The fusion of progressive rock and heavy metal was shaped by bands like Dream Theater, but by no means invented. Already in the seventies you can find many hard guitars in the world of rather complicated music and vice versa, the once young savages like Iron Maiden incorporated prog into their metal with songs like “Phantom Of The Opera”.
Consequently, by 1981 SPHINX were already several years ahead of their time. The band from the Stuttgart area, founded in 1977, consisted mostly of Italian immigrant workers' sons. This gave the band an international flair. “Rock Made In Italy”, as you can read on the original cover of “Here We Are”, was therefore just a promotional gimmick. Especially, because the guitarist Thomas Metzger is none other than Tommy Newton, who later became famous with the band Victory. His powerful and hard playing is the antithesis to the playful and just very progressive keyboards and the rhythm section, which typically like to break out of the four-four time.
“Here We Are” was released in 1981 by Peak, a label of the company GAMA, which at that time was still quite a newbie and could not yet push through such a high-class product. In 1985 the LP appeared a second time as “Burning Lights”. Mausoleum and also Camel (also a GAMA label) tried to give the album a second chance with a typical heavy metal cover artwork and a rearranged tracklist.
Thereupon, under this name and with this look, the record became many times more famous than the original from 1981. However, even at that time the metal world was not yet ready for this style, while prog fans were rather put off by the new cover. While Tommy Newton started a successful career and has also been a producer for many years, the rest of the musicians disappeared into obscurity.
Many years later “Here We Are” (aka “Burning Lights”) became cult, even if so far only in metal circles. With this reissue, Golden Core also wants to show prog-rock fans what a brilliant album they missed in 1981. And those who like bands like Dream Theater anyway will find a piece of heaven here.