SYMPHONY X — Live On The Edge Of Forever (review)

SYMPHONY X — Live On The Edge Of Forever album cover Live album · 2001 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
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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Tupan wrote:
8 days ago
This is a problem with prog and technichal bands in general, I think. Like Jonas said, simple music is more akin to energetic performances.
UMUR wrote:
8 days ago
I went to see Symphony X once, and your description of a Symphony X live show is actually pretty accurate. People standing around watching the musicians play and clapping at the end of each track. Not much movement in the crowd. Not completely unlike attending a Dream Theater show. I´m probably with your here in being more interested in attending sweaty energetic shows with active crowds, but it usually requires more simple and punchy music. Like you I prefer to listen to music like Symphony X at home with headphones on. That´s where they shine...
666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Reviewer's Challenge points: 3

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