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


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 536 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Compared to albums that would follow, I think this sounds a bit raw, uneven, and slightly cheesy in places, though I still really enjoy most of the music. Like a lot of fellow proggers, I was drawn to this album because of the epics, and they overall do not disappoint! The other songs are good as well, though nothing that really pulls me back very often.

The Accolade. Hate to say it, but I think Robby of Kansas would be a little ashamed that comparisons of this cheesy violin effect are made with his work. It's not bad, of course, and the rest of the song is exceptional: great soundscapes, changing time signatures, not too many overpowering metal riffs, and of course Rusell Allen at his best. Some of the themes could have been developed a bit more, or at least incorporated with better transitions, but this is a powerful and enjoyable piece.

The Divine Wings of Tragedy. Similar to the Odyssey, this song doesn't really build must to a grand climax, and doesn't utilize recurring themes very often (except for the Holstian rhythm), though it's catchy and memorable throughout. The beginning I find quite creative: great vocal harmonies leading to the Holst imitation, and then of course the gratuitous keyboard/guitar solos (this time they earned them!). And the rest of the song is alternation between catchy metal melodies and crafty instrumental bits. It's all fun, graciously not repetitive, and full of nice keys (piano and organ bits espeically) and guitar. Unfortunately, the song just kind of ends--it's a good closing tune, but not entirely fitting to end an epic like this. Oh well, tacking on the catchy and reflective Candlelight Fantasia after the title track leaves an effective end to the album.

Everything else. This is metal, but definitely with prog elements (Queen-like choirs, classical influences/runs, and simultaneous guitar/keyboard lines). It's easy for my attention to wane during the generic metal bits, and some of the choruses are a bit irritating (Pharaoh, for example), but there's nothing particularly bad here--just not captivating.

Good, fun, energetic prog metal. I recommend this one for the title track and The Accolade for proggers, and the remaining metal tracks will be quite hit or miss, depending on how much of a metalhead the listener may be.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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