Yes you read the title right. If you click my name you know that I have reviewed two rap albums (I don’t usually bother reviewing on amazon but I like reading some of the reviews). Anyways as I was saying I am a huge rap fan (and not that commercial MTV crap like 50 CENT, Eminem, Chingy, Nelly, J-Kwon, Murphy Lee etc.) and to be honest I hate all that pop-punk/metal crap (Blink 182, Sum 41, Slipknot etc.) and I used to hate metal/rock/progressive rock in general. So what made me change my mind? This amazing group.Ok so it was unusual for me to listen to this kind of music. I just thought it was pointless drum bashing with played out electric guitars… but this group… they have something special I just don’t know…. there is three things that make this album amazing.1. Lyrics… lyrically this album has ten times the talent than of that rat faced b*****d Chingy. It’s just amazing how the lead singer delivers them…. I absoloutely love them.2. Delivery… As I said before the delivery of the man’s voice… kind of Freddie Mercury-ish but is very influential. I’m not sure if you can call it singing but he definently has that unique voice that makes you wanna sit down and listen,…And most importantly in my opinion 3.The Music- The band musically are just geniuses… the beautiful synchronisation (sp?) with the drums and guitars mixed in with some nice synthesising beats now again with the beautiful vocals is a nice combination.Sometimes I feel the interludes are a bit too long for me to get into the song…. but that’s the whole beauty of it… they can show their musical talent as well as their vocal/lyrical skill on just one song alone.I am now starting to get into this kind of music. I only just found out other bands like Dream Theatre, Thy Masjestee etc… and they really do get you pumped. If this kind of music was as commercial as hip hop was today I believe it would even be bigger. And remember I am a true hip hop fan and this is porbably the first ever genre of music I have listented to outside of it.I love you Symphony X, and keep up the good work.P.S. I know I’m a bit late but hey… we’ve all gotta start somewhere.My favourite songs are Fallen (especially the interlude), A Fool’s Paradise (probably the best lyrically) and the death of balance (that interlude gets me hyped the most)Peeeace.
- Ghost of Perdition
- Under the Weeping Moon
No Description Available.Genre: Popular MusicMedia Format: Compact DiskRating: Release Date: 10-OCT-2000
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Well, this is a great album. I recommend it to anyone who likes prog and/or metal, esp if you’ve never listened to Symphony X. Each member of the band contributes unique musical ability that creates a flavor that is different from most other bands. To understand this uniqueness, it is helpful to compare them to their oft cited counterparts, Dream Theater. To begin, let’s clear up a misconception: this is not a DT wannabe, nor can you say they are similar. They are straight-up different. Different tastes, different styles, different musical structure, different sound. Some people will compare them because they share the same type of instrumentation at times. For example, both rely on keyboards (and esp the Strings effect) to create melodies, fill in voids, and create slower and more melodic passages. So they both have that similar slow-fast-slow-fast feeling with some depth and good vocals. However, that’s where the similiarities end. I don’t really want to compare them, but since everyone brings up DT, let’s continue the trend…. Symphony X is a METAL band. While DT uses distorted guitars and heavy bass to support their music, this band uses that well-known crunch sound with double-bass pounding at 4/4 time. (Why do you people think that DT is really metal?) They differ quite a bit. Symphony X has less crazy soloing and fewer odd interludes, so strictly from a songwriter’s perspective they might write tighter songs. If long whacked-out solos and odd-beat passages bother you, then you’d appreciate Symphony X for their very tight transitions, hooks, and song structure. There aren’t any parts that make you want to fast-forward through because of repetitiveness or boredom. Their vocals are a bit different too. I’ve never heard Symphony X live, so I don’t know how the singer really sounds naturally. But on their albums, the vocals are great partly because of recording tricks… great layering, reverb, harmonies, etc. I do have to say that they sound very majestic, and in fact I like the vocals more than DT’s. And you can’t deny that they have very catchy tunes and melodies. I could talk all day about technique and pros/cons of their musical style, but the bottom line is that they sound great. Very addictive. But