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Symphony X - The Odyssey CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

3.95 | 526 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars The Odyssey is the follow up to the impressive V: The New Mythology Suite and I was hoping that the band would be able to maintain the level of creativity and all round strength that they had shown to possess on that album. Sadly what I got was the most disappointing album since I bought Dream Theater's Octavarium. Effectively the band has gone backwards, rehashing what they had already done on Twilight In Olympus and The Divine Wings Of Tragedy.

The only part of this album that seems to retain the level that the band had attained on the previous album is the title track, and album closer, The Odyssey. This a 24 minute, seven part epic telling the story of Odysseus from Homer's Odyssey. A stunning track that makes use of the Orchestral samples that were put to good use on the previous album, only with added Horns, and flows from section to section telling the story, from Troy through The Cyclops and finishing in Ithica very well.

On this album, those that are familiar with the music of Symphony X will notice that the guitars have a heavier feel, and Russell Allen has a much harsher sound to his voice as Michael Romeo attempted to create a much harsher sounding album. To be honest, they failed in this. Small changes like this don't change the fact that the music is the same kind of stuff they were playing on most of their albums. As is now apparently standard on any Symphony X album, there are a number of small, essentially power metal, songs that aren't prog and three full prog songs.

On previous albums these prog songs would be very much the highlight of the album, and so they are here. Accolade II is a follow on from The Accolade, off the Divine Wings. album, even using some of the lyrics of that song. However, were The Accolade is a brilliant piece of prog metal, Accolade II comes across as being just average, with the band on in uninspired form.

Of the next of the prog songs, Awakenings is the first song on the album for bass player Michael LePond to actually show that he has some talent. Interesting fills and a creative rhythm show that he does know how to get something good out of that bass of his, its just a shame that it took him seven songs to get there. Indeed on most of the songs on this album he is completely anonymous and clearly a poor replacement for the now long departed Thomas Miller. Awakenings is a good effort, though, along with The Odyssey, showing that the band still knows how to create good songs.

Of the remaining songs, though many of them appear to have been derived from other famous books, they all sound like standard fantasy fare for Symphony X and just a rehash of what they have already done. OK, with the exception of the already mentioned Michael LePond, none of the musicians lacks for anything in the technical department. Indeed, Michael's Romeo and Pinella are both on fine form performance wise, at lest those parts that Pinella shines out of the background at least, but its just a case of "we've heard it all before, and better". And its that better part that makes the big difference, because the band is looser and sound like they have gone back 8 years to being rookies at the music biz.

I'll give this album only 2 stars as its nearly the same as Divine Wings. and Twilight In Olympus, only with worse bass playing. Most definitely for fans only.

sleeper | 2/5 |


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