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Symphony X - Symphony X CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

2.87 | 237 ratings

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3 stars "Symphony X" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by US, New Jersey based power/progressive metal act Symphony X. The album was released through Japanese label Zero Corporation in December 1994. Symphony X formed in 1994 after Guitarist Michael Romeo and keyboard player Michael Pinnella had recorded the formerīs solo album "The Dark Chapter" in 1992 (the album was originally recorded as a demo, and didnīt see an official album release until April 1994) and subsequently opted to form a full band lineup. Symphony X released the 5-track "Dance Macabre" demo in 1994 and two of the demo tracks "Taunting the Notorious" and "Rapture or Pain" have both been re-recorded and included on this debut album.

Stylistically the material on the album is a combination of European power metal and US power metal, with an occasional progressive metal touch (listen to the middle section of "Shades Of Grey"). There are many neo-classical leanings and a strong Yngwie Malmsteen influence, but Symphony X are generally a pretty dark and heavy US power metal influenced act. Lead vocalist Rod Tyler has a strong voice and a powerful delivery. He can sing both higher pitched and more rough mid-range vocals with great conviction. The music features many vocal harmonies but also loads of choirs. The latter are greatly influenced by the multi-harmony choir arrangements of Queen. Duel keyboard/guitar harmony leads are also an element of the bandīs sound.

Tracks like "The Raging Season" and "Masquerade" are great examples of Symphony Xīs sound on this debut album. Powerful, heavy, melodic, anthemic, and well performed US power metal with neo-classical elements, but most tracks on the album are of a good quality. So on most parameters this is a high qality release and a great and promising debut album by Symphony X. But...and there is unfortunately a but here...the sound production simply drags the album down. When you have a virtuoso guitarist like Romeo in your ranks, it makes no sense that the rhythm guitar is often buried and placed low in the mix. The drums also feature an unpleasant sound, and overall the instrument and the vocal tracks sound a bit disjointed in the mix. You can hear every instrument and vocal part, but when combined the outcome doesnīt do the otherwise good quality material justice. If you are not an audiophile, the production issues may not be a problem though, and personally I can live with the issues to a degree. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 3/5 |


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