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APOGEE

Crossover Prog • Germany


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Apogee biography
APOGEE is another one-man band from Germany. Arne SCHÄFER plays all the instruments and sings in a "Hammillian oriented" progressive style. Although the thoughtful lyrics feature in the music, there are very good intrumental textures in the background. This combination makes the music very interesting, although ground-breaking sounds are found here... there's always a component referring to "I have listened to this before somewhere". Its worth to mention that the albums are very well produced in general.

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Buy APOGEE Music


MUGEN TOWERMUGEN TOWER
VICTOR JAPAN
Audio CD$94.08
$4.94 (used)
SisyphosSisyphos
Import
Musea 1998
Audio CD$16.82
Sisyphos by Apogee (2001-01-01)Sisyphos by Apogee (2001-01-01)
Mus Export
Audio CD$118.81
The Art Of Mind by Apogee (2015-08-03)The Art Of Mind by Apogee (2015-08-03)
Progressive Promotion Records
Audio CD$44.03 (used)
The Border Of Awareness by APOGEE (2001-01-01)The Border Of Awareness by APOGEE (2001-01-01)
Musea
Audio CD$148.00
Waiting for the Challenge by Apogee (2012-12-18)Waiting for the Challenge by Apogee (2012-12-18)
Musea
Audio CD$209.71
Fantastic by Apogee (2006-11-22)Fantastic by Apogee (2006-11-22)
Imports
Audio CD$127.74
Yakan Hiko by Apogee (2006-02-22)Yakan Hiko by Apogee (2006-02-22)
Imports
Audio CD$64.77
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APOGEE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

APOGEE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.45 | 21 ratings
The Border of Awareness
1995
4.01 | 29 ratings
Sisyphos
1998
3.48 | 18 ratings
On the Aftertaste
2000
3.70 | 29 ratings
The Garden of Delights
2003
3.63 | 27 ratings
Mystery Remains
2009
2.67 | 7 ratings
Die Gläserne Wand und Schleifen (feat. Gerald Heimann)
2012
3.95 | 23 ratings
Waiting for the Challenge
2012
3.27 | 25 ratings
The Art of Mind
2015

APOGEE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

APOGEE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

APOGEE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

APOGEE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

APOGEE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 On the Aftertaste by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.48 | 18 ratings

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On the Aftertaste
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Progresearcher

4 stars This album was released by the Italian label Mellow Records in 2006 - not in 2000. "On the Aftertaste" is the fourth official CD release by Apogee, though this is actually the project's very first studio album . It consists of the tracks Arne Schafer composed and recorded from 1989 to 1991 (i.e. quite long before the appearance of "The Border of Awareness"), none of them were available previously, of course. Musically, there is a lot in common between "On the Aftertaste" and most, if not all, of the other albums that Arne released under the Apogee moniker. The only exception would probably be "Die Glaserne Wand & Schleifen". Recorded in 1988, this collaborative effort between Arne and singer/lyricist Gerald Heimann is much more classically influenced than any of Schaefer's subsequent releases.
 The Art of Mind by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.27 | 25 ratings

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The Art of Mind
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

2 stars Apogee is a side project of Versus X singer, guitarist and composer, Arne Schafer, and here he provides everything except for drums, which are provided by Eberhard Graef. According to the press release this 2015 album revives the typical characteristics of the golden age of prog, and references Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Rush, Zappa and UK. Hmm, I guess that means that the album I'm listening to isn't this one at all, as this is the type of album that gives prog a bad name. Normally, when I come across an album where the opening song is twenty minutes long, and the others are all eight minutes plus then I am singing the praises right off the bat. Here, not so much.

There are bits here and there that are quite pleasant, but just when I think it's just me there is another dire passage, or melody switch that doesn't make sense. It is almost as if he has taken those classic bands and has tried to pull together bits and pieces into a coherent whole, but if he was given a jigsaw puzzle there are pieces missing and he's lost the picture he is supposed to be recreating. I find it incredible that this is his eighth album, as in many this is reminiscent of so many tapes I was being sent more than twenty-five years ago, although in fairness the production is a lot better (and easily the best part). My last review of an Apogee album had me feeling rather the same way, that this is likely never to darken my player again.

 The Art of Mind by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.27 | 25 ratings

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The Art of Mind
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German project APOGEE is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Arne Schafer, otherwise known as a member of the German band Versus X. He has been releasing music using the Apogee moniker ever since 1989, and so far this is an eight album strong project. "The Art of Mind" is the title of the project's brand new album, which was released in 2015 by the German label Progressive Promotion Records.

"The Art of Mind" comes across as a well planned and executed production of progressive rock, made with a similar approach and touching base with the classic-era bands, yet also including the odd detail here and there with more of an atmospheric character, adding a touch of what many would call neo-progressive rock to a production that has symphonic progressive rock as a firm foundation. The instrumental sections, themes, arrangements and motifs leave little to be desired, as far as I'm concerned, but the vocals are a rather weak point, and on a few occasions a detrimental one at that. Still, if you have an affection for classic progressive rock of the symphonic variety, this is a disc that merits an inspection.

