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


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 536 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Many years ago and after reading the positive reviews that described DREAM THEATER as the best band ever (some went even further), decided to make my first excursion into Prog Metal with the most recognized representative of the sub-genre, so bought a couple of albums and DVD's , can't say the experience was something more than disappointing, so I decided that if this guys were the peak of the crop, this sub-genre wasn't for me.

After some time I read some reviews about "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" and found that this band was more appreciated by non Prog Metal followers and catalogued as pompous by the fans of the genre, so bought the album thinking that this would fit my taste better, and was really impressed, they are just what I expect from a Prog Metal band,

I don't know or care if their members are more or less virtuoso than other musicians, or if they have less solos, I value more the fact that their music is absolutely coherent and they work as a team rather than as Rock stars trying to prove they are better than the rest of the band. But more important for me the Symphonic elements of their music make me think of SYMPHONY X as a real PROGRESSIVE Metal band and not a Metal band with keyboards.

The album starts with the powerful " Of Sins and Shadows", in which the fast guitar complements perfectly with the vocals, it's true that I'm not a fan of growling, but Russell Allen manages to control it and balance this radical singing with clear vocals.

The short Mellotron introduction makes of "Sea of Lies" a promising track and combined with the fast guitar plus correct vocals ,make the listening experience pleasant. Even though it's simpler than the opener, the band manages to keep the interest of the listener.

"Out of the Ashes" highlight is in the excellent vocal work and chorus, of course the Neo Classical approach of the lead guitar is delightful, the album keeps the level, even when still not reaching the level of a masterpiece.

The acoustic guitar and violin of "The Accolade" bring KANSAS to my mind instantly, but that isn't all, the use of the guitar also remind of Rich Williams even when faster, but that's only the beginning, the song presents radical changes every minute, jumping from soft to frenetic in a matter of seconds, simply delightful, a box of surprises from start to end.

"Pharaoh" and "The Eyes of Medusa" are two Metal racks with little of Prog but a lot of attractive, not what I usually listen but enjoyed both while"The Witching Hour" is a more transitional song between the previous two Metal tracks and the Prog epic that is about to start. Fast, in the vein of IRON MAIDEN with operatic vocals and excellent chorus, the temperature is rising.

"The Divine Wings of Tragedy" is everything a Prog Metal fan can expect, the extremely dramatic vocal opening reminds of religious chorus with a mysterious touch, but only after it the show starts, as in an epic movie the song develops with a military majestic mood, the Mellotron in the back only adds more emotion and then...the beast is set free, SYMPHONY X attacks with everything they have, powerful drumming, amazing guitar sections and pompous keyboards to enhance the effect, but the changes keep coming, from calmed passages to frenetic sections, strong choirs, speedy guitars, in other words everything a Prog fan can expect, 20:40 minutes of pure Progressive Rock with Metal leanings.

After such an epic, it is necessary to calm the moods, "Candlelight Fantasia" does that and more, the soft, acoustic intro is only a demonstration of this band's versatility, even when they never resign to their metal essence, the strong melody and sentimental vocals create a contradictory but delightful scene that even a Symphonic fan not too fond on Metal.

Until now I only heard three SYMPHONY X albums, "V The Mythology Suite", The Odyssey" and the one being reviewed, even when I consider the first one mentioned more solid, can't give less than 4 stars to "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" less than 4 stars without feeling unfair.

Highly recommended as an introduction to Prog Metal for fans of the classic bands from the 70's.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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