V: The New Mythology Suite
SYMPHONY X

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SYMPHONY X - V: The New Mythology Suite cover
4.13 | 67 ratings | 8 reviews
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Album · 2000

Filed under Progressive Metal

Tracklist

1. Prelude (1:09)
2. Evolution (The Grand Design) (5:22)
3. Fallen (5:52)
4. Transcendence (Segue) (0:40)
5. Communion and the Oracle (7:47)
6. The Bird-Serpent War / Cataclysm (4:03)
7. On the Breath of Poseidon (Segue) (3:03)
8. Egypt (7:06)
9. The Death of Balance / Lacrymosa (3:44)
10. Absence of Light (5:00)
11. A Fool's Paradise (5:50)
12. Rediscovery (Segue) (1:26)
13. Rediscovery, Part II: The New Mythology (12:01)

Total Time: 63:09

Line-up/Musicians

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

About this release

Release date: October 9, 2000
Label: InsideOut Music

Thanks to progshine, The Angry Scotsman for the updates

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SYMPHONY X V: THE NEW MYTHOLOGY SUITE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

martindavey87
With their fifth studio release, Symphony X finally cave in to the common trend amongst progressive rock and metal bands... the concept album.

Having already established a style that incorporated elements of progressive and power metal with a neoclassical flare, the band have now implemented more symphonic arrangements, which gives the music a much bigger and more grandiose sound.

It would be tough to follow up the incredible 'Twilight in Olympus', an album I consider one of my all-time favourites, and for a band to thrive and avoid stagnating, it's good to try different approaches to their songwriting. In this regard, the orchestrations really add a new depth to Symphony X's music. It does add a certain level of pomposity too, but then, this is already a genre rife with musical indulgence, and seeing as this is a rock opera about the rise and fall of the city of Atlantis, it really gives a majestic atmosphere to the story being told.

(Or something like that).

As always with this band, the musicianship is astounding and really puts these guys above everyone else. Special praise as always goes to Michael Romeo's blistering guitar work, and vocalist Russell Allen starts to step away from the high-pitched wailing of previous releases and adds a new level of aggression to his already incredibly versatile voice. Songs like 'Evolution', 'Fallen', 'Egypt', 'Rediscovery (Part 2)' and one of the bands best compositions, 'Communion and the Oracle', are all fine examples of the talent of everyone involved.

Regarded as one of Symphony X's best albums, 'V: The New Mythology Suite' is another top-notch concept album for progressive metal enthusiasts to sink their teeth into, and non-metal prog fans might just find a few things in here to pique their interest too.
voila_la_scorie
I was a bit wary of buying a symphonic metal album. Though my musical roots are in metal and I enjoy symphonic music in rock, I was concerned that it would sound too much like stereotypical power metal with its grandiose musical productions backed by an orchestra. An initial sample listen to something by Symphony X only seemed to confirm my suspicions. However, after picking up a few progressive metal bands like Dark Suns, Disillusion, and Suspyre, I became interested in getting some more prog metal into my collection and I saw that this album has received high ratings on both Prog Archives and Metal Music Archives (granted many of the reviewers are the same people).

It was actually surprisingly difficult to get this CD. On Amazon Japan it was only available as an expensive import and even though it was on Amazon.com for under $12, it took almost four months for the item to become available. The wait was well worth it, though.

From the opening track, my ears were pricked up as symphonic sounds mingled with metal for a very dramatic introduction. The first real song, "Evolution (The Grand Design)" has a fantastic riff and canters along with an abrupt halt after the solos and an instantaneous return to that great riff. Musically, much of the album explores various metal moods, some near thrash, some mellower and even gentle. Were it just for the guitar, bass and drums, it would be a pretty decent metal album.

But it's the keyboards and the symphonic approach that enrich the soundscope of this album. There's synthesizer and piano often steeped in classical vibes and even borrowing from well-known classical compositions as if to authenticate the symphonic conjecture in the band's name. The actual symphony parts come in mostly during the few "segues" between the longer songs, though sometimes I can't quite be certain whether the instrumentation is an actual orchestra or if some instruments aren't just a very good-sounding synthesizer. No matter, these boys aren't just trying to fake being cultured and sophisticated. They made the musical adaptions themselves.

