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 Discography

SYMPHONY X albums / top albums

SYMPHONY X Symphony X album cover 2.68 | 40 ratings
Symphony X
Progressive Metal 1994
SYMPHONY X The Damnation Game album cover 3.36 | 39 ratings
The Damnation Game
Progressive Metal 1995
SYMPHONY X The Divine Wings Of Tragedy album cover 4.21 | 96 ratings
The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
Progressive Metal 1996
SYMPHONY X Twilight In Olympus album cover 3.86 | 51 ratings
Twilight In Olympus
Progressive Metal 1998
SYMPHONY X V: The New Mythology Suite album cover 4.16 | 72 ratings
V: The New Mythology Suite
Progressive Metal 2000
SYMPHONY X The Odyssey album cover 4.08 | 81 ratings
The Odyssey
Progressive Metal 2002
SYMPHONY X Paradise Lost album cover 3.91 | 75 ratings
Paradise Lost
Progressive Metal 2007
SYMPHONY X Iconoclast album cover 4.19 | 78 ratings
Iconoclast
Progressive Metal 2011
SYMPHONY X Underworld album cover 4.27 | 36 ratings
Underworld
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 3.56 | 8 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 Reviews

SYMPHONY X Dance Macabre

Demo · 1994 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Dance Macabre" is a demo release by US, New Jersey based power/progressive metal act Symphony X. The demo was independently released in 1994 and it´s the first release by the band. Guitarist Michael Romeo recorded "The Dark Chapter" solo album in 1992 (the album was originally recorded as a demo, and didn´t see an official album release until April 1994) along with keyboard player Michael Pinnella, and as the demo album received a lot of positive attention from labels, the two musicians opted to form Symphony X and added drummer Jason Rullo, bassist Thomas Miller, and lead vocalist Rod Tyler to the ranks to complete the lineup who recorded the material featured on "Dance Macabre". The demo worked as a last teaser to shop for the best label possible to release the band´s eponymously titled debut full-length studio album later in the year.

"Dance Macabre" features 5 tracks and a total playing time of 23:17 minutes. "Taunting the Notorious" and "Rapture or Pain" were both re-recorded and included on the debut album, while the title track and the two instrumental guitar solo tracks are exclusive to this release. Stylistically this is neo-classically influenced US power metal, featuring anthemic choruses, and powerful heavy/power metal riffs, themes, and leads, and a solid playing rhythm section. Pinnella´s keyboards are also an important part of the band´s sound, but they are not as dominant as they would be on subsequent releases and only seldom take the role of a lead instrument.

The three vocal tracks on "Dance Macabre" are all decent quality power metal, and the two instrumental tracks are despite being titled "Guitar Solo" and "Guitar Solo II", not only focused on the guitar. They are both instrumental tracks featuring both guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards. The quality of those two tracks are decent too. When that is said Symphony X had not forged a particularly unique sound yet, and an even less great feature is the rather awful sounding production. I understand this is a demo, but the sound production is pretty weak, and does not bring much positive to the release or to the listening experience. A 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted.

SYMPHONY X Iconoclast

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
2007’s ‘Paradise Lost’ is, in my opinion, one of the heaviest albums of all time, and having developed their sound over the years from a neo-classical progressive metal act to an extremely heavy, almost power metal-sounding band, it seems Symphony X have settled on a style that suits them perfectly, as ‘Iconoclast’, the bands eighth studio album, released in 2011, follows on from its predecessor as a possible candidate for one of the heaviest albums you’ll ever hear.

What makes Symphony X so heavy, you ask? While people measure heaviness in different ways, in my opinion, it’s the “weight” of the music. The production and the sound, and in this case, the massive and beefy-as-hell guitar riffs. ‘Iconoclast’ is like a ten-ton hammer crushing a thousand skulls at once, and incredibly, despite the sheer intensity and brutality, the album is full of wondrous and beautiful melodies too.

Taking the energy of power metal and the songwriting arrangements of progressive metal, Symphony X’s music is very upbeat and ambitious. With complex orchestrations and masterful musicianship, these guys are at the top of their game, and on par with the genres finest musicians. In particular, guitarist Michael Romeo and vocalist Russell Allen have an absolute synergy rarely seen these days, with Allen’s incredibly versatile range being a perfect match for the guitar riffs.

Released on two discs, or as a one-disc edition for people not willing to spend too much dollar (I wonder how many people actually bought that one), ‘Iconoclast’ is an incredible album with very few flaws. With absolute monstrous beasts such as ‘Electric Messiah’, ‘The End of Innocence’, ‘Bastards of the Machine’, ‘Dehumanized’, ‘Children of a Faceless God’ and ‘Reign in Madness’, this shows that, while Symphony X may not feel inclined to do many classically-inspired prog epics these days, they’ve refused to relent with age, instead, getting heavier and constantly finding ways to update their sound and remain relevant.

‘Iconoclast’ belongs in every metal fans collection. Simple.

