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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Symphony X - SYMPHONY X 1996, ZERO corporation, IOMCD 005. Symphony X - SYMPHONY X 1996, ZERO corporation, IOMCD 005. USD $9.00 (0 bids)
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UnderworldUnderworld
Nuclear Blast America 2015
Audio CD$7.22
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IconoclastIconoclast
Extra tracks · Deluxe Edition
Nuclear Blast America 2011
Audio CD$8.07
$5.49 (used)
V: The New Mythology SuiteV: The New Mythology Suite
Metal Blade 2000
Audio CD$9.93
$7.48 (used)
Divine Wings of TragedyDivine Wings of Tragedy
Import
Imports 2012
Vinyl$20.03
$28.30 (used)
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inside out 2007
Audio CD$13.99
$6.99 (used)
The OdysseyThe Odyssey
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$9.99
$7.34 (used)
Live on the Edge of ForeverLive on the Edge of Forever
Inside Out U.S. 2001
Audio CD$12.97
$6.99 (used)
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Limited Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$29.83
$18.00 (used)
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Limited Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$10.61
$7.18 (used)
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SYMPHONY X Discography

SYMPHONY X albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.79 | 34 ratings
Symphony X
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.55 | 34 ratings
The Damnation Game
Progressive Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.30 | 81 ratings
The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
Progressive Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.79 | 42 ratings
Twilight In Olympus
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.19 | 59 ratings
V: The New Mythology Suite
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 4.11 | 65 ratings
The Odyssey
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 4.16 | 62 ratings
Paradise Lost
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.25 | 66 ratings
Iconoclast
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 4.31 | 7 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 | 6 ratings
Live On The Edge Of Forever
Progressive Metal 2001

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

SYMPHONY X boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.86 | 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 Reviews

SYMPHONY X Underworld

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Nightfly
When Symphony X released Paradise Lost in 2007 it marked a shift in direction with the metal elements taking precedence over the prog making it their heaviest to date. Iconoclast, released in 2011 marked an even bigger shift in that direction. Four years later they have now released their ninth studio album Underworld and it’s a killer!

Where does it fit in with past releases then? While it sits more comfortably with the last two albums than anything before – this really kicks ass! - it marks a return to more emphasis on the melodies. This is particularly noticeable with Russell Allen’s vocals who went for a harsher style of singing on the last two albums. He does that here too at times but they’ve clearly put a lot of effort into giving much of the material here strong vocal hooks. As usual Allen’s vocals are stunning – if there’s a better metal vocalist out there at the moment I’ve not heard him. Don’t be led into thinking they’ve gone soft though, this is a very heavy album – just listen to Kiss Of Fire for proof with some stunning instrumental interplay and even some blastbeats from drummer Jason Rullo who never fails to impress me with his incredible technique. Of course the rest of the band live up to the high standards they’ve previously set themselves too. There are times however, like on Swansong where they lay back a bit and this could fit comfortably on some of their earlier albums like V.

This album is stunning from start to finish making picking favourite tracks futile. Back in 2011 I rated Iconoclast as their best yet, in truth Paradise Lost was just as good but Underworld is the equal of both of them making a trilogy of albums the equal of any metal band. Album of the year? Could well be.

SYMPHONY X Underworld

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Angry Scotsman
The New Jersey Prog Metal Masters are back with their newest album "Underworld"

The album is an in between Paradise Lost and Iconoclast. It is clearly grounded in the bands new style: heavy and intense, (there are even a few blast beats thrown in one part!) darker, less progressive and less shred riffing/neoclassical insanity of their old days...however "Underworld" drifts a little more towards the style of "Paradise Lost" rather than "Iconoclast" meaning this album is a little more progressive, features more keyboard, less "hardcore" vocals and is just more varied in style.

While I am a fan of Iconoclast, I greatly appreciate the drift away from there and back to a more classic sound. Don't misunderstand, this is firmly within the band's new sound and you should not expect The Odyssey or V or Divine Wings here, but there are plenty of classic Symphony X riffs, melodies, sounds and staples to please any fan.

Style aside, all the musicianship is superb, as is to be expected, the songwriting tight and well composed, the audio quality is great and I particularly love the sound of the bass. The songwriting of Symphony X is what always struck me, their ability to create songs with great flow, surprise, technicality and musicianship but without wasting any of our time, and they have done so yet again. There are still moments that surprise you, and all the instruments, while getting to showcase the skill of the musicians, work together.

"Underworld" is not a perfect album, there are some weak moments, and there is nothing here really unexpected, but it's another great output that continues to walk the line of pleasing fans and originality, technicality and musician ship, heaviness and progressiveness, and they walk the line superbly. The vocals of Russell Allen are brilliant as always, displaying a great range, there are riffs galore, and Jason Rullo, (one of my all time favorite drummers) continues to increasingly show off his drumming prowess. Michael Romeo still solos like the best of them, and the composition is a bit more progressive than Iconoclast, with some truly beautiful movements sprinkled throughout.

Standout tracks are: Without You, Kiss of Fire and Legend.

Symphony X is one of the greatest metal bands of their time, and continue to prove it with yet another strong output. "Underworld" should be a great addition for Symphony X fans, and please prog metal fans. Excellent album.

FOUR STARS

SYMPHONY X Symphony X

Album · 1994 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
The eponymous debut album by SYMPHONY X came about after the release of founder and guitarist Michael Romeo’s solo project called “The Dark Chapter” where he hooked up with keyboardist Michael Pinnella. The two hit it off with that project which was successful in Japan and they decided to form a real band in its wake shortly thereafter and to this day are the only two members to appear on every SYMPHONY X album. This is one of those debut albums that gets a bad rap because of the poor production. It is also the only album to feature Rod Tyler on vocals before the much more dynamic Russell Allen took the reigns.

While i have a soft spot for debut albums that don’t quite live up to the better ones that follow, i can’t say that i don’t agree with the general consensus with this one. While the musicianship is already extremely strong on this album with sweeping arpeggios and neoclassical thunder gracing the album’s duration and Rod Tyler’s vocals not being nearly as bad as we are led to believe, the main problem with this one is not only the lackluster production but really the songwriting isn’t up to snuff quite yet. The dynamic interplay of progressive power metal parts just doesn’t quite fire on all pistons.

This very well could have been considered a much better album if it was their only release but SYMPHONY X would improve their sound significantly on the next two albums which would leave this one in the dust. While this is a decent power metal album, the progressive parts hadn’t evolved to an interesting point with the12:07 minute final track “A Lesson Before Dying” being the notable exception and despite the outstanding musical talent clearly heard here things just aren’t jiving together in the cohesive manner that SYMPHONY X is now so famous for. I’m also not sure if Rod Tyler had the vocal range that could have propelled the band into what they became because he seems to be struggling on some of the higher notes. Far from a bad release, it is far from a great one as well. A decent beginning that served as a launching pad for their career and one that most fans will surely encounter sooner or later.

SYMPHONY X V: The New Mythology Suite

Album · 2000 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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

SYMPHONY X V: The New Mythology Suite

Album · 2000 · Progressive Metal
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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.

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Valarius wrote:
1751 days ago
My second favourite band of all time! (After Dream Theater)

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