Vocalist Russel Allen sounds like your average decent metal vocalist with clean vocals that can sport a rough edge a la Fates Warning, but he can also go a bit Dio at times. I also find myself thinking of Joe Lynn Turner at certain moments, perhaps when the songs sound a little Y. Malmsteen-ish.

The first half of the album really had me interested with a plethora of sounds and approaches. The longer tracks 5,6 and 8 offer up some captivating music and the segue "On the Breath of Poseidon" sounds fit for a concert hall. There's some wonderful rapid bass playing in a couple of songs too which I love, especially when it's contrasted with a mid-tempo beat and some atmospheric keyboards and guitars, like on "Egypt". But after a while I felt that the road had been paved and there was nothing new to come. The band had pulled everything out of the hat during the first 8 tracks and were now rehashing established themes. Yet before the last few songs had finished, there were still some pleasant surprises to crop up. Yes, the road had been paved but some new twists on the established themes were to occur and I felt the album had enough "favourite moments" to last through to the end.

Among the several albums I received around the same time, this was one I really felt like listening to a third and fourth time before I had properly listened to some of the others. That's a good sign. In the end, I have to conclude that as a progressive metal album it is really well worth listening to. Symphony X have done a splendid job here and I think I will listen to it again on my way home tonight.
Warthur
Whilst many cite The Divine Wings of Tragedy as the album where it all came together for Symphony X, personally I consider V to be their first really great album. Where I think the band really excel here, to an extent that they didn't on Divine Wings, is that they manage to seamlessly blend the conventions of classic power metal and progressive metal, delivering the best of both worlds whilst deftly evading the weaknesses of the two styles.

For instance, from progressive metal they draw the high level of technical complexity and the prog rock song structures whilst avoiding the pitfall of putting technicality and instrumental wanking above atmosphere, emotion, and tight song structures. For those three factors, they look to power metal, with its soaring emotional highs and epic atmosphere (perfect for the album's Atlantis mythology), but at the same time unlike many power metal bands (and prog metal bands who draw on power metal) they never cross the line from entertainingly over-the-top to embarrassingly cheesy on here, which I felt they did a little too often on Divine Wings.

In short, this album offers the listener all of the cream and none of the crud of the two genres most closely associated with Symphony X, and on the whole puts the band in the front rank of progressive metal.
Phonebook Eater
"The New Mythology": an album where astrology, lost worlds and Egyptian mythology come together.

The most acclaimed and famous album of Symphony X is an excellent opus and another step forward for the band's style; the first three albums were always concentrated on medieval themes, and also on greek mythology. Also, the solos and the "progressiveness" were more highlighted. In "V" the production is rough, the songs sum up to thirteen, and the influences are closer to Power Metal, more than to Progressive. The guitars here have a crunchier sound, the drums have a deeper resonance, the keyboards aren't focused on soloing and virtuosity, instead they are more concentrated on the production of mythical and majestic atmospheres. A great loss that is heavily missed is the departure of bassist Thomas Miller,who is a true fiend when playing his instrument. He is replaced by Lepond, who obviously can't maintain the same levels Miller did. This album, however, is an utterly unique example in Symphony X's discography, because it has a style that belongs only to this album, since "The Odyssey" and "Paradise Lost" are more addressed towards a very heavy and powerful Progressive Metal, abandoning this way all the typical moods of "The New Mythology".

"V" is like listening to a dream; everything seems to fade in and out so quickly, especially thanks to the brief interludes, that always have a certain mystery to them. The album is said to be a concept album, since it mainly concerns about Atlantis, Egyptian mythology, and also astrology, like I said in the beginning of this review. The lyrics aren't particularly intriguing though, but not always banal, like in "Evolution", where the concept is well presented.

