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Symphony X - The Divine Wings Of Tragedy CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 571 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars At the court of King Conan the Barbarian, MJ Romero would be the master of music and Russel Allen the spokesman . but in my living-room Symphony X's music seems a little bit out of place.

In fact, being in my 40's, I sometimes wonder how much immature I must be to go on listening -and partly enjoying- to this melting of Iron Maiden and, huh, Rondo Veneziano ! The lyrics don't help to reassure me since I rate them on par with Maiden's ones, which means that they are at best insipid and at worst ridiculous. An example ? Take the first verses of "Out of the Ashes" : "In the house of my master, beyond the chains, there is a bed of snakes where evil lays". Hmmm, OK Russell, if you say so .

Fortunately, if you go past all the metal clichés that affect TDWOT, there is a lot of good to be found in the music, helped by Allen's great voice (if you like his style of singing). The first three tracks are standout heavy metal songs, fast and melodic : "Out the Ashes", in particular, has a badly addictive chorus. They lead to "The Accolade", which is arguably the most progressive and best song of the album, including a lot of distinctive influences -Kansas being the first that comes to mind- but very well digested to create an original piece of music. I am much more reluctant about the next two songs, "Pharaoh" and "The Eyes of ¨Medusa", which look like bad leftovers of DT's Awake sessions. "The Witching Hour" is kitschy to the core but I enjoy it that way : some kind of a minuet composed by Romero and Pinella for King Conan when he is in a mood for dancing . Then it is time for the 20' epic that gives its name to the album. This one has its ups and downs : I like it until part IV but I could easily live without the following parts, especially the never ending instrumental part VI. The last song, "Candlelight Fantasia", is a slower paced piece that failed to convince me at first but this is mainly due to the fact that I gave it less spins than the others tracks since it's not always easy to stand more than one hour of Symphony X without rest ! Actually, it's a good song with a catchy chorus but I feel that the fading outro is not the finest way to close the album.

To summarize, and jokes left aside, TDWOT is a solid three stars album IMHO. Most prog-metal fans would certainly add one star, and maybe two since it can be seen as one of the most representative albums of the genre. On the other side, if you don't stand some metal in your prog and await for meaningful lyrics, it's hard to recommend this album to you.

Bupie | 3/5 |


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