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Symphony X - The Divine Wings Of Tragedy CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 535 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" released in 1997 set new norms in the world of Symphonic Progressive Metal. Symphony X successfully managed to get Power Metal and Progressive Metal together with no signs of boredom and an incredible longevity. Every musician is awesome, and Symphony X connects a high level of technique with no points of getting lost and wonderful melodies. Unfortunately the sounds isn't as good as this of "V" or "The Odyssey" but the stunning technique, the longevity and the melodies compensate that.

The album starts of with "Of Sins And Shadows", heavy riffing and a beautiful keyboardline working up to the amazing battle between the guitar and the keyboard, on of Symphony X's best solos.

After that you can hear "Sea Of Lies" with an interesting bass line, afterwards played by the guitar, a "heavy" verse and chorus, a "light" part and a fine guitar solo, with a nice tapping part.

"Out of the Ashes" reminds a bit of Yngwie Malmsteen, I guess one of MJR's role models, with this classical guitar part at the beginning. This is one of Symphony X's most straight songs, not very complex but with a nice melody and a far more power metal song than progressive.

"The Accolade" is one of Symphony X's songs. I know it's a bit inspired but has its own genious feeling/atmosphere. A typical sign of Symphony X is the acoustic arpeggio at the beginning. Then the keyboard joins and the other instruments and finally the fantastic Russell Allen, one of the best male vocalists I know. A marvellous melody within the verse and the chorus until another guitar-keyboard battle and thereafter a symphonic interlude. The only thing annoying me here are the monotone drums.

"The Pharaoh" has a wonderful bass sequence, a heavy aggressive chorus, but designed like Sea of Lies : Bass-verse-chorus-light part-solo. The solo is fantastic. The keyboard plays a normal solo, but the guitar plays around that and so they create a bodacious atmosphere.

"The Eyes of Medusa" is again a heavy song with a brilliant keyboard line. As well as in "The Accolade" there's a symphonic session here as well.

"The Witching Hour" starts, like "Out of the Ashes" with a guitar solo, that represents the title perfectly, as well as the whole song does.

Subsequently the Highlight of the album follows. The title track "The Divine Wings of Tragedy"! The beginning is a cover of Gustav Holst's song "Mars". After the first part, there is an arpeggio by the guitar and the keyboard. A soft verse follows and it develops to get heavier until the fantastic bass solo. A solo session afterwards and then the heaviest verse of Symphony X ever. After that the instrumental part follows with a nice powerchords-bass solo sequence and the highlight, a stunning symphonic part again. A great vocal-synthesizer part closes this genious song.

"Candlelight Fantasia", dealing with the topic of an misunderstood composer, is one of Symphony X's softer songs. As well as "The Accolade" it starts with an arpeggio, an atmospheric slow solo and then as usual a verse and a chorus, a bit heavier verse and the fast wonderful solo session and with another chorus that fades slowly this amazing album ends.

Symphony X took 2 years to write it and they created a fantastic, varied, melodic but at the same time very virtuous/technical and a trend-setting album, that set the way for other great albums by one of the best progressive metal bands of the world! I gave it five stars because it is not a masterpiece! There are so less albums which deserve to be called "Masterpiece"! Many people disregard that!

W.Chuck | 4/5 |


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