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Symphony X - Paradise Lost CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

3.79 | 505 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3 1/4 stars

A fast, heavy, fist-pumping and anthemic power metal album.

uh, power metal? The problem is that with this release I believe that Symphony X distanced themselves quite a bit from their very classical roots in exchange for more power, heaviness, and uniformity. While still classically structured, I miss the massive male chorals and giant symphonies in their previous works. Luckily the exchange is not a total loss as the production is easily the best in a Symphony X thanks to the beautiful sound of the electric guitar. Nevertheless, this album seems to be an album aimed for a power-metal audience.

Unlike the others, the opening track Oculus Ex Inferni sounds like the Symphony X that we all know and love but even more grandiose and symphonic. An epic classical short piece with electric guitar fitting in perfectly with the orchestra. Once the next song Set the World on Fire starts, you might think you got yet another amazing album, as the brutally heavy intro would floor you but the next thing you know, you'll hear fast-paced metal with memorable choruses like in their previous albums in the following tracks, but with a bit more punch and less orchestral touches. Still, the only thing (besides better sound engineering) that is brought to the table is a bit more commercialized form of their style. For example Damnation has the typically ultra heavy slaying bass and guitar riff that the kids love to \m/ ^_^ \m/ . The riff is excellent, but that a progressive band bases most of a 6+ minute song on one riff is a problem.

It's a generally heavy album but luckily there are places to breathe. Paradise Lost is an elegant and classically-inspired metal ballad that inspires me of Dream Theater. There's another slower paced track later called The Sacrifice and the song after Paradise Lost is also somewhat soft in parts (probably the most commercial-sounding track).

Well, back on heavy tracks, we have next a nice bunch of heavy tracks. Walls of Babylon is a longer and heavier track than average which has massive chorals during the choruses, which are among Paradise Lost's most memorable moments. The next heavy track Seven follows the standard formula of this album but surprises when the guitar solo (which is fantastic) leads way to a frenzied ultra-fast bass riff. That transition is another of the album's best moments, even if the song in itself isn't exactly outstanding. The last and longest song Revelation is nice, but I expected more from Symphony X as their earlier epics are more dynamic and exciting.

If you want energetic and heavy music, you can't go wrong with Paradise Lost, but the uniformity, Russell's raspy vocals (what happened to his voice?), and the lack of creativity in the songwriting department making this album non-essential to progressive enthusiasts.

Zitro | 3/5 |


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