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


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.14 | 741 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Highly acclaimed follow up to Twilight In Olympus. Is it as really as good as it is believed

V: The New Mythology Suite is another highly acclaimed album from New Jersey metallers Symphony X. The album is as the name implies, a concept album about myths with the diversity of Greece to Egypt. The album also touches on more serious concepts such as evolution and the fall of mankind to Earth. Not a bad lyrical concept, but certainly not the most serious.

I had high expectations considering this is the follow up to my favorite Symphony X album, Twilight In Olympus and it's equally impressive predacessor The Divine Wings of Tragedy. This album doesn't seem to have the same compositional intent as the previous two. How does this bode for the New Jersey boys.

Compared to Twilight In Olympus the album is a slower paced, but heavier effort. There's still some speedy matierial, but the emphasis of composing on this album seems to be taking slower tempos grooves to showcase more of a metal influence. The vocals from Russell Allen reflect this as well. Allen's performance is more aggressive than previous albums. It's good to see that the entire band was heading in the same direction, but was this a good direction?

Romeo's performance is key to any Symphony X album. As I said earlier this album is a slower paced and heavier album. This is most indicitive by Romeo's performance. Romeo use the lower range of his guitar much more on this album than previous ones. Songs like Egypt, a Fool's Paradise, and Rediscovery of course showcase the best of Romeo's talents on this album. On the other hand songs like Abscence of Light and Fallen are unimpressive. There's some strong solo work different from previous albums possibly because of the rythymnic difference, but that doesn't necessarily mean the solos are any better than previous albums.

Pinella's performance is key to any Symphony X album as well. His production was definately better on this album than previous ones. Sadly his playing did not see such improvement. Pinella uses creative synth sounds, and once again displays incredible functionality as a keyboardist playing so many roles. The weakeness is his lack of variation. I can't distinguish between well...any of Pinella's solos. He has good chops, good synth sounds and feel, but lacks the lead creativity.

Michael LePond takes over for Thomas Miller on this album. He had some big shoes to fill. He dissapointed me and didn't fill them. Previous Symphony X albums had excellent bass fills and solos by former bassist Thomas Miller. LePond is unable to do such things. Other than the tapping spot in Egypt, I find LePond to be devoid of Miller's creative and technical talents. LePond was the weakest part of the album musically.

This album also features the return of drummer Jason Rullo. (Thomas Walling played on Twilight In Olympus) Rullo does a solid metal performance. It's not the greatest or most variant performance by a drummer, but it's more than good enough to suit the band. He does some flashy fills, but generally keeps the beats to solid metal styles. Ballads however are a different story. Rullo's performance on ballads like Communion and the Oracle feature his strongest work on the album.

The production is terrible. Romeo's guitar is weak tonally, but too strong in the mix. A more detailed explanation would say that Romeo's guitar is overdistorted and lacks suffiecient equalization. The lows are too strong and the highs and mids are far too weak. The guitar is also too loud for it's poor tone quality and covers up the other parts of the band. The keyboards sound better than any previous Symphony X album, the lone production achievement. The bass is not present in the mix, and the drums sound too much like a typical metal recording. Bad production, but good keyboards.

It's a two star effort. The production could have boosted it to three easily. Why, because the way a band sounds is important. Good players always prevail, but production can always help them. The album lacks suffiecent musical quality for more stars. Other than the epic Rediscovery, the creative and impressive tracks are few and far between.

AtLossForWords | 2/5 |


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