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Symphony X - Iconoclast CD (album) cover

ICONOCLAST

Symphony X

 

Progressive Metal

3.79 | 377 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Mystical
4 stars Incredible.

On first listen, this album didn't strike any major chords. But this album is a grower. After a few listens, I realised that this album is something really special.

The album is a concept album, which singer Russell Allen said in an interview was based upon "the idea of machines taking over everything, and all this technology we put our society into pretty much being our demise." He also said that the album didn't really have a storyline, instead a concept. The listening experience for me is quite an adventurous one, and I think many will agree with me.

What has made me sceptical of the reviewers of this album more than anything else, is the fact that they say this album is lyrically flawed. This album has a stronger theme than any of Symphony X's previous albums, and the lyrics brilliantly communicate it with anger and emotion, and they leave the story open to interpretation, which I think is a great way to make an album really speak to someone. I think they musically hit the theme spot on, with the music being heavy and angry, yet emotional with hints of hopefulness.

The opening title track is probably the greatest track on the album, but this in no way detracts from the rest of the album. In fact, if you are a real fan of this album, it will just leave you stunned. The opening riff is a summary of what i to come; unexpected, chilling, heavy, somewhat exotic, and completely crazy. The orchestral backing strengthens the rest of the track musically, delivering a powerful and unique punch. Russell Allen's vocals are spot on as ever, and I can think of no other vocalist that could bring what he has bought to Symphony X in this release.

"The End of Innocence" is a great, and the string line is something very special. "Dehumanised" is another key track and lyrically one of the best. The chorus is just incredible, Russell sings with more passion and emotion than we have seen in any prog vocals within the last few years. "Children of a Faceless God" is one of the heavier tracks, with some truly incredible riffs, and some stunning lyrics. "When All is Lost" is beautiful and heavy, and I am sure many people will find this to be the greatest track on the album. "Reign in Madness" is an epic track, a true finale. Here we see many of the previous musical motifs repeated with gusto.

I would highly recommend this album to ANY fan of Prog Metal or Heavy Metal. The digi-book packaging of the special edition is also quite collectable, and although I usually prefer vinyl by tenfold, the CD sound really suits this release. I do know that a vinyl edition is available, and is a fairly reasonable price for those wanting a collectable edition.

4.5 stars.

The Mystical | 4/5 |

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