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Symphony X is an American progressive metal band from New Jersey founded in 1994 by guitarist Michael Romeo. They draw on elements of neo-classical metal, power metal, and symphonic metal in their music.

Their 1997 album The Divine Wings Of Tragedy and their 2000 release V: The New Mythology Suite have gained the band considerable attention within the progressive metal community. Musically Symphony X is similar to, although heavier than most other progressive metal bands to which they are commonly compared: Dream Theater, Fates Warning and Pain of Salvation. They play in a very syncopated, progressive fashion, also incorporating elements of symphonic metal into their sound. Their music contains strong neoclassical elements in line with the music of Yngwie Malmsteen, Randy Rhoads and other influential neoclassical metal artists.

To date, the band has recorded 7 studio albums and also released one live album Live On The Edge Of Forever.
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SYMPHONY X Discography

SYMPHONY X albums / top albums

SYMPHONY X Symphony X album cover 2.74 | 45 ratings
Symphony X
Progressive Metal 1994
SYMPHONY X The Damnation Game album cover 3.39 | 44 ratings
The Damnation Game
Progressive Metal 1995
SYMPHONY X The Divine Wings Of Tragedy album cover 4.14 | 105 ratings
The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
Progressive Metal 1996
SYMPHONY X Twilight In Olympus album cover 3.92 | 58 ratings
Twilight In Olympus
Progressive Metal 1998
SYMPHONY X V: The New Mythology Suite album cover 4.19 | 79 ratings
V: The New Mythology Suite
Progressive Metal 2000
SYMPHONY X The Odyssey album cover 4.11 | 86 ratings
The Odyssey
Progressive Metal 2002
SYMPHONY X Paradise Lost album cover 3.96 | 82 ratings
Paradise Lost
Progressive Metal 2007
SYMPHONY X Iconoclast album cover 4.17 | 84 ratings
Progressive Metal 2011
SYMPHONY X Underworld album cover 4.25 | 41 ratings
Progressive Metal 2015

SYMPHONY X EPs & splits

SYMPHONY X Rarities And Demos album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Rarities And Demos
Progressive Metal 2005

SYMPHONY X live albums

SYMPHONY X Live On The Edge Of Forever album cover 3.64 | 10 ratings
Live On The Edge Of Forever
Progressive Metal 2001

SYMPHONY X demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SYMPHONY X Dance Macabre album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Dance Macabre
Progressive Metal 1994

SYMPHONY X re-issues & compilations

SYMPHONY X Prelude To The Millennium - Essentials Of Symphony - album cover 3.92 | 2 ratings
Prelude To The Millennium - Essentials Of Symphony -
Progressive Metal 1998

SYMPHONY X singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The End of Innocence
Progressive Metal 2011

SYMPHONY X movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


SYMPHONY X The Divine Wings Of Tragedy

Album · 1996 · Progressive Metal
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People say this album is where Symphony X really found their sound. And what a shame that is! Where the riffs were wild and melodic on the debut, by this album they’ve settled for incredibly boring, rhythmic chugging. Baffles me how everyone hates the debut and prefers this sound.

That aside though, I do like this album quite a bit. The keys/synths ad a great layer of atmosphere and melody here, and the drumming is quite great. The more energetic, Power Metal material and the softer, synth-focused Prog Rock sections are really nice, it’s just the midtempo chuggy sections that don’t sit well with me. The guitar solos are all quite great, regardless.

The songs are all nicely composed, lengthy epics with many different changes in tempo, structure, and heaviness. The vocals are talented, but I will say, none of the verses or choruses really stick with me – I do feel a lack of passion, with the voice being used more as another instrument for hitting notes than for expression or emotion.

