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


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 536 ratings

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4 stars Divine Wings is without a doubt and by far the finest offering in the Symphony X catalogue. Starting out offensively with three typically heavy songs, of which I find "Sea of Lies" the best, the first classic track follows. It's "Accolade", perhaps the best Symphony X song. The arrangements and structure are pretty impressive, so is Allen's wailing vocal and the melody never stagnates in it's dramatic beauty. It is then followed by two semi-classics in the prog metal genre, "Pharaoh" and "Medusa's Eyes", both combining the heavier with the gentler and more progressive parts successfully. "The Witching Hour" is an amusing little song with some great interplay between Romeo's acoustic and electric guitar and Miller's bass, which is else one of the reasons to enjoy this album. Pinnella tends to get carried away with his lightning fast soloing and that's the only setback. Still he pulls of some decent solos.

Then comes the grand finale, the 20-minute title track. Although it too is undoubtedly a Symphony X classic, it is inevitably too long and the heavy part becomes a little exhausting. The first verse takes my breath away and Russell sings it with such passion and grace that it makes you wonder why this guy isn't more famous than he is. The lyrics are about a divine war that threatens to destroy the world, typical prog stuff. Romeo's solos are outstanding here. Then comes the final song, the lovely ballad "Candlelight Fantasia". Although a part of the melody is obviously borrowed from ELP's "Hymn (The Only Way)", one still has to appreciate the gorgeous melody and another wonderful performance by Sir Russell Allen. He sure does deserve this title. Pinnella throws in some gorgeous piano passages at the end of the first verse, my favourite moment. This song is truly a great way to end such an album and it achieves the right effect.

So if you are looking for an album full of killer ballads and intricate and progressive arrangements, this is the right thing for you. You have to be pro-metal to fully appreciate this album, but I bet "Accolade" and "Candlelight Fantasia" will blow everybody away. Only the first three song are less than great and that is the reason why I didn't give this album 5 stars. Still it's a damn good 4.5.

Aranarth | 4/5 |


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