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3.36 | 39 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1995


1. The Damnation Game (4:32)
2. Dressed To Kill (4:44)
3. The Edge Of Forever (8:58)
4. Savage Curtain (3:30)
5. Whispers (4:48)
6. The Haunting (5:21)
7. Secrets (5:42)
8. A Winter's Dream, Part I: Prelude (3:03)
9. A Winter's Dream, Part II: The Ascension (5:40)

Total Time: 46:23


- Russell Allen / vocals
- Michael Romeo / guitars
- Michael Pinella / keyboards
- Jason Rullo / drums
- Thomas Miller / bass

About this release

Release date: November 6, 1995
Label: InsideOut Music

Thanks to progshine for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Symphony X are back with their second album and a sound that will quickly distinguish them as one of the top prog metal bands in the world.

The differences between this and their self-titled debut are noticeable immediately. Besides the addition of powerhouse vocalist Russell Allen, who's incredible voice can easily switch between both melodic and aggressive styles, the production has been vastly improved and the songwriting is a lot more confident and refined.

The songs on 'The Damnation Game' flow so much fluidly than before. Michael Romeo's intense riffs and exotic solos are much more tasteful, and Michael Pinella's keyboards never sounded this beautiful on 'Symphony X'. While this is far from the bands most ambitious work, it's still a solid blueprint which the New Jersey quintet would build upon with future releases.

Featuring highlights such as 'The Edge of Forever', 'A Winter's Dream', 'The Haunting' and the title track, the reason this only gets a three-star rating is because, despite being a really good record, honestly, it just pales in comparison to what's to come. Such is the strength of the bands later output that I find myself very rarely listening to this one. Still, if you're a fan of Symphony X, then this is definitely an album worth owning!
Although 1997's The Divine Wings of Tragedy is where most fans see American progressive metal act Symphony X hitting their stride, I think the band also had a major success with their previous album, The Damnation Game. Released in late 1995, Symphony X's sophomore observation may often get ignored by more casual fans of the band, but some of the tracks here rival their best material. Whether its the hard-edged neoclassical power metal in the title track, the progressive nuances in "The Edge of Forever", or the anthemic chorus in "Whispers", everything about The Damnation Game just reeks of sophistication and class.

The result is an album that is a vast improvement over their somewhat underwhelming debut, in terms of both songwriting and aesthetics. With a strong production, a powerful new vocalist in the form of Russel Allen (just listen to some of the notes he belts out and tell me he's not one of the most commanding voices in metal!), and songs that overflow with both memorability and sophistication, it's hard not to be impressed with what The Damnation Game has to offer. This is an album that I have been frequently enjoying for the past year or so, and even after quite a few listens, I'm still blown away. If you like progressive power metal, this isn't one to forget about!
The Angry Scotsman
Symphony X's second album, "The Damnation Game" is miles ahead of its predecessor.

First, famed Russell Allen appears on this album, (and of course every one to come) and it is a vast improvement over Rod Tyler. His voice is good, first of all, very powerful, and has one hell of a range. Also, I always found his vocals tasteful, they fit perfectly and are not too over the top, which is the case with far too many power metal bands. The production is also much better than the previous album, as is the overall songwriting. Much tighter and just better composed all around.

This album features Romeo's shred like riffing, spaced with syncopated, often angular and heavy riffs. Keyboards play a very prominent role, sometimes matching the guitar work harmonically, sometimes standing out like a rhythm guitar, and of course is often placed at the forefront. Here we also saw another Symphony X classic, trade off guitar/keyboard solos. Romeo's solo's are of course in mind blowing neo classical shred style.

The bass is not very high on the album, when you do hear bass it is often in a quick break either playing the main rhythm or a high speed scale run. Rullo's drumming is effective. He is a great drummer but on this album his work is quite restrained, often playing simple rhythms over long chains of double bass, or simple beats.

Allen's vocals are again superb, ranging from clean to operatic and always spot on.

The songwriting is good, and progressive in nature. My only knock on is the lack of a standout song. Every one is good, none that weak but none really blow you away. Also, while much improved I just still don't feel the band is fully "there" though these are without doubt some great songs.

Really good album, a must for any Symphony X fan and one that prog/power metal fans should enjoy.

Three and a Half Stars
Phonebook Eater
With "The Damnation Game", Symphony X replace their old singer with Russell Allen, one of the best Power Metal vocalists out there. Here the band represents the same themes that were present in the debut; the opera, the theatrical melodies, the love for medieval legends and courts. Although this time the songs are generally better, as well as the production and the performances from each member. Here we finally find some really good moments that would have never happened with the previous vocalists(Now I promise you I won't bug you about this guy anymore), like in "The Edge Of Forever", or "Whispers". Actually, many songs here are quite good, it's just that some, like in the debut, just aren't, and in this case the album rating has to be lowered quite a bit.

I'm sorry to give this 3.5, but again, I know that with the band's following album, "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy", will a huge success and go down in metal history.

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