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Symphony X - The Odyssey CD (album) cover

THE ODYSSEY

Symphony X

 

Progressive Metal

3.94 | 441 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Not a Masterpiece as the actual Odyssey, but still Very Good

Is it a coincidence that both Dream Theater and Symphony X released an album with a symphonic epic the same year? Well, I doubt it was planned, but it still is odd. Anyway, to focus on the album, Symphony X's The Odyssey has some masterful material as well as easily forgettable one which makes this album hard to rate and hard to recommend.

Symphony X definitely shows a slight change in the musical direction with The Odyssey compared to the highly acclaimed V: The New Mythology released 2 years prior this one. The band seems to be playing more aggressively throughout, heavier riffs and more straight-forward power metal songs are to be found. However, Symphony X still maintains their symphonic leanings, notable proof is the album's tour-de-force, the 24 minute title track which is repleted with brilliant passages ranging from beautiful orchestral arrangements to powerful in-your-face riffs.

Then there's Accolade II and Awakenings, both also feature the symphonic leanings straight away with melodic and up-lifting passages. Michael Pinella's piano playing is splendid allthrough and it really adds a lot to the music, unlike the usual tasteless playing of Jordan Rudess which shouts 'look at me'. Also, Russel's vocals are really impressive and instantly recognisable, they remind me a lot to Kansas' vocal section.

Unfortunately, those are the only songs that are memorable and worth listening to, the rest are very heavy, straight-forward power metal songs featuring 100% aggressivity, something that is not usually found in bands like Dream Theater. The riffs are not catchy neither there are memorable solos, so it's not just that they're not Prog. Even Allen's vocals are rather bad since he's constantly delivering rage-like vocals, in this case I would prefer James LaBrie take on heavy stuff.

However, mind you that the three highlighted songs occupy more than half of the album, these are 39 minutes of high-quality Prog Metal so that's the reason why this album is difficult to rate and to recommend.

3.5 stars rounded to 3 because having only three memorable songs out of eight isn't something consistent. Yet, I'm sure you have noticed that these three songs are amazing and if you're a Prog Metal fan you should definitely check them out.

The Quiet One | 3/5 |

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