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Symphony X - Iconoclast CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

3.78 | 467 ratings

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4 stars This album has been with me couple of months already and only now I have a chance to write my view about this one. Let me tell you why it has taken so long for me to write about this latest album by Symphony X - it's just for a simple reason: almost all tracks are truly metal or heavy compositions. The first spin of the album created an impression: when these guys would provide me a room to breathe as from opening track to five tracks they bombard me with heavy music. Yes. I was not originated from metal side of prog music, that's why listening to this album at the first time created me a feeling of being tired and waiting for when the torture would end? So then, I did not spin this album for quite sometimes until last week when I was driving alone in my car I played this album loud. Wow man! It's so energetic and I enjoyed the music very much even though most of them a re heavy tracks. Yes, this is considered as metal progressive album as so many metal elements, may be 60- 70% and some prog elements (the rest).

The turning point of this album was when I listened to third track Dehumanized (6:48). Yeah, I really love the musical riffs resulted from guitar work and make me really energized with the music. And then I also enjoyed another heavier track Bastards Of The Machine (4:56). These two tracks really introduced me to enjoy more this album. So after that experience I finally re- spin the album and found out the whole album comprising beautifully composed metal progressive music. Yes I find the heavy components of this album mostly are demonstrated by the heavy guitar riffs backed with drums and bass guitar. But not only that, there were many inventive keyboard solos that enrich the overall musical composition.

For some reason, since the band's Odyssey album I found that Symphony X was something to me like Kansas plays metal because the voice quality of Russell Allen is quite similar with Steve Walsh when Allen is not screaming. Try the seventh track When All Is Lost (9:10) and observe the first lyrical verse sung by Allen - you will find the similarity of Symphony X with Kansas. Of course their music are completely different.

Well, most people always compare this band with Dream Theater even though to me these two bands sound different. Just compare to recent Dream Theater's album A Dramatic Turn of Events - you would hardly find where they share similar vein. That's why I never compare the music of Symphony X with DT.

But I have to admit this album is really excellent as it has everything you need in melody as every single track has its own good to excellent melody - name any track! The harmonies created through bass guitar, drums, guitar, keyboards and vocal are really great from one passage to another - all are mostly delivered in relatively fast speed. There are many changes of styles and moods in any track and there are elements of complexities in any segment. As an album this one has structural integrity where the whole album is cohesive as an album.

Overall - it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Enjoy the intertwined guitar and keyboard work of Michael romeo and Michael Pinella. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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