on the downside, Symphony X has some problems. Their sound starts to sound bland after a while, as the entire album sounds basically the same. Same crunching guitar, same keyboard-created Strings sounds, same Chorus-type vocal effects. Even if the songs are different, they feel the same. Perhaps people like the slow interludes better because these slow interludes are where the band’s musical aptitude for newness emerges. In contrast, it is Dream Theater’s originality and surprising little turns that I find quite exhilirating. Also different are the musical capacities of the two bands’ musicians. No doubt that Symphony X players are talented, but they seem to be limited to their very particular style–they don’t seem robust. DT shows its robustness by making every song a different style and drawing on different musical techniques and using different instruments. DT appears to be a more versatile band, which I also like a lot. Again, it’s this lack of versatility that makes Symphony X become boring after a while. Incidentally, speaking of musical capacity, I disagree with the so-called “classical influence” of this band. I know fans will kill me, but I don’t think this music is classicaly inspired. Perhaps it’s the use of some nice arpeggios in unstandard modes that provides this classial-type feel, but except for some particular runs (which are very beautiful and obviously classical), there isn’t much of it here. (And yes, I do have credibility, I studied classical piano for a long time and specialized in counterpoint). Lastly, I disagree with Romeo’s exemplifying a “shredder” (at least in this album). Most of his work is fast but not really of the Malmsteem-type traversal of all 6 strings. A large chunk of the album is confined to the bass strings. So all in all, this is a different beast than DT. I really like this album and if you don’t know Symphony X it’ll expand your horizons. If you’re interested in music, it’s good to have a breadth of exposure. The songs are tight and sound great. But the album can get boring, as it lacks versatility and depth. Oh, and the vocals are really cheesy. I don’t know how anyone can say they are “sufficiently intelligent”–I guess perhaps on a one-line basis they are okay, but they remind me of 80s Dio-type cornball cheese lyrics. But a good album overall.
Symphony X, no doubt disturbed by the consistency of fans saying, “That was good, but nowhere near as good as Divine Wings of Tragedy,” felt they had something to prove with this release. And prove something they did.The album opens with “Prelude,” an operatic thrust of vocals accompanied by a Wagnerian “in your face” symphony line. Are those actually keyboards I hear…sounds like the London Symphony Orchestra. And can that full choir be but one man? The drums on this track are a sign of things to come–Jason Rullo is not merely a drummer, he is a true percussionist. Simply amazing!Secondly, comes the speed-metal, neo-classical masterpiece “Evolution-The Grand Design.” This cut is very melodic. It sounds very much akin to the chords heard on “Divine Wings,” but much more refined. Russell Allen no longer sounds like Dio, the beauty and range of his voice are a definite focal point in this and later songs. The third song, “Fallen,” begins with keyboards reminiscent of “Damnation Game” and follows with a clear base line and the entry of drums and Michael Romeo’s haunting guitars. The interplay between the keyboards and guitar is very intricate here, and the beautiful yet dark solo at the end of the song is awe-inspiring. Slowly Allen’s voice comes back and the music returns to the original theme.”Transcendence” sounds like something that could have been composed by John Williams, if he were still composing good theatrical music. Seriously, it sounds like it could be lengthened into a full theatrical soundtrack. How this band is able to get that much sound out of their instruments one may never know. It provides the perfect interlude and flawlessly meshes with the following song.”Communion and the Oracle” begins with acoustic guitar and soft keyboard interplay. Then the base line comes in and the guitars and piano begin a pop sound. Suddenly the piano is contrasted with violin–almost Kansas sounding. The keyboards and guitar then provide a nice hint for the coming chorus. Then they both return to the softer intro while the crooning of Allen begins. This has to be my favorite song on this album. All of the musicians stand out perfectly. The solos are pure bliss, some of the most beautiful ever done. The pianos blended in with the softer electric guitar are a truly magnificent sound–I hope the band continues this as they excel at it. The melody is the best I have heard in a very long time. You will