 Waiting for the Challenge by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.95 | 23 ratings

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Waiting for the Challenge
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German project APOGEE is the creative vehicle of composer and instrumentalist Arne Schafer, a side project from his main band Versus X. The first Apogee album "The Border of Awareness" was released back in 1995, and a grand total of seven studio productions have been released under this moniker so far. "Waiting for the Challenge" is the most recent of these, released through the French label Musea Records in December 2012.

"Waiting for the Challenge" comes across as a well planned, well executed and cohesive production through and through. Variations in pace and intensity are used to good effect; the compositions smoothly move through multiple themes and arrangements; contrasting elements and sequences are applied to good effect throughout. If you tend to enjoy progressive rock of the symphonic variety that comes across as vintage oriented then this is a production that merits an inspection, it's as simple as that really.

 Sisyphos by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.01 | 29 ratings

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Sisyphos
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars During the 90's Musea was hunting every single name, the music of which was resembling to the sound of the 70's.After his solo work on ''The Border of awareness'', Schaeffer focused on his work with Versus X and their next album ''Disturbance'', which came out in 1996.But he also kept the Apogee thing rolling and two years later the album ''Sisyphos'' is published on the French label.

It seems that Schaeffer has really captured a grandiose Teutonic flavor in this album and the vibrations of ELOY and ANYONE'S DAUGHTER are more than apparent next to his retro references to monsters like YES, KING CRIMSON and PINK FLOYD.The album contains two short pieces along with three monster epics, the shortest of which clocks at over 17 minutes.Additionally this sounds as a more focused effort, Schaeffer has dominated the sound with symphonic orchestrations and complex textures, but he also has a strong sense of melody, a much needed characteristic in such ambitious pieces.The result is a sound that comes and goes through time, expect to listen to some fantastic Mellotron, dreamy harpsichord and deep Hammond organ coming out of the 70's, but be ready to face also the nervous synth stylings of modern Progressive Rock in the album.The guitar work is excellent, very sharp and tricky with some nice solos and discreet Fusion twists.Even Schaeffer's vocals sound a bit better in a majestic enviroment, based on multiple variations and thematic changes with Classical influences and a strong Teutonic Prog flavor.The production is very good and the mix is masterful, no dead holes or flaws, and that is a positive fact for an album filled with impressive, pompous and grandiose Progressive Rock, performed by a single person.

Among the highlights in Arne Schaeffer's long discography.Beautiful Symphonic Rock with blinks to the past and fascinating, rich, atmospheric arrangements.Highly recommended.

 Die Gläserne Wand und Schleifen (feat. Gerald Heimann) by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.67 | 7 ratings

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Die Gläserne Wand und Schleifen (feat. Gerald Heimann)
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars German project APOGEE is the creative vehicle of composer and multi-instrumentalist Arne Schafer, a solo vehicle for material that doesn't fit in his main band Versus X. Since the first Apogee disc appeared in 1995 a total of six full length productions have been released under this moniker, of which "Waiting for the Challenge" from 2012 is the most recent. The double feature "Die Glaserne Wand & Schleifen", also released in 2012, isn't truly a part of the Apogee project. But as this is solo material by Schafer as well, the Russian label MALS Records opted to issue these archival recording under this already established moniker.

These archival recordings courtesy of Arne Schäfer, released under his Apogee moniker, document an ambitious musician with a need to cover and explore a lot of ground in terms of structures, arrangements and style. Some technical and instrument details do come across as fairly dated, and a certain taste for 80's style sounds will be needed to enjoy this double CD. But if you don't regard that as a major drawback and tend to enjoy a fairly eclectic and demanding take on the symphonic art rock universe, then you might want to inspect this production, alongside existing fans of Arne Schafer and his musical escapades.

 Die Gläserne Wand und Schleifen (feat. Gerald Heimann) by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.67 | 7 ratings

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Die Gläserne Wand und Schleifen (feat. Gerald Heimann)
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

2 stars This album contains material from 1988 ? 1989, before Arne Schäfer became involved with Versus X. Apogee has always been intended to push the boundaries of what could be accepted as prog, so Throbbing Gristle and Kraftwerk have as much influence as VDGG or King Crimson. On this double CD set he is joined by vocalist Gerald Heimann, and while all of the vocals are in German there is an English translation of the lyrics in the booklet. I really wasn't sure what to expect from this album, as although I have albums by all four bands mentioned above in my collection ? how would it all fit together? Also, when I saw that the five songs on disc one (and the first song on disc two) were all described as movements of the same piece. Now, when someone states that it is a movement (as opposed to a section or individual song) they raise the stakes as normally movements are associated with classical music ? so just how good is this?

