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


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.14 | 626 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Symphony X is the second best prog metal band in the world (who do you think is first?). This album is probably the most well recieved of their six current works, and although it isn't their best album, it is still a masterpiece on so many levels. However, I must say that without the last two tracks, this album would be slightly worse than Twilight in Olympus (about 3.5 stars in my opinion).

There are three types of songs that all Symphony X albums have in common:

Type I: Typical prog/power metal song with an emphasis on metal... these songs are typically album openers. The kind of song that you like after only one spin.

Type II: What I refer to as mini-epics, songs like the Accolade... usually somewhere in the middle of the album, with many different moods and time signatures, much like an epic, but shorter. Some of Symphony X's best works fall into this category.

Type III: The REAL epics. This category only consists of two songs really, and if you are a fan of Syphony X, you already know which two they are... it's not all about track length and division into parts, it's also about being really overwhelming in an emotional way. I don't know about you guys, but when I listen to the Oddysey, I can't help but be drawn into the mood and atmosphere of each of its parts.

Anyway, this album starts off with "Of Sins and Shadows," obviously a Type I song. I loved this song for a while after I got the CD, and I still like it alot, but it doesn't have the lasting appeal of deeper and more epic tracks.

"Sea of Lies" is kind of like the first track, although I don't like it quite as much. A very good fast tempo track with some excellent bass work from Thomas Miller.

"Out of the Ashes" is not really a Type I song; although it isn't extremely deep, it doesn't jump out and grab you as much as the first two tracks do. Even so, it's a great song with more neo-classical keyboard work in it than the previous two.

"The Accolade" is definitely one of Symphony X's best songs, and it falls into the Type II category. It's about a knight who goes to battle and dies in the end... the music is really well done, it sounds like it should be about something medieval even before the vocals come in. By the way, Russel Allen is the best prog metal singer, bar none, and he proves it continuously.

"Pharoah" is a super heavy track with a really cool chorus and some great vocal work, expecially after the second chorus when it gets a bit lighter, but only for a moment.

"Eyes of Medusa" is very heavy and extremely powerful. I like heavy stuff, but I really don't like this song as much as the other songs on the album.

"The Witching Hour" starts off very neo-classically, and it stays that way pretty much throughout. I do like this song, but it is one of the weakest on the album.

"The Divine Wings of Tragedy" is by FAR the best track on the album. The first part is strictly choral and, along with the short second part, serves as an intro. The third part is amazing and showcases some of Allen's best work on the album. The fourth part is longer and heavier, with a 7/4 verse that flows just as easily as 4/4. All of the divisions of this song flow so well together that you won't know you've entered a different part unless you're looking at the booklet. The fifth part is the heaviest of the song, with Allen singing in almost a completely different voice to put an emphasis on the war that this part represents. The next part is the song's largest instrumental break that includes an awesome bass solo. This part goes through quite a few tempo and time signature changes before making its way back to a reprise of the third part. The 11/8 part right before the end is one of the coolest guitar/keyboard parts I've ever heard, and it includes the best guitar solo in the song. The last part is really emotional, and Russel Allen does an amazing job making it sound like it should sound. It ends on an uplifting note, and it really wraps up nicely.

Still, there's one more track, and it's one of Symphony X's softer and best pieces. "Candlelight Fantasia" is kind of like a ballad, but it does pick up after a few minutes, and when it does... it is just awesome. The guitar solo at the end of this song is one of Romeo's best.

In conclusion... I am having trouble deciding what rating to give this album... I find it hard to give it five stars because, although the whole album is awesome, it might is not quite up to the greatness presented by The New Mythology Suite. Even so, this album cemented Symphony X's trademark sound even more so than the Damnation Game created it. I'll give it four stars for now, but I may change my mind later and change it to five.

Edit: You know what, I can't give this album the same rating as I plan on giving Twilight in Olympus, not considering the greatness of the title track... five stars.

Crazybreadhorse | 5/5 |


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