SYMPHONY X V: The New Mythology Suite

Album · 2000 · Progressive Metal
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"V: The New Mythology Suite" is the 5th full-length studio album by US, New Jersey based power/progressive metal act Symphony X. The album was released through InsideOut Music in October 2000. It´s the successor to "Twilight In Olympus" from 1998 and features two lineup changes as bassist Thomas Miller has been replaced by Michael Lepond and drummer Jason Rullo has returned to the fold after his hiatus from the band replacing Tom Walling. "V: The New Mythology Suite" is a concept album telling the epic story of Atlantis mixed with some ancient Egyptian mythology, and astrology. It´s a highly ambitious release and although the band were already very succesful on the two direct predecessors, "V: The New Mythology Suite" helped cement their position as one of the leaders of the power/progressive metal scene.

...and indeed "V: The New Mythology Suite" is an ambitious album release filled to the brim with heavy groove laden riffs, neo-classical guitar and keyboard work, blistering guitar and keyboard solos, symphonic orchestral parts, beautiful acoustic guitar parts, a powerful and skilled rhythm section, and the strong commanding vocals by Russell Allen. The band aren´t only incredibly skilled musicians, but also clever and accomplished composers, who understand the importance of variation and epic drama that a grand concept story like this one deserves.

The 13 track, 63:09 minutes long album works as one long listening session as all tracks seque into each other, although all tracks are clearly stand-alone compositions featuring exclusive vers/chorus parts, riffs, keyboard parts, and instrumental sections. Themes reoccur during the album to further strengthen the feeling that this is a concept release. When the album is most epic there´s an almost bombamstic cinematic feel to the proceedings, but there are just as many more power/progressive metal tracks and sections. The album is loaded with heavy sharp riffs, blistering solo work, and creative instrumental parts, and there´s generally a good balance between the harsher US power/thrash/groove metal influenced riffs, the melodic neo-classional influenced Euro power metal parts, and the more complex progressive parts. Symphony X already increased the progressive elements of their style on "Twilight In Olympus" (1998) compared to "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" (1996), and here they just take it up a notch more.

"V: The New Mythology Suite" features a powerful, detailed, and overall well sounding production job, although I´ve always felt the drums could have prospered from a more organic sound. They are a little clicky sounding, but it´s an issue on most of the preceding releases too. So upon conclusion "V: The New Mythology Suite" is another high quality power/progressive metal release by Symphony X, further helping estabish their name as one of the most successful contemporary artists in the genre. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

SYMPHONY X Twilight In Olympus

Album · 1998 · Progressive Metal
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"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.

SYMPHONY X The Divine Wings Of Tragedy

Album · 1996 · Progressive Metal
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"The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, New Jersey based power/progressive metal act Symphony X. The album was released through Zero Corporation in Japan in November 1996 and through InsideOut Music in Europe in March 1997. It´s the successor to "The Damnation Game" from 1995 and features the same quintet lineup as the predecessor. "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" was the breakthrough album for Symphony X and is by many considered among their finest works.

Symphony X have honed their songwriting craft considerably on this release (compared to the two preceding album releases), and they have also upped the use of progressive metal elements, although they still retain strong European power metal/neo-classical leanings, and are also firmly grounded in the more raw and thrash infused US power metal style. The latter mentioned style is on full display on the opening track "Of Sins And Shadows", which features incredibly heavy thrashy (almost brutal) guitar riffs and heavy pounding rhythms, which are not the order of the day on most European power metal/neo-classical or progressive metal releases. It´s a muscular track showing Symphony X at their most raw and punishing. When that is said "Of Sins And Shadows" still features melodic neo-classical keyboard/guitar themes and a melodic anthemic chorus, so there is a good balance between the raw and the melodic on that track.

The same can actually be said about all the material on the album, although the melodic sensibility and the degrees of rawness and the number of heavy riffs/rhythms vary from track to track. Some of the highlights are "Of Sins And Shadows", "Sea Of Lies", "Candlelight Fantasia"l, and "The Accolade". Especially the latter deserves a special mention for the wealth of intriguing compositional ideas and beautiful and strong epic melodies. This is pure musical brilliance to my ears. Many would probably count the 20:42 minutes long title track among the highlights of the album, but I disagree with that sentiment. Although the track features many high quality elements (the opening choir section is for example great) and strong and powerful sections, it´s a bit of a compositional mess, with an instrumental middle section which doesn´t really work that well.

