RELEASED March 25, 2022 - Apocalypse music, after 46 years in a dusty old storage bin, FINALLY sees the light of day thanks to Steve Krakow (Music Writer/Historian aka Plastic Crimewave), Sara Gossett (Dreamscapes and Nostalgia Artist) and the expert Folk/Prog Rock curating team at Guerssen and Out-Sider Records.
The fresh, new vinyl release (mastered for LP directly from the original demo master recording by Javier Roldon at Vacuum Mastering) means you'll be right there in the studio with us as we played through our set list (no overdubs!) on that day in September, 1976. Our goal for going into the studio was to simply produce a demo of our live show with the intent on sending it out to try and book concert dates on the college circuit, which was the most important thing for a band to do back then.
Apocalypse 1976 Demo Album Reissue - LP Released on Vinyl and Digital March 25, 2022 on Guerssen's Out-Sider Record Label. For a list of record stores that carry Apocalypse "The Castle" LP please visit our Apocalypse Artist Page here: https://salvatoriproductions.com/apocalypse
Michael Salvatori - Band Leader, Composer, Lead Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Recorder
Gail Salvatori - Keyboards, Synths, Violin, Backing Vocals
Tom Salvatori - Bass, Electric and Classical Guitar, Recorder
Scott Magnesen - Drums, Percussion
“The songs have it all, clever compositions with interesting arrangements, a superb sense of melody, with odd time signatures and rhythms mixed in, suites with numerous sections, superb harmonies throughout. The execution is brilliant and flawless.” - Peter Thelen
“Demo it may be but the recordings’ quality is quite brilliant as befits a concept album where the siblings’ progressive leanings meet folk sensibilities on a stunning array of mini-epics whose motifs flow into each other logically and melodically...” - Dmitry Epstein
“...while the musicianship is very much of the highest order, it is the songs which really makes this...an incredibly enjoyable album which certainly would have done well if it had seen the light of day and been given the right promotion back in the day. Any fan of “traditional” prog would do very well indeed to seek this out.” - Progtector
“...completely realized songs on an epic scale. “The Spirit” and “All the People” clock in at nearly seven minutes and more than ten minutes, respectively, and both share features with the golden-era output of UK band Renaissance, who made several albums of delicate chamber prog in the mid-70s: harpsichord, Mellotron, spindly fuzz-guitar guitar leads, and lovely harmonies that blend male and female voices. The sprawling “Only the Children Know” starts acoustic before taking off for the stars with a massive Moog solo, and “The Castle” highlights Gail’s beautiful violin before stepping off into thick, distorted keys and expanding into a sprawling suite worthy of comparison to 70s Genesis.” - Steve Krakow (Plastic Crimewave)
— The Chicago Reader
The Castle - Apocalypse Symphonic Prog
Review by kev rowland - Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer
There are many times within music when an album has been released to no acclaim, only for it to become beloved of music aficionados and collectors in later years and then become highly prized. I've found in my experience that it is not unusual for those albums to not be worth what people ask for, as they are now more of a scarce commodity as opposed to having real musical value. Still, there are times when an album is reissued when the listener cannot help but wonder why it was not far more successful back in the day, and when I played this my initial reaction was this album fell into this category. Imagine my shock when I realized that what we have here is the first time this has ever been made available even though it was recorded all the way back in 1976! High school student Tom Salvatori teamed up with older brother Michael, Michael's wife Gail, and Tom's classmate Scott Magnesen to record this 5-song 38- minute demo which then laid dusty until this year where it is now being released on vinyl.
It is no surprise to realize that Tom and Michael have both followed a career in music, both recording solo albums and running their own label while Michael has also been involved in commercials and video games (including HALO) while also working with Paul McCartney. Even back in 1976 this album would have sounded a few years out, particularly with the keyboard/organ sounds being provided by Gail (who also plays violin at times, which gives the music a very different feel indeed). Scott is a very good drummer, not afraid to play around the kit, but while the musicianship is very much of the highest order, it is the songs which really makes this. The vocals are not always the most confident, but these were demo recordings remember, so would not have been expected to have made the final cut. That is has been made available on vinyl (and Bandcamp, naturally) is incredibly fitting as this is an album very much of its time. There is a naive innocence within it, which perhaps is not surprising given that Tom was still at high school when it was recorded. It is never too bombastic, but has a simple complexity that is endearing, which really reels the listener in. In many ways it is frustrating to understand this was recorded 46 years ago, as it means there will never be another, and I would have loved to have heard what this would have sounded like when recorded for full release.
As it is, this is an incredibly enjoyable album which certainly would have done well if it had seen the light of day and been given the right promotion back in the day. Any fan of "traditional" prog would do very well indeed to seek this out.
Links to additional reviews:
Enjoy in-depth interviews that will help frame the era, time and place along with the pocketful of miracles that were involved with bringing this release to the light of day:
PsychedelicBabyMag.com - Thanks Klemen!
mwe3.com - Thanks Robert! (to enjoy the interview, scroll down past Robert's review)
ChicagoReader.com - Thanks Steve Krakow (Plastic Crimewave)
Outside the Loop Radio - Mike Stephen and Steve Krakow discuss the Apocalypse release
MusicStreetJournal.com - Thanks to Gary Hill
The Spirit (Excerpt) - posted as a Guerssen promotion
The Spirit - full length song - posted by our friends at Guerssen
The Castle - full length song - posted by our friends at Guerssen
Only the Children Know - full length song - posted by our friends at RockRoseMusic (Robert Silverstein)