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3.83 | 59 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 1998


1. Smoke And Mirrors (6:08)
2. Church Of The Machine (8:57)
3. Sonata (1:25)
4. In The Dragon's Den (3:58)
5. Through The Looking Glass, Parts I-III (13:06)
6. The Relic (5:03)
7. Orion - The Hunter (6:56)
8. Lady Of The Snow (7:07)

Total Time: 52:44


- Russell Allen / vocals
- Michael Romeo / guitars
- Michael Pinella / keyboards
- Tom Walling / drums
- Thomas Miller / bass

About this release

Release date: March 13, 1998
Label: InsideOut Music

Thanks to progshine, The Angry Scotsman, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Much like the previous album, here we’ve got another Progressive Neoclassical release with a ton of Power and Symphonic Metal influence. Compositions are lush with layers of guitarwork, keys, synths and atmospherics.

All the music is played to clinical precision. Songwriting is strong and varied, with tons of shifts in speed and tonal style. The compositions are interesting in many ways, both in the multi layering of instruments and the unforeseen twists and turns each song attempts to take you on. And you bet these guys can play their instruments; impressive displays from each member pop up more than a few times across the album.

By rights, it seems like an album I’d adore. But like the previous two, it lacks something very important. Hooks! I don’t mean poppy vocal hooks. I just mean ANY hooks. None of the guitar leads are memorable, the riffs fall to rhythmic chugging most of the time, the synth melodies are nice but always take a back seat, and yeah, the vocals don’t provide any hooks either.

That’s a massive weakness, BUT all the strengths I mentioned prior are still going very strong. So, the album is still pretty great, but it can’t be more than that.
"Twilight In Olympus" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, New Jersey based power/progressive metal act Symphony X. The album was released through Zero Corporation in Japan and through InsideOut Music in Europe in March 1998. It´s the successor "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" from 1996, which proved to be the band´s breakthrough album. During the tour promoting "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (1996)" drummer Jason Rullo had to take an absense of leave from Symphony X to deal with some personal issues, and he was replaced for the remainder of the tour by Thomas Walling. As Rullo didn´t return when the band were ready to enter the studio and record the material for "Twilight In Olympus", Walling stepped in as a session musian recording the drums on the album.

The material on "Twilight In Olympus" in some ways continue the progressive power metal style of "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (1996)", and in that respect is a natural successor to that album, but some tracks on "Twilight In Olympus" see Symphony X trying out new ideas and expanding their sound. Tracks like "Smoke And Mirrors", "In The Dragon's Den", and the beautiful and epic closing track "Lady Of The Snow" could just as well have been featured on the predecessor, but tracks like "Church Of The Machine", the 13:06 minutes long (and Dream Theater influenced) "Through The Looking Glass, Parts I-III", and "Orion - The Hunter" are more progressive in style and would have stood out as very different sounding from the other tracks on "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (1996)". They stand out on "Twilight In Olympus" too, but only in a good way, making the tracklist interesting and varied. In fact the band have managed to construct a very well functioning tracklist and "Twilight In Olympus" is one of their most diverse yet quality consistent releases.

"Twilight In Olympus" features a powerful, detailed, and well sounding production, although the drums could have prospered from a less clicky and more organic tone. The band are as well playing as ever and the listener is treated to one jaw-dropping technially well played heavy riff, blistering guitar/keyboard solo, and hard pounding rhythm part after another. Lead vocalist Russell Allen´s performance deserves a special mention too. Not only does he have a powerful and distinct sounding voice, but the way he uses his full range to perform both high pitched and gruff deeper range vocals (and choirs and harmonies) is spectacular. He is a world class vocalist and proves it once again on this album.

Upon conclusion "Twilight In Olympus" is through and through a high quality release by Symphony X. Naturally continuing the sound established on the precessor while still developing on that sound, the band have produced an album which stands well on it´s own in their discography. Symphony X perfectly blend their neo-classical power metal elements with progressive metal complexity and the outcome is personal and distinct sounding. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.
It would seem a near-impossible task for a band to not only match, but surpass 'The Divine Wings of Tragedy', but if anyone can do it, it's the albums creators themselves, for with 'Twilight in Olympus', Symphony X have unleashed a pure masterpiece of progressive metal upon the world.

Comfortable and confident with their sound, the interplay between all the musicians on this release is breathtaking, with each member given ample time to shine. Michael Romeo's guitars are at their neoclassical best, with keyboard player Michael Pinnella matching him note for note. The rhythm section, despite the long compositions and intricate structures, are as solid as ever, and Russell Allen's vocals are truly at their peak. From aggressive to melodic, from deathly growls to the highest wails, this truly is one of the most versatile singers in the world, fronting some of the most technically proficient musicians in the world.

