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Symphony X! New Album





basementgamesltd
Hey all,

I know we have all been waiting impatiently for a follow-up to 2002's "The Odyssey", an album that stretched the boundaries of progressive metal and blurred the lines between genres. It was epic, symphonic, complex - everything a prog fan could want.

And now, finally, after a 4-year absence, Michael Romeo and company have finally delivered an album that lives up to its predecessors.

Though one could argue that no album released this late could match the standards fan have set. And in a few ways, it does not (there is no promised epic). However, the beauty of "Paradise Lost" lies in its consistency and impeccable production. Mastermind Michael Romeo, on top of being a gifted guitarist with a penchant for being a classical virtuoso, is also a talented songwriter with a knack for perfectly blending crunching guitars with soaring choruses and symphonic passages.

This album is, without a doubt, the most melodic album the band has created, start to finish. The opening symphony-meets-metal track, "Oculus ex Inferni" is reminiscent of Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem" and (for video game nerds) extremely close in construction to Nobuo Uematsu's "Liberi Fatali", the prologue from Final Fantasy XIII. It is deliciously ominous, foreboding and the best symphonic introductions in metal since Shaman's "Ancient Winds".

"Set the World on Fire (The Lie of Lies)" is a trademark Symphony X opener (see: "Evolution (The Grand Design)", "Of Sins and Shadows", "Inferno"), with squealing guitars underlying Russell Allen's rough vocals, which only seem to get heavier with each new album. "Domination" and "Eve of Seduction" increase the speed, turning prog into power, tearing up Allen's throat and shredding Romeo's fingers. "Paradise Lost" and "Sacrifice" are the album's ballads, recalling such gems as "Communion and the Oracle" and "The Accolade". Everything we have come to appreciate about Symphony X is in these tracks.

So far, we have nothing terribly new. Everything I have listed can be found in earlier material. So what are the standout tracks?

Combining brilliant guitar work with choir-work that can make the hair on your neck stand is "The Walls of Babylon". The fusion between Romeo's guitars with the ambient choir-work in the song's chorus is absolutely sublime. It is here that the production value in this album truly stands out. It is a truly gothic piece that never forgets its progressive metal roots. Finally, the album's closer, "Revelation (Divus Pennae ex Tragoedia)" is more than just a mouthful of a name. It is a song that takes the intricate, multi-passage nature of "Awakenings" and tightens it to make a 9-minute masterpiece. Combining the odd time signatures that made symphonic passages in "The Odyssey" such a challenge with the band's typical intense vocal harmonies, the song soars.

Though I would have liked another 20+ minute magnum opus, I am more than content with "Paradise Lost". It is the first Symphony X album that has no jarring flaws. It has no needless interludes (See "V: The New Mythology) no mediocre songs (See: "The Odyssey") no thoughtless construction of solos (See: "Twilight in Olympus"). It is simply fantastic.

Keep it real....
achene
Havent heard it yet, but a lot of people say that is should be very good indeed.

Looking forward to listening to some of the stuff.

- Achene
maejaeos
Oh yeah, its awesome. I was rather impressed.
ThornsOfSorrow
Nice review! I don't actually have the new album yet, but I saw them play in Connecticut a few days ago, and the new stuff sounded really good! Overall, the new songs were definitely a lot heavier than anything on the older albums, which I appreciate due to the fact that the slight style change keeps the new stuff from sounding too similar to the old. I'll definitely be buying "Paradise Lost" very soon.
David_Pardy
I have this album ordered along with Planet X: Quantum, but Quantum hasn't come in yet so I have to keep waiting for them both!!

I can't wait for it though. I need more SymX!!!!
evilDMT
I have to agree this is the most impressive Symphony X album to date. And as for the new Planet X album -- the first track is one taken straight from Virgil Donati's album (Serious Young Insects). The album is great, but just same old Planet X.
xxjssyou
Though I would have liked another 20+ minute magnum opus, I am more than content with "Paradise Lost". It is the first Symphony X album that has no jarring flaws. It has no needless interludes (See "V: The New Mythology) no mediocre songs (See: "The Odyssey") no thoughtless construction of solos (See: "Twilight in Olympus"). It is simply fantastic.
David_Pardy
I forgot to reply on this once I got the album...

I LOVE IT

The orchestral prelude gives me goosebumps every single time I listen to it. Every single song is awesome as well. I try not to listen to it too often because I'm worried I'll get bored of it too quickly!

The heavier sound has given Rullo a lot more room to show off his true ability and he executes it all flawlessly. My opinion on Jason Rullo's drumming is that he is one of the most musically talented drummers in the metal/prog scene. I have never heard him play a single thing out of place, and his drumming truly complements the music - this hasn't changed in PL!
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