Well, to be honest, not very. There are some sections where it is really very good, but that is overweighed by the times when I was wondering just how much longer it had to go on. Some of the keyboard sounds being used are incredibly dated, even allowing for the fact it was recorded more than 20 years ago. There are times when it reminded me more of some of the worse elements of electronic music that was around twenty years ago ? but there again I don't believe that I am the intended audience as this is part of a series of releasing some of Arne's archives, so there must be people out there who are demanding this. To me this just sounds like a series of demo recordings that I am unlikely to listen to again. www.mals.ru

 The Border of Awareness by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.45 | 21 ratings

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The Border of Awareness
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Apogee is a solo project of Versus X-guitarist Arne Schäfer,a dedicated Classic Prog fan.While playing in various bands and eventually finding his Ithaca on Versus X,Arne was composing and recording his own material on a two-track tape.Meeting the guys on Musea through his regular band,Arne sent them his self-produced material and so Apogee was born.Musea decided to release Apogee's first solo output under the title ''The Border of Awareness'' in 1995,a year after Versus X self-titled debut, containing material Arne wrote between 1989 and 1994.

The German musician (and professional chemist) handles all bass,guitars and keyboards,sings and uses drum samples on this album,which contains four long numbers of Classic Prog-influenced music along with a short one.While I will pass by Arne's voice,which is decent but a bit accented,I won't do the same with the more than fine musicianship.The tracks are full of great guitar work,grandiose keyboard passages,sudden breaks,mellow moments and atmospheric passages to fullfill every prog fan's dream.Influences are diverse but definitely through the Classic Prog era: GENESIS, YES, KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, PINK FLOYD and the list goes on.And while Arne is a more than talented guitarist as we know them from Versus X,he surprisingly prooves to be an excellent keyboardist as well.I do not know his exact equipment but I can detect sounds from organ,moog synths and church organ among the common digital synths used,which make his work trully varied. Orchestral passages, spacey synths, organ solos, even electronic soundscapes are some of the great instrumental parts you can listen to ''The Border of Awareness''.And Arne achieved to keep a good balance between the vocal-based parts and the dramatic instrumental music on this.

While ''The Border of Awareness'' will never find itself among the personal and original releases of progressive rock,it is certainly a great album, defining the meaning of progressive rock and offering long cuts of impressive and intricate music.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 The Garden of Delights by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.70 | 29 ratings

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The Garden of Delights
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. APOGEE and VERSUS X are both the brain-child of Germany's own Arne Schaefer. Arne is a multi-instrumentalist and singer and on this album he is helped by drummer Uwe Vollmar who helps out on the follow-up to this one, as well as the two most recent VERSUS X albums. I never really noticed this before but Arne's singing reminds me of Andy Tillison's vocals on here. By the way this album is over 70 minutes in length and consists of 5 tracks.

"The Garden Of Delights" is by far my favourite. I was pretty excited the first time I heard this track thinking i'd stumbled upon a great album, but sadly the rest of the songs don't measure up to this one. It opens with atmosphere as piano comes in slowly then reserved vocals. It kicks in before 2 minutes with a beat, guitar and organ. I love the melancholic synths before 6 minutes as they seem to jam. Great section until it settles before 10 minutes but it kicks back in a minute later. Great track. "To Keep The Balance" opens with background synths and drums. It picks up and vocals arrive 2 minutes in. Guitar to the fore after 4 1/2 minutes when the vocals stop. It settles with piano after 8 minutes before kicking back in at 10 1/2 minutes. Good tune but not even close to being as good as the opener.

"The Cassini Division" is the only instrumental and the shortest track by far. It's mostly acoustic guitar melodies throughout. "Paying The Bill" is almost orchestral sounding with some energy too early on. It does settle 1 1/2 minutes in with piano, reserved vocals and relaxed guitar.The intro soundscape returns as contrasts continue. Some tasteful guitar before 11 minutes. "Swallow The Illusion" opens with atmosphere then the music kicks in around 1 1/2 minutes.Vocals before 4 minutes as it settles. It picks up again before 5 1/2 minutes with some nice bass.This song which is the longest at 21 1/2 minutes continues to change moods and tempos.

I like this album but not enough to offer up the fourth star. Worth checking out though.

 Mystery Remains by APOGEE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.63 | 27 ratings

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Mystery Remains
Apogee Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This fifth effort by German band Apogee, a side project of Versus X member Arne Schäfer, is an effort that should cater rather well for an audience who appreciate a dark and elaborate variety of the symphonic progressive rock universe. Closer to a band like Van der Graaf Generator than Genesis or Yes in overall style, but also with a nod or two in the direction of bands like Eloy and Pink Floyd.

Organically evolving compositions with an emphasis on a variety of more or less subtle contrasts is what's offered to potential listeners on this occasion, from the majestic epic title track opening this album to the more sophisticated and varied mammoth ending this affair. Long instrumental passages is a key feature throughout, and all compositions explore the specific contrast of having dampened and subdued motifs followed by rich, multiple layered efforts and vice versa. All the compositions are well made and well performed, and none of them falters or stagnates to any degree worth mentioning.

Odd sounding, cheesy synth textures and Schäfer's somewhat limited vocal range, the latter comparable to Eloy's Frank Bornemann, are the main features that makes this a very good and not a perfect album as far as my personal taste goes. But still, well worth investigating for anyone with a soft spot for elaborate and sophisticated symphonic progressive rock.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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