want to listen to this one repeatedly.Just then, with “Bird-Serpent” the band go unleashed and throw the listener into a web of intertwining heavy guitars and thumping drums. Throughout this track, the band is allowed “let loose.” Never straying too far away from their trademark neo-classical sound, this one will please fans of “Damnation Game.” Allan’s voice is more forceful here–how he can use his full range and volume without straining his vocal chords is beyond me, the man is something else.The albums second theatrical composition comes next with “On the Breath of Poseidon.” Hey Metallica, even with a real orchestra you never sounded as good as SymX. Are those REAL French horns and oboes in the mix, I would swear they are! This band should be allowed to compose and conduct their work with a real orchestra–the result would be incredible!Next is probably the second best song on the album, “Egypt.” It begins with acoustic guitar playing an Eastern chord progression with orchestral accompaniment. The percussion stands out with the instruments here and some of the band’s most progressive nature shines bright. The vocals in this track are fantastic. Again, I can hear faint likeness to Kansas and perhaps Queen–and the song is easily as good as anything the two bands have produced. Michael Romeo proves he can play something other than electric guitars throughout this album, and this song is probably his best display of acoustic virtuosity. The bass playing during the Eastern solos in this cut is breathtaking–with Romeo’s guitar flawlessly incorporating it toward the end of the solo. The piano at the end of this song would make Puccini proud. “Gaze in these eyes my child and see,” the best band that is and ever was…The bands third foray into theatrical music comes next with “Death of Balance – Lacrymosa.” However, this time around the metal sound is much more prominent. The ever-wonderful percussion of Jason Rullo stands out here. Once Allen joins the mix, the tune becomes operatic–once again Allan proves that he may be the best vocalist out there; a whole choir exists thanks to him.”Absence of Light” could be described as Dream Theater-esque speed-metal. The piano/organ/metal-guitar returns here–thanks guys!”A Fool’s Paradise,” another speed-metal opus, showcases Allan’s vocal range.A short interlude of guitars and spacey keyboards and we are on our way to experiencing the grand finale “The New Mythology.” This song brings back many of the themes introduced throughout the album and rounds out the band’s magnum opus perfectly. The piano/guitar combination resurfaces here, and again the music dances in my ears. Russell Allan runs the gamut from his subtle operatic tones to the emotionally eruptive growl, often in succession. About midway through this song, the listener is treated to almost a tribute to Queen, capped-off with Allan’s full emotion coming to the fore. As much as Allan’s voice explores the entire sonic spectrum, so too does the music–accentuating the vocals superbly.To sum it up, this album is the best effort to date by progressive metal’s GREATEST band.
I’d like to start this review in a different manner than my usual style: I’m one of those people that believe reviews are intended to inform, and in doing so, to be as objective as possible. It seems that some people “vote” on reviews based on the fact that they either “agree” or “disagree” with the reviewer’s comments: to those people, I would like to say that such a practice is damaging: try to keep in mind that most reviewers are intended to influence you into either buying or passing up on the item being reviewed, by attempting to publish facts and descriptives about the said item.On the other hand, I would like to thank the majority of you that I’ve read and voted on, particularly for introducing me to Symphony X, and influencing me into buying their 5 albums “in one shot”. This review is dedicated to you. I’m not trying to be “popular”, I’m simply trying to do my part in returning the favor to the readers.I’ve been “collecting” music since 1974, and every few years, I get seriously impressed by some “unorthodox” release. I’m not into “mainstream” music, and “metal” has always been my favorite genre (and I’m 42!), as long as it demonstrates talent, originality, and a sense of musicality that is often absent in the genre.I’m a “tough critic”, and giving 5 stars to any album is an extremely rare occurence. Rarely do albums blow me away, but such was the case for me when I first listened to the following: in 1977, it was Rush’s “2112″; in 1982, Iron Maiden’s “The Number Of The Beast”; in 1984, Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Rising Force”; in 1986, Vinnie Moore’s “Mind’s Eye”; in 1992, Dream