SYMPHONY X
Progressive Metal • United States

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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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UnderworldUnderworld
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Paradise LostParadise Lost
inside out 2012
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Damnation XDamnation X
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SYMPHONY X Discography

SYMPHONY X albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.76 | 38 ratings
Symphony X
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.53 | 37 ratings
The Damnation Game
Progressive Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.23 | 91 ratings
The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
Progressive Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.75 | 46 ratings
Twilight In Olympus
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.10 | 65 ratings
V: The New Mythology Suite
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 4.06 | 72 ratings
The Odyssey
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 4.10 | 72 ratings
Paradise Lost
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.18 | 73 ratings
Iconoclast
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 4.18 | 31 ratings
Underworld
Progressive Metal 2015

SYMPHONY X EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.57 | 2 ratings
Rarities And Demos
Progressive Metal 2005

SYMPHONY X live albums

.. Album Cover 3.52 | 7 ratings
Live On The Edge Of Forever
Progressive Metal 2001

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

SYMPHONY X re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 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 Reviews

SYMPHONY X Symphony X

Album · 1994 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
After his 1994 solo release, guitarist Michael Romeo was met with a proposal from a record label to form a band and record an album in the similar vein to his solo material. "Sure, why not?"... and thus was born one of progressive metals most popular and influential bands.

Borrowing heavily upon the neoclassical style of shred made famous by Yngwie Malmsteen, Symphony X's self-titled debut release is a humble album that shows a band with the potential for big things, with the only major setback being the rather subpar production. While it's certainly not terrible, it just lacks that little bit of punch that the music really needs. It's a punch that would be added to future releases, and the difference is immediately noticeable.

As for the music itself, it's nowhere near as ambitious as the bands later releases, which would go on to utilize massive orchestrations, but it's still pretty good, and lays down a solid foundation upon which the band would establish their defining sound. As expected, Michael Romeo's guitar playing is the star of the show here, with his neoclassical virtuosity matched perfectly by keyboardist Michael Pinella, both displaying enough talents to secure their careers in a post-grunge metal scene. Vocalist Rod Tyler does a good job, and is vastly underrated for his work on this album, but it's his only appearance with the group and he will soon be overshadowed by his replacement, powerhouse singer Russell Allen.

'Symphony X' overall is a good debut, with early signs of greatness evident. 'Masquerade', 'The Raging Seasons', 'Premonition', 'Thorns of Sorrow' and the ballad 'Shades of Grey' are all notable reasons why this should be in your collection, and if you're a collector like me, it's certainly not one you'll regret having to own.

SYMPHONY X Underworld

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
I'd always found that consistency was a bit of a weak point for Symphony X, with only V: the New Mythology Suite being much of a keeper among their early work. Then Iconoclast made a very positive impression on me, and now I actually think Underworld has all their previous work beat, offering a true classic of their power-prog metal style. The band have developed a really nuanced sense of when to be a bit more restrained and when to let forth with full force, having learned that cranking things up to 11 for the entire album isn't always the best way - sometimes your assaults hit harder when you give people a bit of breathing space between them.

Whilst Iconoclast was fantastically heavy and Underworld is no slouch in that department, I sense some of their prog inclinations returning to the foreground this time, and I'd be really interested to see where their sound evolves next. To my ears, at least, Symphony X seem to have hit the most consistently high levels of quality they have achieved over their entire career, and I sincerely hope they can keep it up.

SYMPHONY X Underworld

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
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Unitron
Symphony X - Underworld

"Underworld" is the ninth studio album by progressive/power metal band Symphony X. Ever since 2007's "Paradise Lost", Symphony X has gotten increasingly heavier from album to album. Their last album "Iconoclast" was a heavy slab of crushing metal, and they continue to go further with the prog/US power/thrash/groove hybrid that they have developed with a few more things added in.

The albums begins with a symphonic opening appropriately titled 'Overture', before the entrance of 'Nevermore' which is a great US power metal song. The songs range from melodic power-oriented songs like the aforementioned song and 'Charon', power ballads like 'Without You' and 'Swansong', full-on power-thrash/groove songs like 'Kiss of Fire', and various combinations of styles. The epic 'To Hell and Back' is a perfect example of the combination of all these sounds. Also, what other power metal albums can you think of that have death metal elements? Just take a listen to some of the riffing on the title track and 'Kiss of Fire', it sounds straight out of an old school death metal album.

'In My Darkest Hour', 'Charon', and 'Kiss of Fire' are probably my favorites on the album, the latter easily being my favorite Symphony X song. Russell Allen's vocals are amazing, on this one song he goes from great melodic vocals to gruff groove-metal vocals to powerful screams. This combined with Michael Romero's crushing grooves getting pounded into your skull makes this one addicting head-banging listen. 'Charon' has a really nice middle-eastern sound to it, reminding me of a cross between the bands Kamelot and Ra. Allen's vocals and Romero's riffs really shine on 'In My Darkest Hour', it's hard for the chorus to not get stuck in my head. While the vocals and riffs are what stands out the most to me on the album, the piano on 'Swansong' is very beautiful and certainly deserves a mention. As does the bass that opens the awesome groovy riffs on 'Legend'.

Overall, if you're looking for a prog/power metal album with a great blend of metal styles then you couldn't do much better than this album. An eclectic and incredibly addicting album, this is certainly one of the best 2015 albums I've heard. Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!

