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Symphony X - Iconoclast CD (album) cover

ICONOCLAST

Symphony X

 

Progressive Metal

3.78 | 370 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

mel from hell
4 stars In a previous interview,Michael Romeo mentioned that the name Symphony X is a combination of the classical and majestic elements (Symphony) along with the dark heavy riffs(X). It seems that they now emphasize on the X factor. I honestly have no problem and in a period where heavy riffs and aggressive music is dominant, a band should try to modernize some of its sound without sacrificing its quality. Symphony X did this with a very satisfying result. So,the tracklist and critic is as follow:

DISC 1

Iconoclast- The beginning is jazzy,proggy and very technical. It reminds me both of Symphony X and Dream Theater. Then Allen releases his bombastic and powerful voice which renders you aware for what is going to be unleashed. Constant changes of rythm and music style along with very heavy/thrashy riffs accompanied by some modern keyboard work and sinister(in terms of emotion,not in performance) classical choirs. One of Symphony X's magnum opuses and ideal opener. My only disagreement in the chorus,too catchy I think. Apart from this a very good song (4.5/5)

End Of Innocence- A typical Symphony X song with catchy keyboard intro and a very characteristic chorus along with accurate rythm section performance and with some inspired riffs and guitar solos. An interesting song but not one of the best. Maybe it ios a problem that I have heard it so many times as it was released more than a month (3.5/5)

Dehumanized- Something different from Symphony X. Mid tempo song with riffs with a doom metal feeling and angry ferocious vocals. The opening riff is one of the discs remarkable moments. This song is the second song released after End of Innocence and it has it's own 'character'. It is a love or hate song. I vote love (4/5)

Bastards Of The Machine- From the beginning you are being ear-raped with very quick keyboard and guitar work. They each fulfill each other with impeccable synchronization and balance. One of the fast killer songs of the album. And a very memorable chorus (4/5)

Heretic- One of my favorites. Mechanical type keyboards,very heavy almost death metal riffs and a very up-tempo song with excellent performance by Allen and Rullo. I do not mention Romeo because his playing ius outstanding. I like very much the ending with the drum parts. A perfect example how heavy metal should be played in 2011. Excellent! (5/5)

Children Of A Faceless God- Did I mention that Allen is singing like an 80's rock singer in many songs? In this song,the chorus proves my allegation and there is a tribute in Ronnie James Dio by the means Allen sings. Mostly mid tempo song with its outbursts and one of the most catchy choruses. The music keeps flowing brilliantly (4.5/5)

When All Is Lost- If you are getting tired by the fast and super heavy riffs this is your chance to relax. Piano intro and a half ballad,half epic song by Symphony X. Their best mellow song till now along with Accolade II. Allen has reached his zenith in terms of vocal performance. It reminds me also The Odyssey due to its epic factor. At last,we discern the work of Michael Lepond in some parts. One of the top notch moments of the album. This is the melodic side of Symphony X,elements that established them as one of the most skillful and harmonic progressive metal bands (5/5)

DISC 2

Electric Messiah- This is of the same material like Bastards of the Machine and Heretic. Furious,aggressive song with mechanical type keyboards and thrashy riffs and drumming. If you like this new direction of Symphony X then you will surely like it. Another very good song (3.5/5)

Prometheus(I Am Alive)- Dark,quite oriental and doom song. Something like dehumanized but more 'infectious' with a groovy chorus. Modern song and different from what Symphony X have got us used t. One of the most interesting moments (4.5/5)

Light Up The night- If you do not own the 2-disc edition then you simply lose a magnificent song. It is again in the vein of heavy, fast songs accompanied by ALlen's very powerful performances. And yes,again very memorable chorus( they have done a very good work in the choruses in almost all of the tracks). One of the nicest parts of the disc comes after Allens sings about destructive destiny and then there is a combination of Romeo/Pinella's solos. Pinella has a strong participation in this song, something right in my opinion. After Heretic maybe the next best killer track (4.5/5)

Lords Of Chaos-It was the time to experience a mediocre song. Even if it begins potentially, it is a more mid tempo song with a quite boring chorus and not the most memorable music. There is a part in the half of its length that has some interesting musical expresses but this is all (2.5/5)

Reign In Madness- The sirst riffs remind me of Metallica which is actually not bad at all. Pinella can be heard in the background with his modern and atmospheric keyboards. After 3:30 Romeo delivers some of his most brutal riffs that simply blow out your mind. Allen growls,screams till 4:50 where Pinella enters with his piano and then there is a very melodic part with Allens softer vocals. And of course it could not finish withous some really heavy riffs and quick bass work.Very satisfying song due to its changes and musc overall (4.5/5)

So, a very good album by Symphony X,maybe a less inferior than Paradise Lost but better in some points such as vocals and some of the killer songs. The album needs to be heard many times before you judge it. So, I judge it as an excellent addition to any heavy metal collection.

PROS -Romeo's guitar and super heavy riffs -Allen's voice, harsh and hard-rock type of singing -Excellent production -Modern sound without sacrificing the music quality -Some very memorable and uptempo parts -A different interesting concept

CONS -Mostly 2-man show(Romeo,Allen) -Lepond cannot be heard in most of teh songs -Maybe there should have been 1-2 more progressive and calm songs(not ballads)

mel from hell | 4/5 |

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