Despite being a continuation of the style they'd honed and perfected over the last few albums, nothing on 'Twilight' sounds forced or stagnant. The band sound more focused and driven than ever. While every song here is a true highlight in the bands discography, it's the first half of the album that deserves particular attention. 'Smoke and Mirrors' and 'In the Dragon's Den' are relentless in speed and technique, and 'Church of the Machine' and 'Through the Looking Glass' are two of the greatest "epics" the genre has to offer.

With its blend of metal, progressive and neoclassical elements, virtuoso musicianship and solid production, Symphony X's 'Twilight in Olympus' is an absolute beast of an album, and is without a doubt one of progressive metal's finest offerings.
The Angry Scotsman
Another solid album by Symphony X

There's very little to complain about here, it's really a very good album. My only knock on it is, while excellent it is unspectacular. This album is classic Symphony X, power driven progressive metal that has all the staples. That's just it, nothing new here. This isn't exactly a bad thing since their standard is so good, but it can't be anything more than a really good Symphony X album. Also, "Twilight in Olympus" is a bit lighter than Divine Wings, so it lacks a bit of punch and it is overall a bit more straightforward. Now, don't get me wrong this is certainly progressive, however it has more of a straight up power metal feel than previous albums.

This is evident with "Smoke and Mirrors" which starts off by kicking your ass but carries on fairly straight after that. This is countered by "Church of the Machine" with its eerie into and overall slower pace. The choruses are epic.

"Sonata" is a classical segue, letting us relax before the pummeling known as "In the Dragon's Den". Awesome song, some of Allen's best vocal work and a real stand out on the album. "Through the Looking Glass" is a 13 minute sprawling song that runs the gamut, incorporating everything the band is in a very well composed manner. Another standout song.

"The Relic" is a fairly ferocious song with some really cool sections and melodies. "Orion-The Hunter" has great rhythm, one of the groovier songs, progressive, complete with wild off tempo section. The album ends with "Lady in the Snow" the most melodic on the album, never reaching power metal speeds and without shred solos. Powerful and wonderful song. Another strong album finale.

"Twilight in Olympus" doesn't break any ground but is a strong album and should satisfy any fan of Symph X or prog metal. The musicianship is tight, though it should be noted Jason Rullo didn't play on this album, shame since is a criminally underrated, (or probably unknown) drummer, but Tom Walling does an incredible job here.


After hearing the excellent "Paradise Lost" album I became very interested in the work of Symphony X. Their blend of orchestration, symphonic prog and metal is compelling at best and so "Twilight in Olympus" is an album that I had high hopes for.

The problem is the album does not hang together and is quite forgettable for the most part with some glimpses of brilliance here and there. The liner notes state that the band did not deem this one of their better albums because there were musical differences and they were lacking inspiration. On the limited edition CD the interview with the band plainly states the album was rushed to appease the label, never a good thing, and they felt that the best thing on it was 'Through the Looking Glass (Part I, II, III)' and 'Smoke and Mirrors' and I tend to agree. These are both brilliant tracks and the band have played them live often.

It was supposed to have an epic track which became 'Odyssey' ending up on that album, so the band were disappointed at this. All is not lost as the aforementioned tracks are very well played and became popular Symphony X tracks. There are excellent time signature changes and metal power riffing from Romeo and Allen's vocals are clean and give it that Dream Theater feel, a band they are always compared to.

The resultant album is a bit of a misfire that features a lot of mediocrity, but as a transitional album showing the changes in style, it is important to the band and led to their trilogy of masterworks. The 20 page booklet and lyrics are part of the great packaging of the Limited Edition CD that features the interview and nice PC Rom visuals. The best was yet to come.

Members reviews


Just in case you didn't quite realize that Michael Romeo is the best electric guitar player, he lets you know right from the get-go. Symphony X are a fantastic band but they are occasionally guilty of repeating themselves; thus, if you've heard the other Symphony X albums, you already have a pretty good idea of what this one sounds like. The production is not quite as thick as it was on Divine Wings but the material is just as good as anything they've ever done. It's a shame drummer Jason Rullo isn't on this; he's one of my favorite skinsmen in metal. Everyone in the band is in top form; but this is particularly an electric guitarists' romp in heavy metal heaven. I like it better than V myself, but not quite as much as The Odyssey.

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