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Symphony X - V - The New Mythology Suite CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.13 | 718 ratings

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4 stars It's easy to understand why some long term Symphony X fans have a preference for the older albums. The direction the band have taken on their last two albums Paradise Lost and Iconoclast - Iconoclast in particular, have seen the band moving into less prog territory in favour of a more direct metal approach. Sure there are still prog elements in their sound today but nowhere near as much as on earlier releases of which V: The new Mythology Suite is the pick of the bunch as my favourite. Before continuing though I must state that I'm of the opinion that despite the excellence of this album I do prefer the more streamlined and heavier Symphony X of the last two releases.

Released in 2000 V as has already been said was much more of a prog affair than the band of today. Musically it has a more symphonic approach, the band making more use of the classical influences they are known for. While the music is probably no more complex for the band to play than the newer stuff it does have more twists and turns and dynamics with greater use of light and shade moments. The guitar riffs are very heavy as you would expect but less so than now, though this can probably be put down to the production techniques the band employ these days. Musically it's very inventive with many captivating moments. Strong melodies are not in short supply and Russell Allen was a great vocalist ten years ago, as he is now though with a slightly smoother delivery. It's also worth mentioning Michael Pinnella's keyboards find more space to shine than they do now, taking less of a supporting role.

Being a concept album V is of course best digested as a whole and rather than picking out individual tracks for praise I'll say that as a complete piece it works magnificently. The instrumental parts are more often than not captivating and with a vocalist of Allen's capabilities the vocal parts are no less so and there's also the usual choral sections which when used in moderation like here add another interesting dimension.

It's pleasing to see that as good as this album is the band have grown over recent years and not been content to rest on their laurels. Nevertheless V remains a fitting testimony to the more symphonic prog metal approach of the bands earlier years and as such is an essential purchase for anyone investigating the bands past despite not quite reaching masterpiece status.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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