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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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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars When Neo Prog Meets Prog Met

"Gatot, I'm sure you would enjoy this album because some keyboard punches and melodies lend the nuances from early Marillion style .!", that's how my prog colleague down here introduced me with the band and this album couple of years ago. I did not purchase the CD yet because at the time I was so crazy with Rhapsody's third album "Dawn of Victory" and was amazed on how the orchestral arrangements were blended nicely with power metal music characterized with hard etched guitar riffs. Well, everybody in our local community of prog knew very well that I'm a great fan of early Marillion and they were very happy (and surprised!) that I could enjoy the music of Rhapsody. That's why they tried to influence me to purchase this CD. Couple of weeks later I purchased the CD and my reaction was :"Gee.!!! This is the kind of music I want to enjoy!!!". Yeah, they're right, there are some early Marillion styles in some musical segments spread around the tracks of this album.

This album became my favorite since the first time I spun it until now. And I don't know why I have not reviewed it yet at this site. As you know, prog is contagious. The only trigger that makes me writing this review is due to a new radio program at PRO 2 FM 105 in Jakarta where they feature progressive rock music for two hours every Friday. It's like a dream when last night I listened to "The Accolade" (Symphony X), "Never Learn To Fly" (bonus track, Japanese edition of Pain of Salvation's "Entropia"), Dream Theater and Planet X were featured in the radio program. Yeah man . long live progrock!. Well, sorry for the long introduction but it boils down into one thing, philosophically, that talking about prog music should also include the nuances, the climate, the surroundings (not only the music) which things build into one: delightful experience. That's why I need to share this with all of you to give a bit of background on subtleties pertinent to progrock music. And specific to last night surprise listening to prog on the air I was actually in nggeblak state of mind - it's basically a state when you feel comfortably numb enjoying the beauty of prog music. Keep on proggin' .!!!

Let's talk about this album per se .

First off - I love the artwork of this cover. It's simple and it's really a prog cover! Dunno why I always like the cover with people using mask or something like Jester (Script of Marillion). Illustration was done by Kazuo Hakamada and design by Tomoko Hakamada. Great! The music? Masterpiece! It does not give me a chance to breathe whenever I enjoy this album. I always spin this CD in its entirety because I really enjoy how the band brings their music dynamically from start of the album until finish. It blasts off with a great church organ and choir style of "Prelude" in a very high energy spectrum. This opening track creates wonderful space effects when I play in high volume (preferred). The double pedal bass drum played in fast tempo gives enough impression of power metal. It flows with a sudden silence followed with heavy riffs music combining guitar, drum and bass that remark the next rack "Evolution (The Grand Design)" . Those of you who are familiar with power metal style would love this track right away. The beauty of this song is the symphonic nature of keyboard sounds despite fast speed music at fore front. Russell Allen's vocal is powerful and pretty clean throughout this song. The interlude part which demonstrates a combination of Michael Romeo' guitar solo and Michael Pinnella keyboard is an excellent part.

Wonderful! The music continues seamlessly to soft keyboard work in the vein of neo prog music as intro part of "Fallen" (5:51). Oh man . this transition piece really kills me to the bone man! It then transforms into guitar riffs wonderfully. It's an interesting track. The music and lyrics during the singing part with "Tonight Darkness will shadow the light" is a memorable part. The short piece "Transcendence" (0:38) provides a bridge to an excellent neo prog part intro of "Communion and the Oracle" (7:45) . Again, the band tries to kill me with this wonderful melody combining piano, acoustic guitar, keyboard and violin. Nggeblak! . When Rusell Allen voice enters it gives a kind of Kansas music. This track is very accessible to many people, I think, because the music is not as heavy as typical progmet music. For those who love Kansas would definitely enjoy this track. The guitar solo and keyboard solo are stunning.

The heavy guitar riffs and symphonic keyboard sound bring "The Bird-Serpent War / Cataclysm" (3:59) in a dynamic style by maintaining the core style of Symphony X's music: keyboard at background. The albums gives a chance to musical break with relatively mellow opening part of "On the Breath of Poseidon" (3:04) which has some theatrical nuance - as if we're watching Lord of the Rings movie. As the name implies the band gives a truly good emulation of eastern music using a kind of acoustic guitar / mandolin in "Egypt" (7:04) . It's a beautifully composed music that gives the album a rich variation of textures. "Death of Balance / Lacrymosa" (3:42) is another bridge that gives another theatrical impact with great combination of guitar riffs, powerful bass lines (Michael LePond) and energetic drumming by Jason Rullo. Another beautifully composed instrumental track with excellent choral section, in church style.

The remaining tracks "Absence of Light" (4:58) (great pulsating keyboard solo backed with heavy riffs), "A Fool's Paradise" (5:48) (relatively fast tempo track), "Rediscovery pt I and II" (great concluding track with relatively long duration) are all excellent tracks.

It's a bit hard to find which part this album lacks because everything has been crafted to perfection. The only problem - most probably - if you don't get used to heavier side of prog music like Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery, Pain of Salvation, Opeth, Evergrey, etc. But if you like such bands like I do, you would definitely categorize this album as a full five stars album! Yeah, it's highly recommended. For those who are familiar with neo prog would be comfortable with some segments this album offers. Keep on proggin' ..!

"Choose the way, five paths there for you to find turn the page, the question lies between the lines can we change?" - Rediscovery - The New Mythology.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 5/5 |


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