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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Paradise LostParadise Lost
inside out 2007
Audio CD$10.79
$2.99 (used)
The OdysseyThe Odyssey
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$11.79
$7.32 (used)
IconoclastIconoclast
Extra tracks · Deluxe Edition
Nuclear Blast America 2011
Audio CD$6.99
$5.99 (used)
Symphony XSymphony X
Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$9.48
$8.00 (used)
Twilight in OlympusTwilight in Olympus
Limited Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$23.92
$7.02 (used)
Divine Wings of TragedyDivine Wings of Tragedy
Limited Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$31.98
$14.99 (used)
V: The New Mythology SuiteV: The New Mythology Suite
Metal Blade 2000
Audio CD$11.29
$3.25 (used)
OdysseyOdyssey
Limited Edition · Extra tracks
Inside Out import 2002
Audio CD$17.00
$4.81 (used)
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SYMPHONY X Discography

SYMPHONY X albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.71 | 26 ratings
Symphony X
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.64 | 26 ratings
The Damnation Game
Progressive Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.34 | 68 ratings
The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
Progressive Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.95 | 33 ratings
Twilight In Olympus
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.28 | 46 ratings
V: The New Mythology Suite
Progressive Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 4.17 | 55 ratings
The Odyssey
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 4.20 | 51 ratings
Paradise Lost
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.37 | 56 ratings
Iconoclast
Progressive Metal 2011

SYMPHONY X EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Rarities And Demos
Progressive Metal 2005

SYMPHONY X live albums

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 5 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 5.00 | 1 ratings
Prelude To The Millennium - Essentials Of Symphony -
Progressive Metal 1998

SYMPHONY X singles (0)

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SYMPHONY X Reviews

SYMPHONY X V: The New Mythology Suite

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

SYMPHONY X The Divine Wings Of Tragedy

Album · 1996 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Symphony X's over-the-top brand of progressive power metal may not be for everybody, but for those that like their metal with a high level of bombast, you'll be hard-pressed to find anything more impressive than The Divine Wings of Tragedy. Released in 1997, the band's third full-length album showcases their diverse musical palette through remarkably strong compositions and instrumental wizardry. This album's title track also shows the band exploring massive song lengths for the first time, and its majestic atmospheres and neo-classical styled songwriting make it one of the most impressive epics in progressive metal. Admittedly, The Divine Wings of Tragedy does not greatly differ from The Damnation Game from a stylistic perspective, but it tightens up the formula established on that album in virtually every regard - this is a record of "all killer, no filler", and between the hard-edged power metal in "Of Sins and Shadows" and "Pharoah", the progressive arrangement of "The Accolade", and the symphonic flourishes in the title track, The Divine Wings of Tragedy has all bases covered. Masterpiece!

SYMPHONY X The Damnation Game

Album · 1995 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Although 1997's The Divine Wings of Tragedy is where most fans see American progressive metal act Symphony X hitting their stride, I think the band also had a major success with their previous album, The Damnation Game. Released in late 1995, Symphony X's sophomore observation may often get ignored by more casual fans of the band, but some of the tracks here rival their best material. Whether its the hard-edged neoclassical power metal in the title track, the progressive nuances in "The Edge of Forever", or the anthemic chorus in "Whispers", everything about The Damnation Game just reeks of sophistication and class.

The result is an album that is a vast improvement over their somewhat underwhelming debut, in terms of both songwriting and aesthetics. With a strong production, a powerful new vocalist in the form of Russel Allen (just listen to some of the notes he belts out and tell me he's not one of the most commanding voices in metal!), and songs that overflow with both memorability and sophistication, it's hard not to be impressed with what The Damnation Game has to offer. This is an album that I have been frequently enjoying for the past year or so, and even after quite a few listens, I'm still blown away. If you like progressive power metal, this isn't one to forget about!

SYMPHONY X Symphony X

Album · 1994 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Like a lot of debut albums, the first observation from Symphony X is often overshadowed by the rest of their discography, largely due to its mediocre production values and lack of dynamic frontman Russell Allen (who would join the fold with their next album, The Damnation Game). Both of these flaws, particularly the powerless production, prevent this self-titled 1994 release from reaching its full potential, but I wouldn't say that it's as non-essential as most others tend to believe. Especially considering its 1994 release date, Symphony X is quite an ambitious release - I can't think of any other albums that blended heavy-edged US power metal with neo-classical, symphonic, and progressive stylings before this one. It's a unique album when examined historically, and although Symphony X would tighten up the formula on future releases, this observation is still pretty enjoyable.

There are plenty of killer tracks like "The Raging Season", "Rapture or Pain", and especially the highly progressive "A Lesson Before Dying" here, so even though Symphony X is not as memorable as the band's future releases, it isn't anything to scoff at. It's an interesting debut that was unfortunately marred by a powerless production, but it still is a recommendable listen to fans of Symphony X.

SYMPHONY X Iconoclast

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Iconoclast continues Symphony X's experiment begun in Paradise Lost of refreshing their sound by steering their power-metal flavoured progressive metal approach away from the seas of cheese and plumbing the potential of the style to explore darker themes. It's another success and is also rather accessible - there's an Iron Maiden tone (circa Seventh Son of a Seventh Son) to some of the material which I think really helps support the sort of material they're tackling here.

The set offers up a thematic concept album surrounding the idea of machines taking over humankind Terminator-style, and whilst the concept may not be very fresh (remember Black Sabbath's Dehumanizer?), the material is - to the point where the 2CD version of the album flies past as though it were a 1CD album, a sure sign that this is one of those rare double albums which isn't afflicted with filler. On that basis alone it deserves a thumbs up, but the fact that it builds so successfully on the advances made on Paradise Lost makes it a real gem in the Symphony X discography.

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