SYMPHONY X Iconoclast

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
"Peace Sells"-era Megadeth with Ronnie James Dio on vocals, everyone on steroids. A cyborg keyboard player whose voice is what he plays. That's my impression of this album.

My initial impression was not so warm. "V: The New Mythology Suite" was my introduction to Symphony X and I loved that album. So I had high expectations. The first comments I jotted down were not very flattering. The first song, "Iconoclast", includes a choir and a symphony and it's a powerful, heavy, and great song with which to kick off the album. The music is heavier and far more intense than anything from "V".

The next five songs are all excellent metal tunes: fast, furious, brutal, and intense. Like an avalanche that can halt in an instant and become a bulldozer or a quick flourish or artillery assault and then back to an avalanche. The guitars are fast and change from charging riff to machine gun spray of notes to battering thunderous riff. The drums are incredible at abrupt rhythm changes, speed, and unanticipated restraint. The keyboards not as prominent as on "V" but when they are, they're very suitable with a mechanical sound and rarely pretty or delicate.

Russel Allen's vocals sound beefed up compared to ten years earlier and he manages some great Dio "Aahhh-ohh-oh" hollers. But after five excellent metal tracks, the progressive and symphonic aspect seems to have been abandoned. "When All Is Lost" makes up for it by bringing back the real piano and acoustic guitar and the softer melodious side of the band while still being heavy. This one song is where the band really flex their symphonic muscle and shades of "V" flicker by, reminding us that this is the same band. More of this would have made a more symphonic progressive album, but I've really come to love the heavy side.

Of course I had to buy the double disc. I heard the record company wouldn't release the double album unless a single disc would also be released simultanneously, their logiic being that sales would be better if some members of the public were only willing to shell out for a single disc.

The second disc continues with what we've heard mostly so far: 6-minute fast and furious metal tracks. There are more excellent songs and to be clear each song has its own unique opening so that there's no confusing one for another. I just feel the overall atmosphere of brutally sharp and tight heavy metal remains unchanging. "Reign in Madness" is a longer track so once again there's more room to stretch out the song and add some acoustic guitar and piano. Nothing pretty like "When All Is Lost". The piano here is haunting and the guitar riff heavy. This part is a brief interlude in the otherwise intense track.

A few final words, Allen's vocals remind me also of Luke Easter of Torniquet. There's good melody in the tunes, so it's not just savage shouting or hoarse singing. The music is heavier and beefier with more weight than "V". Though a bit disappointing at first, I now enjoy the album. The sound is well produced; it's not dense and muddy like many heavy albums. Everything is pumped but clear. The guitars and drums work together to emphasize one another and add power to the riffs and playing.

As a metal album, I'd say this one really delivers. For a symphonic/progressive metal album, I think it could use a little more like the title track, "When All Is Lost", and "Reign In Madness".

SYMPHONY X Underworld

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Underworld" is the 9th full-length studio album by US, New Jersey based progressive power metal act Symphony X. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in July 2015. It´s the successor to "Iconoclast" from 2011. The four years between albums have been spend touring and writing the new album, but also with the bandmembers doing other projects. Lead vocalist Russel Allen has been busy with Adrenaline Mob, the Allen - Lande project, and with Level 10, bassist Mike LePond released a solo album in 2014 where guitarist Michael Romeo was also involved, and keyboard player Michael Pinnella also released a solo album in 2014.

Stylistically the material on "Underworld" pretty much continues down the darker and more heavy road which was initiated on "Paradise Lost (2007)" and which was continued on "Iconoclast (2011)". While the music is undoubtedly US power metal (with progressive leanings, or the other way around if you prefer), Symphony X is among the heaviest and at times even brutal acts in the genre. Guitarist Michael Romeo churns out one catchy groove laden and crushingly heavy riff after another and often crosses the border into thrash/groove metal- and even death metal territory. If that description scared away a couple of power metal listeners, don´t worry too much, the music is still loaded with epic guitar themes and keyboards, lightning fast melodic guitar/keyboard solos, anthemic choruses, and a rhythm section who can play both "regular" fast- and mid-paced beats, and more varied progressive inclined dittos.

It´s just generally much heavier than what you usually hear in the genre. "Kiss of Fire" and the title track are especially heavy. A melodic power ballad track like "Without You" pulls in the other direction, and "Underworld" is overall a pretty varied album (also including a mini-epic in "Hell and Back"), which successfully showcases the diversity of Symphony X. Highlights are to my ears "Nevermore", the title track, "Without You", "Kiss of Fire", and album closer "Legend". I like "Run with the Devil" too, but it´s mostly because it´s a bit of a different sounding Symphony X track.

The musicianship is as usual on a very high level. Michael Romeo deserves a mention for his many creative riffs and solos, and Russel Allen is a powerhouse. The type of singer that most acts would kill to have in their lineup. He has a strong voice and a commanding delivery, able to sing both gruff, and higher pitched and melodic. A very skilled and versatile singer that one. The rest of the band members are of course very well playing too, their performances just don´t stand out as much as the performances by the two gentlemen mentioned above.

"Underworld" is packed in a powerful, detailed, and professional sounding production, which brings out the best in the music, and upon conclusion it´s another strong album release by Symphony X. It´s so an so with the innovation and development of the band´s sound, so it´s not a revolutionary release taking their full discography into consideration, but it´s a high quality release through and through and both fans and more casual listeners should be able to enjoy this one. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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martindavey87 wrote:
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My second favourite band of all time! (After Dream Theater)

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