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Live On the Edge Of Forever

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Average Rating
★★★★★
(17 Reviews)

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  • I am a rather recent convert to Symphony X my wife, bless her gave me “V – The New Mythology Suite” as one of my Christmas presents in 2000. Needless to say I flipped for Symphony X. As an encore this Christmas my wife gave me Symphony X’s “Live on the Edge of Forever”. I must say I could easily get used to that particular little tradition. As other reviewers mentioned the actual title of this CD is “Live on the Edge of Forever”.I am always a bit suspicious of live CD’s. Too many times they are put out to simply make a quick buck for the band and to keep the fans happy until a new studio CD can be released. I was doubly suspicious of Symphony X’s live CD considering the complex nature of the band’s music. Listening to this CD quickly disabused me of those suspicions. The music comes across a bit harder than their studio CD’s since all the elements of the studio recording can’t be reproduce live and are subsequently replaced by additional guitar parts. The band still manages to evoke the grandeur that their studio recording projects. Overall the band’s intricate music is executed almost flawlessly.Michael Romeo is a tremendous guitar player mixing proficiency with passion. He is definitely the key to Symphony X in being able to successfully play their material live. Michael Pinnella the Keyboard player is one of the best keyboardist around adding texture and grace to the music. The rhythm section of Lepond on bass and Rullo on drums are solid and do excellent work live. Rullo’s drum in particular sound pleasingly sharper and crisper than in the studio CD’s. The band departs from the studio version of the songs on numerous occasions. Sometimes as mentioned above due to technical necessity and sometimes just for the fun of it. I quite enjoyed these departures since they showcased the bands creativity and mastery of their musical form. The band has definite chemistry playing off each other to give a dynamic performance.Russell Allen’s vocals sound rougher and grittier though no less pleasing than his vocals on Symphony X’s studio CD’s. His vocals radiate intensity and power. He sounds like a great live frontman. Mind you my only evidence is this recording but the crowd sure does respond to him. Disc 1 is nearly entirely composed of the first nine songs of “V – The New Mythology Suite” played in its studio order. The song the “Death of Balance” off “V – The New Mythology Suite” neatly segues into the fantastic “Candlelight Fantasia” off the “Divine Wings of Tragedy” CD. The first CD is close’s out with “The Eyes of Medusa” off the aforementioned “Divine Wings of Tragedy” CD. The tracks Disc 2 are evenly split between the “Divine Wings of Tragedy” and the “Twilight In Olympus” CD’s. Its hard to pick highlights off this album since all the tracks included are prime grade material. On disc 1 “Evolution (The Grand Design)” is played with an extra bit of aggression and it certainly benefits from it. On disc 2 “The Church of the Machine” is a killer track with terrific vocals. Symphony X perform a smoking version “Of Sins and Shadows” putting the studio version to shame and that’s saying a lot. An excellent live album that should be in the collection of any Symphony X fan. As for the newcomer this is not a bad place to start although a better place to start would be to purchase “V – The New Mythology Suite” and “Divine Wings of Tragedy” and then acquire “Live on the Edge of Forever”.

    Posted on December 13, 2009