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Symphony X - Iconoclast CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

3.75 | 503 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Block
4 stars So far this year one of my most anticipated releases already turned out to be a dud. That is definitely not the case here. Iconoclast is perhaps one of my favorite albums by Symphony X, with V: The New Mythology Suite at the top of the list. Since V was my introduction into Symphony X it will probably stay at the top of my list, but Iconoclast definitely comes in a close second. One thing I like about this newest Symphony X album is that it is really dark. V was very symphonic and grand, so to say, and then Paradise Lost was a little darker, and now Iconoclast is perhaps the darkest of them all, but is still like V in a way because of its grandness and dark symphonic melodies.

Being the fanboy that I am, I had to get the deluxe edition 2-CD set, and am I glad I did. The three extra songs ("Light up the Night", "The Lords of Chaos", "Reign in Madness") are all exceptional, and I can't imagine the album without them. My favorite of the three is definitely "Reign in Madness" which Michael Romeo, Symphony X guitarist, says "is the proper close to the album". Also, of the three, it seems more symphonic while the others seem to be straight up metal. If you haven't gotten this album yet, the 2-CD package is definitely the way to go; it also is some really cool packaging.

As always the musicianship is absolutely superb on this album. But, to most fans of the band this shouldn't come as a surprise at all. The keyboards on this album, played by Michael Pinnella, are some of the best I've heard in some time, and the wonderful heavy, yet symphonic guitar work from Michael Romeo really backs up Russell Allen's great vocals. As with most of Symphony X's albums you can expect some cheese, but to me it actually adds to the album. Their sound is so original, and well thought out that the cheese, which there isn't much of, makes this album all the better.

My favorite track of the album is "Children of a Faceless God". I just love the riffs and melodies throughout this piece, and Allen's voice is yet again superb on this track. This track is also a very original sounding power metal gem that combines both heavier riffs to go along with softer sounding choruses. Another great track is the prog epic "When All is Lost". The organ work on this song is awesome, to say the least. This album definitely has enough to satisfy any power or prog metal fan out there. Through its 80 some minute play time it stays strong and never gets boring, ever.

I'm happy to say that Symphony X has put out one of the best albums of this year. There is no doubt that this is the best progressive metal release of the year, and definitely one of the best metal releases as well. It has everything a prog metal fan could want; great vocals, complex song structures, very clean production , and wonderful soaring riffs. 4.5 stars are well deserved here for this great album that has landed Symphony X as one of my top bands ever.

The Block | 4/5 |


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