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 | 99 ratings
The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
Progressive Metal 1996
SYMPHONY X Twilight In Olympus album cover 3.92 | 54 ratings
Twilight In Olympus
Progressive Metal 1998
SYMPHONY X V: The New Mythology Suite album cover 4.19 | 74 ratings
V: The New Mythology Suite
Progressive Metal 2000
SYMPHONY X The Odyssey album cover 4.11 | 83 ratings
The Odyssey
Progressive Metal 2002
SYMPHONY X Paradise Lost album cover 3.93 | 77 ratings
Paradise Lost
Progressive Metal 2007
SYMPHONY X Iconoclast album cover 4.19 | 80 ratings
Iconoclast
Progressive Metal 2011
SYMPHONY X Underworld album cover 4.30 | 38 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 3.67 | 9 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 Twilight In Olympus

Album · 1998 · Progressive Metal
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"Twilight In Olympus" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, New Jersey based power/progressive metal act Symphony X. The album was released through Zero Corporation in Japan and through InsideOut Music in Europe in March 1998. It´s the successor "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" from 1996, which proved to be the band´s breakthrough album. During the tour promoting "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (1996)" drummer Jason Rullo had to take an absense of leave from Symphony X to deal with some personal issues, and he was replaced for the remainder of the tour by Thomas Walling. As Rullo didn´t return when the band were ready to enter the studio and record the material for "Twilight In Olympus", Walling stepped in as a session musian recording the drums on the album.

The material on "Twilight In Olympus" in some ways continue the progressive power metal style of "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (1996)", and in that respect is a natural successor to that album, but some tracks on "Twilight In Olympus" see Symphony X trying out new ideas and expanding their sound. Tracks like "Smoke And Mirrors", "In The Dragon's Den", and the beautiful and epic closing track "Lady Of The Snow" could just as well have been featured on the predecessor, but tracks like "Church Of The Machine", the 13:06 minutes long (and Dream Theater influenced) "Through The Looking Glass, Parts I-III", and "Orion - The Hunter" are more progressive in style and would have stood out as very different sounding from the other tracks on "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (1996)". They stand out on "Twilight In Olympus" too, but only in a good way, making the tracklist interesting and varied. In fact the band have managed to construct a very well functioning tracklist and "Twilight In Olympus" is one of their most diverse yet quality consistent releases.

"Twilight In Olympus" features a powerful, detailed, and well sounding production, although the drums could have prospered from a less clicky and more organic tone. The band are as well playing as ever and the listener is treated to one jaw-dropping technially well played heavy riff, blistering guitar/keyboard solo, and hard pounding rhythm part after another. Lead vocalist Russell Allen´s performance deserves a special mention too. Not only does he have a powerful and distinct sounding voice, but the way he uses his full range to perform both high pitched and gruff deeper range vocals (and choirs and harmonies) is spectacular. He is a world class vocalist and proves it once again on this album.

Upon conclusion "Twilight In Olympus" is through and through a high quality release by Symphony X. Naturally continuing the sound established on the precessor while still developing on that sound, the band have produced an album which stands well on it´s own in their discography. Symphony X perfectly blend their neo-classical power metal elements with progressive metal complexity and the outcome is personal and distinct sounding. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

SYMPHONY X The Divine Wings Of Tragedy

Album · 1996 · Progressive Metal
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"The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, New Jersey based power/progressive metal act Symphony X. The album was released through Zero Corporation in Japan in November 1996 and through InsideOut Music in Europe in March 1997. It´s the successor to "The Damnation Game" from 1995 and features the same quintet lineup as the predecessor. "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" was the breakthrough album for Symphony X and is by many considered among their finest works.

Symphony X have honed their songwriting craft considerably on this release (compared to the two preceding album releases), and they have also upped the use of progressive metal elements, although they still retain strong European power metal/neo-classical leanings, and are also firmly grounded in the more raw and thrash infused US power metal style. The latter mentioned style is on full display on the opening track "Of Sins And Shadows", which features incredibly heavy thrashy (almost brutal) guitar riffs and heavy pounding rhythms, which are not the order of the day on most European power metal/neo-classical or progressive metal releases. It´s a muscular track showing Symphony X at their most raw and punishing. When that is said "Of Sins And Shadows" still features melodic neo-classical keyboard/guitar themes and a melodic anthemic chorus, so there is a good balance between the raw and the melodic on that track.

The same can actually be said about all the material on the album, although the melodic sensibility and the degrees of rawness and the number of heavy riffs/rhythms vary from track to track. Some of the highlights are "Of Sins And Shadows", "Sea Of Lies", "Candlelight Fantasia"l, and "The Accolade". Especially the latter deserves a special mention for the wealth of intriguing compositional ideas and beautiful and strong epic melodies. This is pure musical brilliance to my ears. Many would probably count the 20:42 minutes long title track among the highlights of the album, but I disagree with that sentiment. Although the track features many high quality elements (the opening choir section is for example great) and strong and powerful sections, it´s a bit of a compositional mess, with an instrumental middle section which doesn´t really work that well.

Other than the generally high quality compositions the greatest asset of "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" is the high level musicianship. Lead vocalist Russell Allen can´t be praised enough for his commanding delivery and versatile voice. He can sing both high pitched and melodic and mid- to low register raw and clean vocals. His performance on this album is outstanding. The rhythm section are strong playing too and bassist Thomas Miller even gets to shine a couple of times during the albums playing time with some lead parts. Michael Pinella is obviously a classically trained keyboard player and his busy neo-classical playing perfectly compliments the ditto busy guitar playing of Michael Romeo. The latter is a world class guitar player, who masters many different styles from brutal groove laden thrashy riffs, to strong melodic hooks and great acoustic/clean guitar moments, to blistering solo work.

"The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" features a relatively well sounding production, which suits the material well. I say relatively well sounding production, because it´s not a perfect production. The drums for example don´t feature the most powerful production values, and they come of a little thin sounding in the mix and the distorted guitar tone is also a little odd sounding a times. It´s as if it´s sometimes played through a wah-pedal, but not on purpose. The minor production complaints aside, "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" is still a perfectly listenable album and most listeners probably won´t even notice or be bothered by the mentioned flaws.

Upon conclusion it´s perfectly understandable why "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" became the breakthrough for Symphony X. While the first two albums showed promise, this one fully delivers on that promise. High level musical performances and clever compositional ideas. On top of that Symphony X have a unique sound and a musical identity which immediately set them apart from the pack. Sure the neo-classical influences scream Rainbow and Yngwie Malmsteen, but that is just one elements of the band´s sound. Mix it up with the darkest and most heavy moments of Dream Theater and add a premier league US power metal vocalist to the potion and you have "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy". Not a perfect album, but it´s close. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

SYMPHONY X The Damnation Game

Album · 1995 · Progressive Metal
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"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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"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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"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.

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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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