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THE ODYSSEY

Symphony X

Progressive Metal


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Symphony X The Odyssey album cover
3.93 | 436 ratings | 79 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Inferno (5:32)
2. Wicked (5:32)
3. Incantations Of The Apprentice (4:21)
4. Accolade II (7:06)
5. King Of Terrors (6:19)
6. The Turning (4:44)
7. Awakenings (8:21)
8. The Odyssey (24:09)
- Part I: Odysseus Theme / Overture
- Part II: Journey To Ithaca
- Part III: The Eye
- Part IV: Circe (Daughter Of The Sun)
- Part V: Sirens
- Part VI: Scylla And Charybdis
- Part VII: The Fate Of The Suitors / Champion Of Ithaca

Total Time: 66:57

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Romeo / guitars
- Russel Allen / vocals
- Michael Pinella / keyboards
- Michael LePond / bass
- Jason Rullo / drums

Releases information

Inside Out #IOMACD 2044-2

Limited edition: 2002 Inside Out IOMLTDCD 109 with bonus track Masquerade (6:01)
Japanese Import with bonus track Frontiers (4:50)

In some versions the song Accolade II have 7:50 and not 7:06.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to ccvp for the last updates
Edit this entry

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SYMPHONY X The Odyssey ratings distribution


3.93
(436 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
37%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (17%)
17%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

SYMPHONY X The Odyssey reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Where's the symphony?

An ambitious project for Symphony X, "The Odyssey" sees the band experimenting further with the progressive side of metal. The main feature of the album is the 24 minute "Odyssey" Suite. This is made up of seven sections but it is essentially one track. For such a lengthy piece, it wanders somewhat, appearing at times to concentrate more on telling the story than on the music itself.

Other than "Odyssey", there are 7 tracks on the standard release (there is also a special edition with one bonus live track). Of these, "Accolade II" is best. It's slightly slower, and contains the symphonic overtones of previous albums, combined with some excellent lead guitar. The other tracks are mainly symphonic prog metal by the numbers.

Throughout the album, heavy riffs abound, combined with ultra fast guitar solos, and backed by double paced drums, but there's a lack of originality. The symphonic pomposity which made previous albums so striking and different is largely suppressed in favour of more conventional metal. In general with this album, while it has its highlights, the band appear to have overlooked the fact that fast guitars and lots of notes do not in themselves necessarily make for good compositions. Good, but by no means their best.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#15870) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004

Review by frenchie
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I am a huge dream theater fan and i will overlook the fact that this band are practically clones of dream theater and have to many "similarities" that its just silly. But that aside, The Odyssey is an original and strong set of songs. The vocals, i agree, are very over the top at times but it seems to fit with their style of music, making everything about them seem evil. His voice is pretty similar to dream theater yet unique with his own styles. The lyrics are more supernatural and fantasy based than dream theater, giving the album an evil edge but it would be nicer to see real life situations being tackled here.

"Inferno" is a beast of an opening track with the incredibly speedy guitar riffs, gruff vocals and metal harmony. The album starts to mellow a little bit with the similar flow on "Wicked" but the album starts heading in a different direction when it reaches "Incantations of the Apprentice". "Accolade II" is the first song that really pushes the keyboard skills and it serves as an excellent sidekick to the guitar riffs and solos. This is probably the most sorrowful song on the album which slightly gives the album a bit of balance and variety. The odyssey's main purpose though is to provide pure progressive metal which it does well, whilst dream theater like to experiment on each album, which goes down better with most people. "King of Terrors" is a brilliant way of kicking off the second half of the album, with its evil piano pieces and bold guitar riffage. "The Turning" keeps the solid flow going but it starts to feel a little more repititive and less impressive, although this is a great song. "Awakenings" is much better and begins to blend mellow and heavy pieces together. The vocals here are at their best on the whole album (probably because they aren't as majestic and dramatic). "The Odyssey" is one of the most impressive suites i have heard because it manages to pull the listener in right away where as most suites require patience as they gradually build up to better things (eg. "Atom Heart Mother", "And You And I", "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence"). This song unexplainable manages to have a Greek feel to it which fits in perfectly with its Greek god odyssey concept. This album probably manages to go down well with Dream Theater fans, despite the large array of annoying borrowed and unoriginal similarities. Still i would recomend "Images and Words" and "Awake" first because Symphony x are just re-inventing Dream Theaters created sound.

