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 2.72 | 42 ratings
Symphony X
Progressive Metal 1994
SYMPHONY X The Damnation Game album cover 3.39 | 41 ratings
The Damnation Game
Progressive Metal 1995
SYMPHONY X The Divine Wings Of Tragedy album cover 4.21 | 97 ratings
The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
Progressive Metal 1996
SYMPHONY X Twilight In Olympus album cover 3.88 | 52 ratings
Twilight In Olympus
Progressive Metal 1998
SYMPHONY X V: The New Mythology Suite album cover 4.16 | 73 ratings
V: The New Mythology Suite
Progressive Metal 2000
SYMPHONY X The Odyssey album cover 4.08 | 82 ratings
The Odyssey
Progressive Metal 2002
SYMPHONY X Paradise Lost album cover 3.91 | 76 ratings
Paradise Lost
Progressive Metal 2007
SYMPHONY X Iconoclast album cover 4.19 | 79 ratings
Iconoclast
Progressive Metal 2011
SYMPHONY X Underworld album cover 4.28 | 37 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 The Damnation Game

Album · 1995 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"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.

SYMPHONY X Symphony X

Album · 1994 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Symphony X" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by US, New Jersey based power/progressive metal act Symphony X. The album was released through Japanese label Zero Corporation in December 1994. Symphony X formed in 1994 after Guitarist Michael Romeo and keyboard player Michael Pinnella had recorded the former´s solo album "The Dark Chapter" in 1992 (the album was originally recorded as a demo, and didn´t see an official album release until April 1994) and subsequently opted to form a full band lineup. Symphony X released the 5-track "Dance Macabre" demo in 1994 and two of the demo tracks "Taunting the Notorious" and "Rapture or Pain" have both been re-recorded and included on this debut album.

Stylistically the material on the album is a combination of European power metal and US power metal, with an occasional progressive metal touch (listen to the middle section of "Shades Of Grey"). There are many neo-classical leanings and a strong Yngwie Malmsteen influence, but Symphony X are generally a pretty dark and heavy US power metal influenced act. Lead vocalist Rod Tyler has a strong voice and a powerful delivery. He can sing both higher pitched and more rough mid-range vocals with great conviction. The music features many vocal harmonies but also loads of choirs. The latter are greatly influenced by the multi-harmony choir arrangements of Queen. Duel keyboard/guitar harmony leads are also an element of the band´s sound.

Tracks like "The Raging Season" and "Masquerade" are great examples of Symphony X´s sound on this debut album. Powerful, heavy, melodic, anthemic, and well performed US power metal with neo-classical elements, but most tracks on the album are of a good quality. So on most parameters this is a high qality release and a great and promising debut album by Symphony X. But...and there is unfortunately a but here...the sound production simply drags the album down. When you have a virtuoso guitarist like Romeo in your ranks, it makes no sense that the rhythm guitar is often buried and placed low in the mix. The drums also feature an unpleasant sound, and overall the instrument and the vocal tracks sound a bit disjointed in the mix. You can hear every instrument and vocal part, but when combined the outcome doesn´t do the otherwise good quality material justice. If you are not an audiophile, the production issues may not be a problem though, and personally I can live with the issues to a degree. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

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.

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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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