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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

This album starts at 100 MPH (or 160 KMH). You won't escape the typical sounds of the genre but what is surprising during the opener ''Of Sins And Shadows'' is the fine chorus line a la ''Queen''. It could be compared to a highly rocking tune from ''Queen'' while they started ('Queen I or II).

The same feeling I have with ''Out of the Ashes'': bombastic and well performed vocals provide an excellent feel (at least to me). They make the whole more listenable to me; because when I listened carefully to background lines, they are pretty much the same. Strong and furiously speedy bass; and what to say about the drumming! These guys are skilled, for sure.

The first long song from this album (''The Accolade'') opens on a tranquil acoustic guitar notes which are followed by some violin sounds (is this synth generated?) which reminds me of ''Kansas''. But the power metal riffs comes straight after and turns this song into a more conventional metal track. As for the other songs, I quite appreciate the work from Russell Allen on the vocals (although he didn't convinced me on their prior album) and the virtuosity of Michael Romeo on the guitar (but this is not a surprise). ''The Accolade'' switches from prog to metal regularly on this track. I like this type of mix. Should the genre only produce more of these.

Needless to say that ''Pharaoh'' holds some Oriental flavour which are welcome and well blended in this too basic metal track though. Although Russel Allen sounds again as Mercury in the early days of Queen, it is the first time that he uses a rougher tone on this album. This doesn't please me necessarily to be honest.

At this point of time (''The Eyes Of Medusa''), I have to say that this album is starting to work on my nerves. I guess that the amount of metal music I can bear in a row is almost reached.

Things get fortunately better with epic and title track. Again, the starting chorus is very much ''Queen'' oriented and most of this long song holds fine prog and metal elements combined. But I have to add that the second half of the song is a bit too much to my taste. Somewhat self indulgent. The whole is still a good track but the promise of the first half has not been met.

The closing ''Candlelight Fantasia'' is one of my fave: it is the one which holds the most melodic vocal lines and passionate guitars. A ballad rhythm combined with scarce metal chords. This is how I like this genre best.

In all this is a fine album. I wouldn't rate it higher than three stars but the metal heads would deeply like such a work.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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