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Send comments to frenchie (BETA) | Report this review (#15878) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 09, 2004

Review by Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This must be the year for prolific progressive rock releases. SYMPHONY X has released a blockbuster recording called "The Odyssey". It is a concept album inspired by Greek mythology or possibly the movie Jason And The Argonauts or something similar. One never knows what inspirations or driving forces an artist has upon completion of important musical works such as this, I can only look so far into what is behind the music itself. I can you tell this much, this band really dug in and made this their ultimate effort in the studio thus far. To coin a phrase... I would call this near death-metal-progressive rock. They key word here is near. Their style is hard to pin down. In a passing moment they sound like a complex Ronnie James Dio band then a mellower progressive rock in a YES kind of way. It sounds intricate, complicated, and interesting does it not? Well it is certainly all of that and more.

This striving venture is broken down into eight different segments, the eighth track being the most crucial to completing the story. Track 8 has seven individual parts all pieced together and segued to form one daunting composition. Russell Allen, the lead vocalist, has an impressive range. He can get down and dirty with a death growl or sing as smooth and dreamy as Jon ANDERSON. This band demands that kind of elasticity in a lead singer because their music has so many different atmospheres and textures that change during a song. What is nice to see are the members of the band getting in on the production of their own recording, besides having more control of their work it shows a definite concern for the quality of their product. That I feel is very important in the increasingly competitive field of music.

So there you have it, not a boring track-by-track breakdown, but a synopsis of the entire album and what to expect when you give it a spin yourself. If you are a metal head, prog- rock fanatic, guitar aficionado, or you just like to rock and stomp your feet and bang your fist against the wall, this music will give you the outlet for a complete release of energy, good or bad. The result is you get a therapeutic experience that sounds awesome.

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#15888) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 31, 2005

Review by FloydWright
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Although it's very hard for me to say this as an avid SYMPHONY X fan, I cannot understand why this album is being compared in the "Key Albums" section to V: The New Mythology Suite and The Divine Wings of Tragedy. The truth is, there is little comparison at all. In fact, The Odyssey is the reason I almost didn't become a SYMPHONY X fan at all. While in retrospect I can see that many things did improve greatly on The Odyssey from prior albums, I can also tell that there was a serious decline in some other aspects, one that I hope will not carry on to other albums. While parts of it are stunning to a degree thus far unmet in previous albums, other parts detract so severely that I find myself unable to listen to it very often at all...or having to skip songs if I do. I can't give this album 2 stars because of how good the good parts are; it would be unfair. However, there is no way I could justify even 4 stars...this is not the album to start out with, regardless of what many people say.

Some people are going to scream when I give Symphony X, their first album, the same rating as this. The difference is, when a band is just starting out, they deserve to be cut some slack due to inexperience and lack of resources. When a band is as far along as SYMPHONY X is now, they should know better. Knowing the full history of the band on one hand makes certain aspects of The Odyssey all the more incredible...and other parts all the more disappointing. I offer the perspective of someone who knows the entire SYMPHONY X catalogue instead of someone who just picked this one up without any idea of the rest of their accomplishments. I suspect Bob McBeath has a similar perspective, and you should pay attention to his words in addition to mine.

On one hand, the sound quality has jumped dramatically in quality. In fact, it's my suspicion that it's this fact alone that has garnered The Odyssey so much attention in comparison to the other albums. For one thing, it seems like keyboardist MICHAEL PINNELLA has bought a new synth and he uses it to great effect...in fact, he and MICHAEL ROMEO may even be using samples for some parts of the orchestra in the title track especially, which become so realistic I literally cannot tell for sure whether they're samples or synth tones. The general production has much more of an almost "surround-sound" aspect to it, for lack of better words, that I noticed immediately. On songs like "The Odyssey", this had a particularly stunning effect. There are subtle intros and outros that we've never heard before, vocal echoes that would've been imperceptible on earlier albums but have a chilling effect on this one, and other interesting studio tricks that they must have lacked the resources for in the past. From a technical standpoint, although it's hard to believe, all of the musicians--especially ROMEO and PINNELLA--are actually showing improvements. This is all the more stunning considering how skilled they all were to begin with--yet it's noticeable here that they've come along even further!

