution For The Brave’ and ‘Chasing Shadows’. Curiously, there’s nothing akin to a ballad here. The softest thing maybe the aforementioned ‘Falling Endlessly’.

For a first solo effort, on “Waterdevils” Apollo has delivered a powerful and entertaining album mixing classic melodic hard rock, punchy AOR and some metal metal edge, music that suits his voice and speaks to his long career in those genres.
The album has been really well recorded & mixed and with a crisp modern production.
Highly Recommended

01 – Revolution for the Brave
02 – Liberate Yourself
03 – Buried in a Flame
04 – Safe and Sound
05 – Fallen Endlessly
06 – Crossing the Lines
07 – Power
08 – Rise Up
09 – I Need Rock N Roll
10 – Chasing Shadows
11 – Through the Fire
12 – Stop


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