The songs aren't all excellent, but at least half of them are: the already mentioned "Evolution" has a great chorus, and perfectly represents the album. "Egypt" is another fantastic track,with obvious med oriental references, even musically speaking, and here too the chorus is brilliant, like no other Symphony X song. "Communion and The Oracle" has also some pretty cool moments, especially the calmer ones. I enjoyed almost all the interludes, my favorite one would be "Death Of Balance", which can be considered more as just a simple instrumental track. But boy, these moments are incredible. Although I would like to express my disappointment for the epic title track, which didn't always grab my attention, like it could have.

In conclusion, an excellent album, very unique for being a Symphony X album. Excellent, but not a masterpiece.



arcane-beautiful
At a very early point of my life (I was 13 or 14), I first got my dose of prog, becoming obsessed with Dream Theater (that obsession has ended, but I still respect them madly), so it was obvious that I would sample other cheeses on the progressive metal plate. I had heard of Symphony X (i had one of their songs as a download, but you will find out about that in due time). So when I found this album in a now aborted Virign Megastores, i immediately bought it.

So is it any good.

Their are many albums that aritists make, and they are just flawless. This album is a classic example. Not one boring moment, amazing songwritining, incrediby cathcy chorus's and instrumentation of Gods.

I would go far to say that this is one of the greatest albums I have ever heard.

This album is also a concept album, based on the old Atlantian tales, and Ma'at and balance. Basically a non greek version of Rush's Hemispheres.

1. Prelude - Just an amazing symphonic intro. Amazing instrumental work, and prepares you for the ride of your life. 9/10

2. Evolution (The Grand Design) - Fierce riffing, amazing instrumental work and Russel's voice is just spine chilling. Just breathless to listen to. 10/10

3. Fallen - I never really liked this song, but now I'm really getting into it. Amazing chorus, and the instrumental section has a very Black Mages vibe to it, with the amazing organ and guitar unison parts. 10/10

4. Transcendence (Segue) - Interlude basically. 8/10

5.Communion & The Oracle - Just beautifull. The compositional devices used are amazing, and remind me of the scales I would use when writing (basically alot of descant and the odd disjunct riffs now and then). Beautifull vocal harmonies and overall just amazing. Flawless. 10/10

6. The Bird Serpent War/Cataclysm - The most metal song on the album. The riffs in this song are mammothly heavy. Not as strong, but it is too kick ass to be forgotten. 9/10

7. One The Breath Of Posiedon (Segue) - Another interlude. But more kick ass and amazing guitar work. 9/10

8. Egypt - What a powerfull song. Amazing discourse between instruments, and Russel's best vocals on the album. The chorus is also amazing. 10/10

9. Death Of Balance/Lacrymosa - A choral influenced interlude. 9/10

10. Absence Of Light - This chorus always reminds me of the dwarves in Snow White. Fantastic chorus and just specatacluaire. 10/10

11. A Fool's Paradise - In my opinion, the best chorus on the album. It's just so powerfull and very catchy. 10/10

12. Rediscovery (Segue) - Another interlude, meh. 8/10

13. Rediscovery (Part II): The New Mythology - Epic in every way possible and not one boring moment. This song just has so much emotion and power. It's also crafted extremely well. 10/10

CONCLUSION: If you don't have this album, then you should be ashamed. Buy it now, and revel in it's spectacle, young child.

Conor Fynes
'V: The New Mythology Suite' - Symphony X (9/10)

Symphony X has been cited alot as being the counterpart of Dream Theater in the progressive metal world. The two are constantly being compared to each other, and while I prefer Dream Theater hands down overall, Symphony X have made themselves a conceptual masterpiece that matches any album by Petrucci and company. This is music that paints a very exotic locale, and has a very classical Greek/Egyptian feel to it, as if it's the soundtrack to a badass, metal version of 'Jason & The Argonauts.' While there's a point where the cheesy power metal approach the band takes in their music can become a bit too much, there's just enough progressive magic here to balance it out and make for a hell of a wild ride.

Judging from 'The New Mythology Suite's name, it's understandable to think of the album has not a mere collection of songs, but a multi-part epic, much along the lines of Fates Warning's 'The Ivory Gate Of Dreams' or The Mars Volta's 'Cassandra Geminni,' spanning the course of many tracks.

