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Symphony X - Paradise Lost CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

3.79 | 505 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Long awaited masterpiece album!

Wow! Lately, I have been bombarded with lot of heavy side of rock music. After our hectic days to present Solucite Metal Concert featuring DragonForce live in Jakarta, May 19, 2007, a lot of progressive metal albums were available in the market. I got Dream Theater "Systematic Chaos" and Symphony X "Paradise Lost" in the forms of MP3 way before the official release dates. I then preordered all of them and now I have the original CDs with me. Later I got Kamelot "Ghost Opera" which I have posted a review at this site. What I like about those albums were that all of them were excellent! As a matter of taste, my order of preference from these three wonderful releases are: 1. Ghost Opera, 2. Paradise Lost, 3. Systematic Chaos. I will need to post my review on Dream Theater "Systematic Chaos" because I got the special edition with "The Making of" DVD.

As far as "Paradise Lost" concern, I really amazed with the beauty of this album especially in delivering a stream of music which mostly in uptempo and heavy riffs fashion. If you relate this album with Dream Theater, this seems like an answer of Dream Theater's "Rain of Thoughts" album by Symphony X. The only difference is that "Paradise Lost" has more symphonic fills than "Train of Thought". I have to agree that these two bands are equivalently excellent. Most of their compositioans are top notch!

In terms of Symphony X, this album is better than the band's previous "Odyssey" album which was released 5 years ago in 2002. It's been quite a long time for the band to come up with this new album, but it's worth the wait because this album is very close to perfection. When I say so, because I can appreciate the heavy side of rock music which is typically demonstrated by guitar riffs and upbeat tempo. This album does not compromise with this even though there are excellent musical breaks which feature keyboard and vocal line. So, if you don't get used to heavy riffs and fast tempo, you'd better stay away from this album as it might not be your cup of tea. But I tell you what, once you like heavy riffs, your horizon wouls be expanded tremendously because there is a lot of excellent music which explores riffs and combine them with catchy solos.

Why this album is a masterpiece?

Composition. Most music was composed by the guitarist, Michael Romeo, which has significant influence of classical music. I think, the name "Symphony X" was originated from him especially on his obsession towards symphonic music. All lyrics were done by Michael Romeo and Russell Allen. Michael Romeo also produce this album. The songwriting is top notch. Not ony song by song composition which seems to me very neat and tight, the song placement in the whole album is well positioned to present an excellent stream of music that flows beautifully from start to end. The opening instrumental track "Oculus Ex Inferni" is a masterpiece orchestration, wonderfully composed by Michael Romeo. The melody sounds complex but the harmonies of sounds produced from this opening track are wonderful. Lumped up together they can jockey up your adrenalin and make you getting "prepared" for the next beautiful blasts of progressive metal music. I'm telling you the truth because what comes next is a beautiful song "Set The World On Fire (The Lie Of Lies)" which has full of heavy riffs in fast tempo. Each song in this album has been crafted in such a way that the combined work of instruments being used produce excellent harmonies in relatively catchy melody line where eerie vocal quality of Russell Allen delivers the storyline of the album - which I think it's a Scientific Fiction story.

Drive and Energy. You will listen to a stream of music which is very dynamic with frequent high and low points demonstrating keyboard and / or guitar solos during the musical breaks. Almost all songs have strong drive and energy which might elevate your emotion in an uplifting mode. The album is quite good to start the day because of its power and energy. Out of all tracks only one that has a bit mellow style, i.e. "Paradise Lost". The rest are music with power.

Performance. Each member of the band provides their virtuosity in playing their own instruments with excellent harmonies. The result is a coherent music that flows beautifully from segment to segement and from song to song which at the end build a masterpiece album. Michael Romeo's riffs are heavy but he plays them in smooth and clean sounds with practically no distortion at all. Michael Pinnella keyboards playing work perfectly in augmenting Romeo's guitar solo as well as performing his own keyboard solo. Russell Allen voice is excellent and when he tones down, his voice is quite close to Kansas' Steve Walsh. In some respect the music of Symphony X is close to Kansas, especially on the parts where keyboard sound like a violin. Try "Accollades" of the band's previous albums and you will get the similarities.

Having done that long review, of course , I will recommend you to own this album. It's really worth collecting especially the CD package has excellent artwork in the CD sleeves. One minor thing is the ending part of "The Walls of Babylon" which I expect the heavy riffs will continue longer and the song does not end in "fading out" way. But that's minor and I expect the band will play this longer in their live concerts. I also expect that the band will not take another long period of time to release the next album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 5/5 |


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