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

V: THE NEW MYTHOLOGY SUITE

Symphony X

 

Progressive Metal

4.16 | 524 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

CaptainWafflos
4 stars One of SYMPHONY X's most appealing factors is that they are technically one of the best metal bands in the world. They are often compared to their contemporaries, DREAM THEATER, for their instrumental virtuosity. There are, of course, many differences between the two bands. SYMPHONY X is more of a neo-classical/power metal influenced band, while DREAM THEATER tends to be a bit jazzier.

Jason Rullo was absent for their previous album, Twilight in Olympus, but returned to record V and future albums.

On to the album itself:

V is probably SYMPHONY X's most steam-lined effort thus far. It takes on a somehow different feel from most of their other albums, sacrificing some metal feel for neo-classical proginess. It is also to date their only concept album. The theme of the album is based on Atlantis, ancient Egyptian mythology, astrology and Edgar Cayce's clairvoyant readings about Atlantean culture, according to SYMPHONY X's web site. SYMPHONY X has been known to include many classical pieces within their music, and this album is the most shining example of this.

Song-by-song breakdown:

Prelude [4/5]: This short piece is essentially the same as "Requiem" by GIUSEPPE VERDI. Good introduction.

Evolution - The Grand Design [4.8/5]: This song is almost played too flawlessly. It gives it almost a mechanical feel. Great song with a great melody. Contains some of the best rhythm guitar I've heard.

Fallen [4.9/5]: This is probably my favorite song on the album. I absolutely love the intro and the way the song progresses. RUSSELL ALLEN's voice here is quite stunning. The solo section 3:30 into the song is loosely based on "Presto" from Concerto for Orchestra by BELA BARTOK. The thing that bothers me about this song is that the chorus is repeated one too many times. Other than that, it is pretty much flawless.

Transcendence [4/5]: Brief segue into Communion in the Oracle. Fairly interesting for such a short piece, but nothing mindblowing.

Communion and the Oracle [4.3/5]: This piece takes a different direction from the first two full-length songs on the album. It's considerably mellower and a bit slower paced. 5:13-6:03 is one of the most majestic parts on this album. Overall, I think this track is a bit boring compared to other tracks on the album, but still excellent nonetheless.

The Bird-Serpent War / Cataclysm [3.9/5]: Overall, this is one of the less interesting tracks on the album. It's more chaotic than the others. Not a bad song in its own right, but it doesn't really hold up against the rest of the album.

On the Breath of Poseidon [4.4/5]: A somewhat brief (for prog) instrumental piece. This, along with "The Death of Balance", is probably the most interesting instrumental on the album. I love the way this song builds into the guitar's introduction at 1:00.

Egypt [4.6/5]: The song, as the name would imply, sounds very Egyptian. The lyrics of this track are probably the most interesting on the album. RUSSELL ALLEN's vocals are splendid on this track.

The Death of Balance / Lacrymosa [4.5/5]: One of the better instrumentals on this album. It basically has three sections: brief synth introduction, drum wankery, and finally SYMPHONY X's rendition of MOZART's well-known "Lacrimosa". JASON RULLO proves that he is a very capable drummer on this track. SYMPHONY X's rendition of "Lacrimosa" is very well done as well.

Absence of Light [3.6/5]: This track could have easily been left off the album. It's not really a bad track in its own right, but it seems like filler compared to the quality of the rest of this album. Probably the worst track here.

A Fool's Paradise [3.9/5]: A step up from "Absence of Light", but still lacking compared to the rest of the album IMO.

Rediscovery [4/5]: A brief segue. Pleasing to listen to. Not much to say here.

Rediscovery Part II - The New Mythology [4.3/5]: The longest track on the album and the album's conclusion. I think this is probably Symphony X's weakest 10 minute+ song, not that that makes it awful. Whenever I hear it, I think, "This song would have been a lot better if it were a few minutes shorter." Still, parts of the song are magnificent, especially the ending.

Overall, Symphony X's music contains a high level of technical virtuosity, along with a tendency to adhere to mythological/medieval themes, and a high-energy progressive power metal style. If these elements are things you look for in music, you will probably enjoy Symphony X.

Overall rating: [4.2/5]

CaptainWafflos | 4/5 |

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