Applehead – The Light Side Of The Apple
Harkening back to a time when Hard Rock was melodic, Applehead is a throwback to a long-lost era. The Light Side Of The Apple wanders through musical genres while exploring personal themes and searching for answers to eternal questions. Applehead shifts from eerie, mournful phrases to high-energy rockers without missing a beat, shifting gears like a veteran Grand Prix driver. The hooks from the guitar are exquisite. This guy knows how to write a riff that will absolutely embed itself in your head. You won’t be able to sit still while this is playing.
- Greg Minier – Everything but bass
- Jaymi ‘Pinkbassman’ Millard – Bass
September 1, 2023 https://roxxrecords.com/
- Raze Hell
- Worthless Words
- Pretty Creepy
- And Then The Rain Comes Down
- In Pouring Rain
- A Harmonic Rain
- The Destiny
- The Destiny: I. Redemptio
- The Destiny: II. Resurrexit Et Vivit
- The Destiny: III. Ultima Pugna
After a 30-year hiatus, Applehead is back to “Raze Hell.” Yes, pun intended. After releasing one album in 1992, Applehead disappeared for quite some time. The recent re-release of their debut, Meaning, apparently stirred something, setting the creative juices to flow. The result is The Light Side Of The Apple, 11 tracks of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal that dive into personal issues and questions.
“Raze Hell” opens with a solid guitar riff/keyboard combo over a killer bass line. There is even a voice box before the first verse, bringing the 70s and 80s back into the new age. This is the Hard Rock end of the sound Greg and Jaymi achieve. It’s slower and more melodic, aiming for the AOR side of the house. Heavy enough to keep Metalheads happy, this track brings old-school Hard Rock back to the forefront.
For a more Metal flavoring, check out “Worthless Words,” a significantly faster song. Pounding bass, coupled with solid drumming fuel this one. The guitars are good, but the rhythm/riff combo is what really drives this track. This song has a chantable chorus, which is good. The layering of backing voices can easily be duplicated live by the crowd, getting the audience involved. There are also a few really good screams in this song from Greg.
“And Then The Rain Comes Down” is a Power Ballad, fading in and using a lot of ambient keyboards to amplify the timbre of the song. The build, especially through the guitar solo, is beautifully paced, not getting in a hurry and pushing forward too hard. Then, the drop at the end closes the track just like you hope it would. This song is composed like some of the timeless classics from days gone by.
By far the most ambitious part of the album is “The Destiny.” There are four parts to this song and the total running time across the whole thing is over 26 minutes. It is Progressive Rock/Metal without the pretension of a Dream Theater or the extravagance of a Rush, though it is equally spectacular. There is a solid theme that carries through all four sections with the song constantly moving forward, even when revisiting previous sections. It is not easy to maintain consistency for this length of time, but Applehead pulls it off.
It is difficult to “categorize” this album into a single genre, which is okay. Metal and all the sub-genres work together well, so there is no need to try to write to a single theory. Applehead crosses over and through multiple styles, playing each with skill and a technicality that is refreshing. It is obvious both Greg and Jaymi and seasoned musicians with decades of experience. This is a solid album that is definitely worth getting to know.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 8
- Songwriting – 8
- Production – 8
Overall – 8.40