Despite the instrumental brilliance that the band adopts, I have never been a fan of Russell Allen's voice, and most likely never will. He's obviously a very technically accomplished vocalist, and is able to hit an impressive range, but the tone of his voice simply contrasts with my personal tastes. While his vocals detract a little from my overall enjoyment of the work, it's still an album that is excellent and enjoyable throughout.

The highlights are always the parts where the band opts to go very progressive and technical. The instrumental parts (for reason mentioned above) are my favourite. Stand-out songs include the epic 'Communion And The Oracle,' the exotic sounding 'Egypt,' the highly progressive and abstract- rhythmic 'Death Of Balance/Lacrymosa' and the fantastic, grandiose closer 'Rediscovery Pt. II.' This is a very neoclassically-arranged piece of progressive metal. I'm sure every prog-metal fan can enjoy the greatness of this album. It's not the superior masterpiece of progressive metal, but it's definately up there, and stands as being Symphony X's most impressive work to date.

Members reviews

Cylli Kat
This was my introduction to Symphony X. After hearing all about Divine Wings being so wonderful, I couldn't find a copy, but found New Mythology Suite instead. From the opening chorale arrangement and acoustic guitar runs that began this epic, I was hooked! I love the whole of the album, but of course I would be remiss if I were not to point out the absolute beauty of the fifth track: Communion and the Oracle. Great composition and playing. Between Michael Romeo's guitar and Russell Allen's vocals, to me this is a can't miss, FIVE STAR extravaganza!!! As always, your actual mileage may vary, but for my money this album is a solid winner!! Highly recommended!

Grace and peace, Cylli Kat
SouthSideoftheSky
Rediscovery, Pt 2: The New Yngwie J. Malmsteen!

I am often surprised to see that many people rate this album as highly as, if not higher than, the brilliant The Divine Wings Of Tragedy. I find the present album less memorable, less original and less diverse compared to that earlier album. There is no doubt that this is another good Symphony X album, but it does not at all blow me away like The Divine Wings Of Tragedy did. For one, I think that this album is a little bit too long for its own good and while I have listened to The Divine Wings Of Tragedy in its entirety many times, I don’t think that I have listened to the whole of V: The New Mythology Suite more than once or twice in one go. Almost every track is enjoyable for sure, but after the first five or six tracks I tend to get a bit tired of it. Apart from the short Classical interludes, the songs have basically the same sound throughout, and with a running time of over an hour it tends to get a bit samey half way through. The Divine Wings Of Tragedy too runs for over an hour but I never got that feeling while listening to that album at least partly because that album is more varied but also because I simply find the material on that album stronger.

However, the excellent Egypt - which is my favourite track from this album - brings things back on track momentarily. But I think that this great song is actually better when heard alone than in the context of the album as a whole. I actually think that the album would have made a stronger impact had it ended after Egypt, alternatively had they put a radically different type of song there, a ballad for example, to let the listener catch his breath. There is a lot to take in here and it can be too much even for someone who enjoys this kind of Neo-Classical Prog Metal.

Though it is beyond doubt that Symphony X is heavily inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen, while listening to this album I sometimes get the feeling that I’m listening to Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force. Not only is the guitar playing of Michael Romeo similar to that of Malmsteen, but some of the keyboard solos of Michael Pinnella are similar to those of Jens Johansson of Malmsteen’s band. This is not a major problem though, but the song Absence Of Light even has a riff that reminds strongly of one of Malmsteen’s riffs and that becomes a bit too much for me.

There are no real ballads or even semi-ballads on V and neither is there anything to correspond to the 20 minute plus title track on The Divine Wings Of Tragedy. The closing title track runs for 12 minutes, but despite its tasteful use of piano it is not as diverse and memorable as The Divine Wings Of Tragedy title track.

Overall, I find this album a bit overrated especially when compared to The Divine Wings Of Tragedy. Though most songs are good or very good, I often get the feeling that I hear things that I have heard done better elsewhere by Symphony X and others.

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