The trouble was, the album was quite simply too long and almost seems to have been recorded in two different sessions--one with very good production and technique, and one that really seems to be a wrong turn for SYMPHONY X. Unfortunately, on some of these tracks--the ones that I suspect came from an entirely different session!--ROMEO's guitar and RULLO's drums are mixed so prominently that PINNELLA becomes inaudible. I literally wound up with a headache from trying to turn these songs up to hear PINNELLA but being forced to turn them back down because it feels like ROMEO and RULLO are beating out a rhythm on my skull. To be honest, this almost pseudo-Metallica or Train of Thought kind of approach is not what I listen to SYMPHONY X for. It's not that I don't like harder metal...in fact, I really do...the problem is SYMPHONY X apparently trying to change their signature sound in places, but what they really end up doing is destroying it. In fact, I could've done without "The Turning" entirely, and perhaps one or two other songs like "Inferno" and "Wicked", though they are less annoying than "The Turning".

Yet where they do keep their "true" sound, the results are absolutely stunning. On the very good songs, PINNELLA's new synth is shown off to great effect, and what's more, he seems to have developed a more emotional, touching piano technique which appears in songs like "Accolade II", "Awakenings", and "The Odyssey" itself. The strings on "King of Terrors" demonstrate very well what he can do in a much harsher setting, as well as the excellent remake of "Masquerade". The orchestrations are nothing short of incredible, and I think that if you already know you like SYMPHONY X, this album is worth getting for these songs. Unfortunately, thanks to the more unremarkable tracks and the ones that just do not sound like what SYMPHONY X ought to be at all, I can only conclude that this album is highly overrated.

I cannot emphasize it more--make sure you start with V: The New Mythology Suite or The Divine Wings of Tragedy, not this one. I almost gave up on the band entirely because of this, and if I hadn't happened to have spotted V, I know that I would not have even come to discover the good parts (and when they're good, they're very good!) of this album.

(Note: it's said that the sound quality will be--somehow!--even better on the next SYMPHONY X album. But it's also said that the sound will be darker. One hopes that this will mean "darker" in terms of "atmospheric" like Twilight in Olympus and not just harder like this one.)

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Send comments to FloydWright (BETA) | Report this review (#15893) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 14, 2005

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is a really excellent metal album. The discussion about it being inferior to V or Divine Wings reminds me of the Dream Theater: Train Of Thought discussions. The albums are quite similar in their effects on fans and critics.

I think that while it is not as good as V or Divine Wings, The Odyssey is slightly better than Twilight in Olympus. There are no weak tracks, but apparently some are more prog and some more metal. The

epic, Awakenings and Accolade II are standout prog tracks, ALL of the other tracks are wonderful (power) metal songs.

The band is playing very tight, and - again very much like Train Of Thought - the keyboards not very prominent ... but they're there, it all blends nicely into a power metal onslaught, culminating in a symphonic epic (sadly, the classical instruments are samples).

The limited edition also features the older track Masquerade as a bonus, re-recorded with Russell Allen vocals and a nice symphonic intro.

The Turning: I really like the Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde concept here.

Masquerade: This version is really much better than the original one. It's not just the vocals and production quality - the arrangements have been upgraded, too.

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Send comments to MikeEnRegalia (BETA) | Report this review (#35148) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 03, 2005

Review by Vanwarp
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Founded in 1994, New Jersey progressive symphonic metal veterans Symphony X have consistently released one excellent album after another.

Known mostly over the years for their grand technical and symphonic concept albums, Symphony X decided that a more straight forward back to metal basics approach was in order for The Odyssey. Crunchy riff driven songs with a more aggressive vocal style, just what the progressive symphonic metal fan was looking for. Well, that's maybe not quite right. Although there is plenty of keyboards that still bear the trademark Symphony X sound, lets just say The Odyssey is more guitar and less keyboard oriented than past releases.

The Odyssey does not begin with an instrumental piece but with a furious opening track entitled "Inferno (Unleash the Fire)"...the listener is immediately assaulted with a blistering guitar lick which leads into a very intense musical moment. In fact, the whole track maintains much of the intensity that is created in the first 30 seconds of the song. Russel Allen's voice has never sounded better and his performance throughout the album is simply brilliant.

The tale continues where "Inferno" left off with more mind blowing speedy guitar riffs, some beautiful relaxed piano passages, frantic pounding drums with complimenting bass lines that all comes together in a most magnificent kind of way. Let me say this one last time, The Odyssey is heavier than past releases and simply a formidable guitar driven album.

