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APOCALYPSE Symphonic Prog • Brazil
Apocalypse biography (http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=23)
Apocalypse is a Brazilian band formed in 1983, and spent their first several years as a regional band playing festivals and other local venues. The band's first album released in 1981, and includes a cover of the Marillion classic "Lavender" which like all the band's early albums is sung in Portuguese. The early lineup was a power trio that including keyboardist Eloy Fritsch, guitarist/vocalist Chico Casara (who also played bass for the studio recordings), and drummer Chico Fasoli, with additional guitarist Ruy Fritsch added after the first album.
The band were forced to look beyond Brazil's borders during a lull in the progressive market in the mid-90s, becoming the first Brazilian band to release on a French label in 1995 ("Perto Do Amanhecer"), and later touring and recording extensively in the United States.
While the band's early sound was heavily steeped in synthesizers and Hammond, the international albums gravitated toward a simpler, more melodic style with shorter tracks and more emphasis on guitar and percussion, although the keyboards still played a significant role in the band's sound. Possibly due to their growing international appeal, the band began to include more instrumental tracks sans the Portuguese vocals in the latter nineties. The band's 2000 "Live in USA" release marked the first time a Brazilian act recorded and released a live set in the United States.
The band's lyrics deal mostly with humanistic themes - war, mysticism, nature, and death, but with a melodic instrumental style. Fans and the band themselves suggest similarities to ELP and Marillion, but in fact their better known recordings are closer to perhaps Rush, Saga, even Camel during the more sanguine parts. By 2000 the band had developed a polished sound that bordered on power rock at times, and at times can remind the listener very much of AOR bands like Survivor and Whitesnake. As with so many South American bands however, the lilting inflections in the guitars and keyboards are uniquely Latin in flavor. Drummer Chico Fasoli plays an extensive kit, giving the band a broad and deep rhythmic sound.
In 2004 bassist and vocalist Chico Casara left the group; singer Gustavo Demarchi and bassist Magoo Wise joined and the group announced that future recordings would be in English. They also decided to re-record some of their old songs in English, and the EP "Magic - The Radio Edits" was released in 2005.
Apocalypse are a highly talented and accessible band with a long musical history of international touring and recording. While their later compositions consist mostly of rather simple musical constructs, they are quite melodic and very well engineered.
This band deserves consideration for the Archives due to their early work reminiscent of early Rush, their appreciable reputation throughout Europe and especially the Americas as a vibrant live act, and their often deep and reflective themes.
Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)