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Symphony X - The Odyssey CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

3.94 | 517 ratings

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4 stars SYMPHONY X's "Odyssey" was the first prog-metal CD I had the opportunity to purchase for my own amusement (this time not for my teenager kids, as usual) and I may say that I do not regret the day. Well, some SYMPHONY X's experts say that here they are heavier than in their previous output; fine for me that I'm not an expert in anything let alone the sound of this US band and so I could enjoy (or not) "Odyssey" by myself. Ok if they're heavier, no problem for me, I've carried loads with much more weight and I can support easily this burden even not being my daily café-au- lait.

The two first tracks, 'Inferno' and 'Wicked' are nothing more than pure metal (trash? death? mortal?) tunes with fine guitar and drumming action amid desperate vocals. Ears not too much educated in the metal scene, just like mine, will probably believe we are facing the same song with some variations. The third track, 'Incantations of the apprentice', even showing the same panorama seen in previous tracks, has a progressive intro, soon replaced by the sameness heard before.

Things start to flow toward progressiveness with 'Accolade 2', a fine track provided with powerful but very catchy atmosphere: adequate vocals, nice choir and backing voices, instruments running in the correct dosing and the likes. Changes in tempo are noticeable and finally we can hear some fine keyboards playing - a song well- fitted for my breakfast, of course.

'King of Terrors' keeps an average balance between metal-metal and prog-metal although the song is partially spoiled by the somewhat frenzy vocals (and I assure that I really appreciate Allen's work but he seemed not very inspired in many of the tracks here; maybe a production flaw). 'The turning' maintains the climate of preceding track but a soft backing choir and voice contracanto make the difference now putting this song in a higher level.

'Awakenings', is a fine song where we are able to hear again Allen's plain and natural vocals which are far better than the grueling grunts heard elsewhere. The medium-size track is an ideal platform for Romeo's outstanding guitar solos and also for the band shows their musicianship and skills: good drums and bass displays, enjoyable even short keyboards presence.

'Odyssey', the title-track, is the highest point here, an epic that alone pays the CD price. The song divided in seven parts is a good panel of all effort SYMPHONY X put in this album and even not being exempt of flaws, these aren't capable to damage the epic greatness. Most important: there are no dull moments, the track grabs intensely the listener attention and we are vividly waiting for the next surprise to appear.

In spite of some tracks that won't be so pleasant for a non-metal user I dare to recommend "Odyssey" for all prog-fans mainly due to the title epic and 'Awakenings' and 'Accolade 2', both special in their own ways. Rating: 4.

Atkingani | 4/5 |


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