Every track tells a story from the opening song to the final Odyssey. This epic title track is divided into seven coherent and seamless parts that deals with the poem "The Iliad" by Greek writer Homerus.

Still thinking of holding out for something better in this genre? I think you should reconsider, especially if you like complex song structures, fluid keyboard lines, crunchy/aggressive guitar riffs, superb solos with some excellent vocals to boot, then The Odyssey is just perfect for you!

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Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Review by TheProgtologist
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "The Odyssey" is,in my opinion,the heaviest album in Symphony X's discography. and the rawest too.It was guitarist and main man Michael Romeo's idea to go slightly off the beaten path and try a rawer approach, in the instrumental as well as in the vocal department.Instrumentally, this change of direction can be heard in the numerous riffs that characterise most of the songs on "The Odyssey". These guitar riffs give the still very recognisable Symphony X sound a light touch of thrash, especially on the opening track "Inferno (Unleash The Fire)" and "King Of Terrors", which I think is the heaviest song this band has ever recorded. It's also on these songs that Russell Allen could amuse himself making his vocal lines more direct and rawer. But of course, there was still plenty of room left on the disc to please those who prefer the 'old' type of material, which makes this album a varied product. "Wicked", "The Turning" and "Awakenings" are genuine and traditional Symphony X songs offering melody and emotion, while the impressive power ballad "Accolade II" is the sequel to the eponymous song that was on 1995's "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy". But the eye-catcher is the dramatic title track. With its length of over 24 minutes, "The Odyssey" is comprised of six parts that together tell the ancient Greek legend. The countless classical pieces in this song reminded me a lot of "V" by the way. I think the step from the sublime "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" to the - in my view equally heavy - "Twilight In Olympus" was a harder one to take for many among us. After the orchestral "V", this more direct "The Odyssey" is just the logical next step in the impressive career of Symphony X, who have placed themselves among the biggest bands in the prog metal genre An excellent addition to any progressive metal fans collection,4 stars.

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Posted Thursday, November 03, 2005

Review by AtLossForWords
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Blockbuster release from Symphony X leaves much to be desired.

The Odyssey by Symphony X is the band's follow up to the well recieved V. The Odyssey shows Symphony X in a much different vein. A vein that I do not percieve as positive.

The album lacks variation. The title track and Accolade II are the lone tracks on the album that I find to be Progressive works of music.

The guitar tone from Romeo is much stronger on this album, but lacks clarity. The influence of Dimebag on Mike Romeo shows much more on this album than on previous albums. Romeo's playing has never been the clearest, but this album shows less clarity and musicality than any previous efforts.

Russell Allen's vocals are at their worst as well. The graceful tones heard of The Divine Wings of Tragedy and Twilight in Olympus are no where to be found here. Instead Allen decides to show a more rugged side of yells and angst.

Other than the two tracks mentioned above I have little to compliment on the composing. Wicked is an awful track with harmonics as almost every other note. King of Terrors can't be even be considered Progressive, most of this album is just plain Heavy Metal. The attempt at a ballad, Awakenings acts as more of a boring lullaby song than an emotional ballad.

This album has very few positive aspects. This album would only get one star if there was an option for zero.

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Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Review by King of Loss
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Odyssey is Symphony X's 2002 release (Why Hasn't a new album been released yet!) and I must say it is by far their heaviest and contains a massive epic called no other than THE ODYSSEY!

This album starts off with Inferno, a heavy Thrashier opener with the memorable vocals by singer Russell Allen yelling out the words, "WELCOME TO THE ANARCHY" and then a heavy riff starts. Overall, the first song isn't so bad, much better than an opener like Of Sins and Shadows, but much weaker than an opener like Evolution or Smoke and Mirrors.

The song Wicked follows it, an intensely heavy song, perhaps the heaviest song Sym X has ever done so far, for me it falls between the category of [&*!#] and crap (at least for SX standards) This is also my least favorite Sym X song. This is point where my skull cracks due to lack of melody and the harsh vocals of Russell Allen, which I enjoy far more when he is in a more "calmer" mood. (Exagerating of course) Not a very memorable Sym X song. Another bland heavy rocker follows and then we have the continuation of the Acollade trilogy.

Acollade II is a very good song, not quite as good as its brother and certainly heavier. Its creative vocals and guitar solo is one that is very much enjoyed by me. A great Sym X song and a classic under my standards.

