SYMPHONY X — Twilight In Olympus (review)

SYMPHONY X — Twilight In Olympus album cover Album · 1998 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
UMUR
"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.
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siLLy puPPy wrote:
45 days ago
I did a Symphony X marathon not too long ago. I think all the albums from Divine Wings to Underworld are excellent. I don't get the low ratings for this one either.
UMUR wrote:
46 days ago
It´s almost always the two albums bookending this one which gets all the attention and recognition. Personally I like this one much more than the two other mentioned albums.

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