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


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 541 ratings

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5 stars My rating of this album is merely given by assessing the musical quality of this album "AS-IS" without consideration of whether or not a prog album; or is it derivative or not. Yes, there are a lot of influence from other bands or certain type of music. But it would not influence my assessment of the musical quality. Despite the classical music influence as well as metal / power metal bands, it's obvious that this album is influenced by Kansas. Look at track number 4 "Accolade". You can taste the influence right at the beginning of the track. Indeed, the vocal quality of Sir Russell Allen is similar to Steve Walsh; you can find in many passages in this album.

This album blasts off with a technically excellent riffs of "Of Sins and Shadows" in medium / fast tempo with high register voice line of Sir Russell Allen. Some transition pieces reminiscent of symphonic power metal vein. The intertwining keyboard and guitar solos is really excellent with great harmony.

"Sea of Lies" is another technically excellent power metal tune with progressive interlude and transition segments. Again, musically this tune is delivered flawlessly by the band. "Out of the Ashes" is heavily influenced by classical music especially in intro part. "The Accolade" is my all-time favorite. It has a very Kansas-like music especially at the beginning part and in some segments in the track. This track has more prog elements as compared to previous three tracks. The bell tolling in the middle of this track followed by piano and keyboard works augmented by acoustic guitar creates classical image. It's an excellent track.

"Pharaoh" opens with heavy riffs and punchy bass line; performed in fast tempo. "The Eyes of Medusa" is a track with a faster tempo than previous track. This is a perfect tune for those who like heavy riff and head-banging. "The Witching Hour" is an excellent track with neo-classical style. The music is performed in fast tempo in the vein of power metal.

The title track "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" is an epic with 20 minutes duration and seven (7) parts. It starts off with a choir followed with riffs that create a kind like war situation. The music turns fast and it comes back to quieter mood with guitar fills reminiscent of neo progressive vein. The voice line enters during this passage. The composition is made in a way that blend the fast and moderate tempo, high and low voice, quiet and noisy segment. The interlude demonstrates excellent keyboard and guitar solos. It's a fantastic track that I keep repeating because of its tight structure and excellent variations of melody.

"Candlelight Fantasia" concludes the album. It opens with a classical nuance using a combination of acoustic guitar, keyboard and voice line. The first time vocal enters the music reminds me to ELP's tune "The Only Way" from Tarkus album. But it happens in a very short passage beginning and it's most likely a coincidence because the rest is totally different. Unlike most tracks of this album, this one is performed in medium / slow tempo; it's like a ballad rock tune.

Overall, it's a masterpiece album (forget about the intensity of prog elements) and it deserves for 4.75 out of 5 rating. Highly recommended! If you like Dream Theater, Evergrey, Ice Age, Threshold - this album is for you. Keep on progging! - GW, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |


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