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Symphony X - Iconoclast CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

3.78 | 467 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars So Symphony X hadn't released anything for four years. So this album was extremely anticipated by most Symphony X fans. They did a terrific job teasing for many months until the album dropped, but the few songs they released were pretty standard and generic SX songs and one could basically only wait for the album to make a fair judgement. There are two versions of the album, a one disc and a two disc version - and there might be a reason for just getting the one disc version after all - and you'll see why below.

So the album drops, and the first track and also title track is absolutely mindblowing. It presents a lot of what Symphony X does best in the heavy department, and the riffage is absolutely brilliant. The complexity of the riffs and the almost screaming vocals work for this song perfectly. It is also the longest track on the album. The next two songs are the previously released, and they're fairly generic but the solo's are definitely really good. Then the heavy onslaught continues.

The songs remain consistently heavy and generic, and sound just like typical generic Symphony X songs. The heaviness never stops, and all the songs sound alike - which is a really sad thing. There is an obvious exception to this though, that's the track When All Is Lost, the seventh track and last track on the first of the two discs in the special two-disc version. That track displays EVERYTHING Symphony X does best. Very mellow opening but evolves into a Symphony X style ballad, and the piano dances around Michael Romeo's guitar riffs. And we also get some REAL singing by Allen, in contrast to the near growling on the other tunes. The break in the middle of the song has a real epic 70's feel with the organ and the solo's are wonderful. But this is just a temporary high point.

The second disc fails to do anything noteworthy in catching the attention of the listener, except for the last track Reign in Madness. They are all just heavy typical SX songs that we've heard before. The riffs are just rehashed riffs that we've heard on previous releases. Some riffs sound like they come straight off of Twilight in Olympus or V and they don't bring anything new to the table.

The album also feels like a really lengthy affair, event though it's a fairly standard length for prog metal. The problem is that it's all too same so it gets old. And it gets old pretty fast. I would have given this a two star if it weren't for the title track and When All Is Lost, and possible Reign in Madness which has its fair share of bright moments. This is why the one disc version might be a better listen, it's more condensed and it's not as consistently generically heavy.

Three stars, because of the few wonderful parts of this album.

jsem | 3/5 |


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