Other than the generally high quality compositions the greatest asset of "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" is the high level musicianship. Lead vocalist Russell Allen can´t be praised enough for his commanding delivery and versatile voice. He can sing both high pitched and melodic and mid- to low register raw and clean vocals. His performance on this album is outstanding. The rhythm section are strong playing too and bassist Thomas Miller even gets to shine a couple of times during the albums playing time with some lead parts. Michael Pinella is obviously a classically trained keyboard player and his busy neo-classical playing perfectly compliments the ditto busy guitar playing of Michael Romeo. The latter is a world class guitar player, who masters many different styles from brutal groove laden thrashy riffs, to strong melodic hooks and great acoustic/clean guitar moments, to blistering solo work.

"The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" features a relatively well sounding production, which suits the material well. I say relatively well sounding production, because it´s not a perfect production. The drums for example don´t feature the most powerful production values, and they come of a little thin sounding in the mix and the distorted guitar tone is also a little odd sounding a times. It´s as if it´s sometimes played through a wah-pedal, but not on purpose. The minor production complaints aside, "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" is still a perfectly listenable album and most listeners probably won´t even notice or be bothered by the mentioned flaws.

Upon conclusion it´s perfectly understandable why "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" became the breakthrough for Symphony X. While the first two albums showed promise, this one fully delivers on that promise. High level musical performances and clever compositional ideas. On top of that Symphony X have a unique sound and a musical identity which immediately set them apart from the pack. Sure the neo-classical influences scream Rainbow and Yngwie Malmsteen, but that is just one elements of the band´s sound. Mix it up with the darkest and most heavy moments of Dream Theater and add a premier league US power metal vocalist to the potion and you have "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy". Not a perfect album, but it´s close. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

SYMPHONY X The Damnation Game

Album · 1995 · Progressive Metal
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"The Damnation Game" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, New Jersey based power/progressive metal act Symphony X. The album was released through Zero Corporation (Japan)/InsideOut Music (Europe) in November 1995. There´s been one lineup change since the 1994 eponymously titled debut album as lead vocalist Rod Tyler has been replaced by Russel Allen.

While Tyler was a decent enough singer, the addition of Allen definitely boosted the vocal part of Symphony X and took that part of the band´s music to new heights. Allen is an incredibly versatile singer, able to sing both high pitched clean vocals and go to deep range raw vocals. His voice is powerful and his delivery commanding. The Queen influenced choirs and harmonies are still a part of the band´s sound.

Stylistically the material on "The Damnation Game" continues the combination of neo-classical influenced European power metal and the more raw thrash metal influenced US power metal style of the debut album. This time the progressive metal leanings of the debut are much more in focus though, and while I wouldn´t call "The Damnation Game" a pure progressive metal album, a combined US power/progressive metal tag isn´t all wrong. The many neo-classical guitar/keyboard parts (strongly influenced by Yngwie Malmsteen) of course bring the European power metal style to the table, and that´s what´s so interesting about this early era output by Symphony X. How they manage to combine elements from all three styles into something of their own.

The musicianship is high on all posts and the musical performances are one of the great assets of "The Damnation Game". Allen´s vocals have already been mentioned, but the instrumental part of the music is also very accomplished. The drumming is powerful and driving the music forward with great skill and conviction. The bass has an intriguing place in the soundscape and is audible, but it´s the keyboards and especially the guitars which steal the picture (when Allen´s vocals don´t). Great harmony guitar/keyboard runs, and some blistering solo work, which is both shredding and melodic. Both Michael Pinella (keyboards) and Michael Romeo (guitars) are virtuosos on their respective instruments.

Highlights include the opening title track, "Dressed To Kill", "The Edge of Forever" (the opening trio of tracks), and the closing "A Winter's Dream" suite. While some of the material on "The Damnation Game" may still be a little rough around the edges compared to subsequent releaess by Symphony X (a track like "Secrets" for example leaves a bit to be desired), the album is a highly professional affair, featuring a well sounding production job, well composed tracks, and brilliant musicianship. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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martindavey87 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
My second favourite band of all time! (After Dream Theater)


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