The Cleveland, Ohio early music group Apollo's Fire and its director, Jeannette Sorrell, here attempt something unusual on two different fronts, which makes Sephardic Journey recommendable right off the bat. First of all, the music here will be unfamiliar to most listeners who haven't specifically studied the world of Spain's Sephardic Jews and their diaspora.
Sons of Apollo is an American progressive metal supergroup formed in 2017 and composed of Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Derek Sherinian, Jeff Scott Soto and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. Portnoy, Sheehan and Sherinian had already worked together at a short-lived, live instrumental project with Tony MacAlpine. Sherinian was asking Portnoy to be a drummer in a band full-time. Portnoy agreed when he had time for it. Their debut album, Psychotic Symphony, will be produced by Portnoy and Sherinian (as "The Del Fuvio Brothers") and is expected to be released on 20 October 2017 via Inside Out Music/Sony Music.
With three discs featuring a total of 63 tracks, this is Mahalia Jackson's complete output for the Apollo label from 1946 to 1954. These are the recordings that brought Jackson to a national audience right up to her breakthrough with Columbia Records and the ones that literally made gospel recording history. Highlights can be found anywhere the laser beam falls on any of the three discs in this set, but her performances of "Go Tell It on the Mountain," "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," "In the Upper Room, Pts. 1 & 2" "Move on Up a Little Higher," "What Could I Do," "Ever Me," "I'm Going to Tell God," "Dig a Little Deeper," and "Walk with Me," "In My Home Over There," "Just Over the Hill, Pts. 1 & 2," and "Walking in Jerusalem" are too perfect for words and should simply be in everyone's gospel collection as some of the best the genre has to offer. Marvelous transfers of the original master tapes plus great notes by AMG contributor Opal Louis Nations are just extra icing on the cake to this essential collection.
Paris-based Soror Dolorosa creates raw and hungry gothic rock inspired by post-punk, death rock and cold wave. French for ‘Sister Pain’, Soror Dolorosa was formed in 2001 by vocalist Andy Julia. Taking its name from the novel “Bruges-la-morte” by Flemish symbolist writer Georges Rodenbach, Soror Dolorosa channels its inspiration’s strong undercurrents of passion, nostalgia and mourning, transferring those powerful emotional states into its music and live performances. These signature elements of the group’s sonic formula are heard in its muscular songs, jangling guitars, overdriven bass lines, driving rhythms and Julia’s distinctive, dramatic vocal style.