SYMPHONY X Live On The Edge Of Forever

Live album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
Symphony X are one of my all-time favourite bands, without a doubt. BUT... (you knew this was coming), 'Live on the Edge of Forever', their 2001 live album, doesn't really do their music justice.

Now hold your tongue before you condemn me for this blasphemy and take heed! Firstly, I'm not really big on live albums. I do like them, and if I'm a fan of a band I'll endeavour to own everything they release, but ultimately I like the slick, crisp sound of a studio recording. Everything is perfectly balanced (mostly), the sound is punchier, and it just feels more 'definitive'. Live albums can be good for jams and random nuggets of joy where the band can be entertaining through banter or crowd interaction. But otherwise... give me a studio album.

Secondly, to be brutally honest, Symphony X's music doesn't convey the same type of energy that goes down well on a live setting. Don't get me wrong, I love Symphony X, and the song choices here are fantastic! But I love live albums where there's a palpable energy flowing! Where you can really feel electricity in the air. All I imagine here is a bunch of people standing around watching a band play, and then clapping at the end.

Again though, Symphony X are one of my favourite bands, and the set list and the playing is incredible! In fact, some of the songs are played even faster than their studio counterparts, which is insane! The band are truly all masters of their craft. And with classics such as 'Smoke and Mirrors', 'Through the Looking Glass', 'Church of the Machine', 'The Eyes of Medusa' and most of the 'V: The New Mythology Suite' record being played, there's certainly no shortage of bangers.

However, there aren't really many noteworthy additions to the songs and there's no entertaining shenanigans or banter. Just track after track with crowds cheering in between. I love Symphony X, but in the end... I just prefer the studio albums.

SYMPHONY X Prelude To The Millennium - Essentials Of Symphony -

Boxset / Compilation · 1998 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
As is always the problem with compilations, they quickly become dated, which is the case for 'Prelude to the Millennium', Symphony X's 1998 collection that nicely compiles material from their first four albums, which in retrospect, covers their mainly progressive/neoclassical phase (subsequent albums would go in a much heavier, power metal-inspired direction).

With that said, there is still plenty of excellent music here which can easily to used to convert new fans. Featuring some of the bands most ambitious and complex pieces, this will appeal to metal and prog fans alike, with a nice mixture of heavy, fast, quiet and epic songs. As is standard with the genre, the technical ability of everyone involved is top-notch, with particular praise going to the chemistry between guitarist Michael Romeo and keyboardist Michael Pinnella, and of course, to powerhouse vocalist Russell Allen.

Featuring some absolutely astonishing progressive metal hits such as 'Through the Looking Glass', 'Smoke and Mirrors' 'Of Sins and Shadows', 'The Damnation Game' and a re-recorded version of 'Masquerade' off of their debut album, the choice of songs here is (mostly) spot-on! And definitely highlights all of the bands strengths. However with that said, there is one problem...

'The Divine Wings of Tragedy'.

Now, the choice of songs is mostly killer here, and although there's one or two songs I'd have left off (this is always the case for compilation CD's), the real overkill is the inclusion of the 21-minute epic 'Divine Wings...'. It's a great song, but damn, it just takes up such a huge chunk here, and really, it just seems too much to hear the entire song! If it'd been up to me, 'The Accolade', 'Church of the Machine' or 'The Eyes of Medusa' are all much more accessible songs that could have taken its place. But never mind... can't win 'em all...

Symphony X are one of my all-time favourite bands, and I strongly encourage everyone to check them out. The music is incredibly well-written and will appeal to fans of both prog and metal. Despite only covering their first four albums, 'Prelude to the Millennium' is still a great starting point for anyone new to the band.

SYMPHONY X Paradise Lost

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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martindavey87
Heavy: 1. of great weight; difficult to lift. 2. of great density. 3. 'Paradise Lost' by Symphony X.

Symphony X's seventh studio album, 'Paradise Lost', is, simply put, heavy. The majestic sounds of their earlier releases are gone, and the more orchestral feel of their previous two albums have dwindled. Now, in their place, is an all-out assault of the heaviest, beefiest, and arguably some of the most aggressive music you'll ever hear.

The song structures, while still maintaining progressive characteristics, are nowhere near as complex as past efforts, and the keyboards don't have as prominent a role in the songwriting. Much of the music is based around guitarist Michael Romeo's massive riffs and vocalist Russell Allen's intense yet melodic voice, both fitting together so perfectly that it's easy to forget the bands more classically-inspired days.

'Set the World on Fire', 'Serpent's Kiss', 'Paradise Lost' and 'Revelation' are all fantastic-enough reasons to get this album, but then there's what I consider one of the heaviest songs of all time; 'Domination'. The sheer weight of its huge riffs is insane, amazingly produced to really give it the thickness it needs. You really don't know what "heavy" means until you've cranked this song out at full blast!

Overall, this is certainly not Symphony X's best album, but it's a natural change of direction for the band, and one which should help them appeal to a broader metal audience. And you'd sure-as-hell better be a metal fan if you're going to listen to this!

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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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