Theatre’s “Images And Words”; in 1995, Shadow Gallery’s “Carved In Stone”; in 2001, thanks to some reviewers at Amazon.com, the group Symphony X, even though they’ve released their first album back in 1995.And now, enough of my ramblings, and into my real review:Made in USA in 2000, Serial# 3984-14344-2, Playing Time 62:48This 5th release is their most ambitious effort, a suite in 13 parts. The music is fairly more subdued than usual, and the complicity of guitarist Romeo and keyboardist Pinnella is more apparent than before as many passages have their performance more intertwined than on previous albums.A more thematic and “symphonic” approach has been used, and generally works very well. The usual tempo changes are still here, so is the polish of the production; what makes this release somewhat different from their previous albums is the maturity of the arrangements: not quite as “wild” and solo-centered. The vocals arrangements are also more diversified and versatile. A genuine epic with a lot more atmosphere.To those of you who have never heard this group, I believe that listening to some sound samples doesn’t do justice to their art: it will give you some idea of their energetic and rich sound textures, but you’ll miss out on the progression contained in each of their tracks. It’s the kind of music that takes you into a sonic journey.Have faith in those of us who have bought their albums: we’re not closed-minded about the other bands, we’re just saying that Symphony X is one of the best things to come out in the metal-fusion-progressive genre. However, if you decide to take the plunge as I have, I recommend that you play their albums in their release sequence: either start at the beginning (“Symphony X”, which is almost out-of-control), or at the end (“V”, which is the tamest”).Now what am I going to do when this band releases their 6th album: my CD player only has room for 5 discs???
It’s amazing what happens to metal when you add a rich classical influence — You get Symphony X, a neoclassical/progressive metal band with a unique, dynamic, and intense sound. Heavy, melodic, brilliant, and powerful…these are words that describe Symphony X. “V – The New Mythology Suite” is the band’s best work, showing jaw-dropping musicianship and a story revolving around one of the world’s most intriguing mythologies — ancient Egypt.’V’ is like a single, one hour song divided into 13 parts, as each track flows seamlessly into the next. The album kicks off with the haunting opener “Prelude” then moves into the exhilarating speed metal track “Evolution – The Grand Design”, anchored by its unforgettable guitar riff. Over the next hour, ‘V’ takes you on a musical journey that will leave you speechless in the end. Michael Romeo is an incredible guitarist, fast, melodic, and a complete virtuoso. The keyboarist is a one-man orchestra and his performance adds a rich sound to the music. One of the bands coolest aspects is their approach to solos. The guitar-keyboard switching is simply awesome — when you hear a guitar solo, you know a keyboard solo is close behind (or vice-versa) and the effect is dazzling, with Romeo’s mind-bending shredding and Pinnella’s lightning-fast keys merging tigtly together.Symphony X’s studio production quality has always been excellent, and this is no exception. The bass is crystal-clear, even when layering the heavy riffs, a feat that is all too rare. Drumming is kept to the perfect volume level in the mix, even when the standard speed metal drumming kicks in. All in all, the production complements the music and makes the album even more accessible so it can immediately enthrall the listener. In terms of songwriting, the band was definitely on a roll. Songs are concise, equally dividing instrumental passages with lyrics. This is the band’s most progressive release, with shifting time signatures and a more open approach to their classical influence. Lead vocalist Russel Allen is probably the best singer in metal today — he shows tremendous control in the gamut of octaves. Earlier in the band’s career, Allen sounded much like Dio, but now that sound has been diluted with Allen’s own unique operatic qualities (ignore the connotations that would otherwise denigrate such a description). And just as Queen used rich harmonies to hard rock, Symphony X does the same to metal — and the result is something better than ever attempted with this type of music. Lyrics are something that have to be heard to be believed — the band’s combinations of internal rhyming and parallel structure are incredible.Tremendous in scope and staggering in its delivery, Symphony X’s ‘V’ is the best metal album of the year. Thank you, Metal Blade, for picking SyX up for a North American distribution deal.