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


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.10 | 541 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Really, I do like this album. It's a good, fun, dependable album.

But therein lies the issue. There is not much to be found on this entire CD that is all that new. I mean, Symphony X has a fun combination of power and speed metal, with blazing guitars and awe inspiring vocals. Beyond that, however, little is truly accomplished here.

And that's why I feel I have to rate it only two stars.

Like any good fan of progressive metal, I'll headbang to the odd rhythms and grin to myself when some sort of impossible drum fill happens. Still, when I look at it as an album, I see only glorified power metal with some nice neoclassical elements. In essence, take Dream Theater, replace John Petrucci with Yngwie Malmsteen, James LaBrie with Ronnie James Dio, and Jordan Rudess with someone about as fast but with not as much flair. You get the twenty minute song, you get the wild and continual noodling (yes, I'd say Symphony X noodle more than Dream Theater, so if you find Dream Theater to be a bit much in that regard, look out), and so forth.

This album is very much a stepping stone for Symphony X. Before this, their work was even more uninspiring, to my ears. After this, they begin to develop their own identity as a progressive and a metal band. Anyone who becomes a serious fan of this outfit cannot do without this album, as it likely is one of the most important in their career, but I would recommend a curious prog fan to look a bit later than here.

Also of note, the mixing is rather bland and weak. A lot of the keyboard sounds are atrocious. The only true high point of this album, though it really is just the high point of this band, is Sir Russel Allen, owner of some of the craziest gizmos in his throat. Especially on The Eyes of Medusa and the title track, which, I must add, is a pretty cool track all told. The album just loses something with most of the tracks before the major epic suite.

Again, not a bad album at all. But when compared to what they CAN do, The Divine Wings of Tragedy comes across as pretty immature and incomplete. Look into their later years. You'll see.

LiquidEternity | 2/5 |


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