Sons Of Apollo have launched the Christian Rios-directed video for the albums second single Fall To Ascend from their sophomore album MMXX.
The album title was inspired by a simple chronological fact. «This will be released in mid-January 2020», says Mike Portnoy. «That means it will be one of the first releases in what is a new decade. So I came up with the idea of calling it 2020’ except having it written in the Latin form of MMXX. And the album’s artwork has been created by Thomas Ewerhard (who was responsible for the cover design of Psychotic Symphonywhich inevitably reflects the title. As Portnoy explains, «For the first record, we had a mythological feel. This time around though, there’s a much more futuristic style to what we’ve got. It has a very 21st century appeal. And the band crest is more polished, cleaned up and a lot more modern than last time, when it had an old fashioned look». The track Desolate July,
«Each member of this band has their own signature sound on their instrument», adds Derek Sherinian. «And when you put all of this together what you get is a wonderful five-headed beast. It makes this a sonically special band, which is definitely what comes across on MMXX. You can hear odd time signatures and amazingly crazy performances here. Overall, we’ve been satisfyingly more adventurous this time than we were before, and I know people are sure to love what we’ve done».
The album is produced by The Del Fuvio Brothers (Portnoy and Sherinian).
«Stylistically, we have followed the same path as the debut», outlines drummer Mike Portnoy. «But we feel that it has come out stronger, simply because we know one another better. Psychotic Symphony was the first time the five of us had worked together, so there was bound to be an air of experimentation happening. Now, we can draw on having the experience not only of recording that album, but also of touring together a lot. And now there is clearly a lot more obvious chemistry going on».
«We did 83 shows on the last tour», adds keyboardist Derek Sherinian. «And it was so worthwhile, because we came out of it with a stronger bond, and that is certainly reflected in what we wrote».
«The writing process began at the start of the year, as Portnoy, Sherinian and guitarist Ron Bumblefoot Thal got together. The three of us were at my home studio in Pennsylvania», explains Portnoy. «And it took about three weeks to get all the music written. That was a very smooth process. The last time, it certainly must have felt a little weird for Bumblefoot to be writing with Derek and me, because we were strangers to him. Now, we know one another better and that helped things push along». The track Goodbye Divinity,
«Because we all have our home studios, it meant everyone could record there as and when they had opportunity», continues Sherinian. «CWe all had the luxury of being able to take our time to get all the parts done, which was a huge help in the way the album’s come out. I suppose in all, it took about eight months to record everything».
There are eight tracks on MMXX, with variations in length totaling 60 minutes. «The final song is New World Today, which is 16 minutes long», says Portnoy. «This one has elements similar to Opus Maximus and Labyrinth on the previous album. It has some insane, brilliant instrumental moments, which I am sure the fans will love».
«We wanted to do something epic here, as we did with Opus Maximus last time around»” adds Sherinian. «You have to remember that Mike and I come from Dream Theater, where we never bothered about how long a song was. So, for us doing a 16 minute track is not a problem!».