Acollade II is followed by two other heavy rockers that rival that of Wicked, but none are memorable as well.

Awakenings is like the lighter, very much like a segue to a song like on Rediscovery, but this "segue" is far longer and not as good. Good song, nevertheless. Creative and out of the book for Sym X at least.

The Odyssey is the last and the longest track on this album. It is also by far the best track on the otherwise uncreative and heavy release by Symphony X. After the characteristically symphonic approach to them, it really sounds like a Lord of the Rings soundtrack, well, at least the beginning sounds like it. We carry the story of the grand Odyssey, a man lost at sea, wanting for Ithaca. A great, epic song I can not really describe. This song is by far the most creative, artistic thing Michael Romeo ever wrote. Along with V, this song is a sheer magnum opus. You just have to listen to the epic itself!

There is a remake of Masquerade also in the limited edition of this disc, which is actually widely sold in stores (actually the only one sold in stores). The remake is excellent and much better than awfully produced, sung original release on the self- titled Symphony X release.

Overall, I must say the Odyssey is not a very creative piece of work, other than the title track and one that is in sheer need of a balance between heavy riffs and melody. I would only recommend it if you want to listen to the magical title track. It is technically a 3/5 album, despite the greatness that is the title track. But I was so disappointed in this release overall and could have been a lot better much like V: The New Mythology Suite, but then I guess bands move in different directions..

Inferno- 4/5 Wicked - 2/5 Incantations Of The Apprentice - 2/5 Accollade II- 4/5 King Of Terrors- 2/5 The Turning- 2/5 Awakenings- 3/5 The Odyssey- 6/5 (Masquerade) - 4/5

Overall: 3 stars, a good effort but not the best Symphony X album as everyone puts it out to be. The epic however is a masterpiece!

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Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Even though this album is not as solid as its predecessor "V: The New Mythology Suite" but I still consider this as an excellent addition to any prog music collection. As far as listening pleasure, "Odyssey" is much heavier in rhythm as well as guitar riffs which enough to give listeners feel tired due to the heavy nature and high speed of the music. Composition-wise, it's still a strong album that combines chockfull of metal guitar riffs of Michael Romeo, fast-paced keyboard work of Michael Pinella, tight bass liones of Michael LePond augmented with dynamic 'n' energetic drumming of Jason Rullo. Russel Allen performs his best singing especially during high register notes. Enjoying the first half of this album sounds like having Metallica music in prog style due to many heavy guitar riffs performed.

"Inferno" (5:32) kicks off the album with heavy rhythm music demonstrating fast tempo guitar work augmented with crispy bass lines, dynamic drumming backed with keyboard sound at the back. Russell Allen sings in clear voice with high energy. In this regard he seems singing with his own style unlike in some softer part where his voice is similar to Steve Walsh (of Kansas). "Wicked" (5:32) continues the music with high energy style combining staccato drumming and guitar riffs which remind me to the music of Dream Theater. This time Russel sings similar to Steve Walsh. Michael Romeo plays his melodic riffs during transition followed with bass and drum works. Pinella plays pulsating keyboard during interlude just before nice guitar solo shot continued again with keyboard. Right after the interlude part the music changes the style into more mellow style for a while and returns back to heavier stuff right after guitar riffs. It's a very enjoyable track.

"Incantations Of The Apprentice" (4:21) starts wonderfully in crescendo with keyboard sounds followed with heavy rhythm music augmented with Michael LePond's bass guitar solo. Jason Rullo provides his power metal double bass drum pedal in relatively fast tempo. Russell again proves himself as excellent prog met vocalist. The guitar riffs are catchy. "Accolade II" (7:06) is a natural follow-up of "Accolade" ("The Dinine Wings of Tragedy" album) in the vein of Kansas music. It starts really beautiful with a great combination of violin and piano in an excellent melody at opening part. The music flows brilliantly into higher notes with varied styles in the vein of Kansas. The combination of keyboard, guitar and violin is the strong point of this track. It's brilliantly composed track and it has become my personal favorite - as is the case with "Accolade" (the first segue from The Divine Wings of Tragedy album).

"King Of Terrors" (6:19) is a full metal blast music with heavy guitar riffs and little prog components in it. For those who are familiar with the kind of Metallica music might enjoy this track. The following track "The Turning" (4:44) continues with metal music exploration with rough guitar riffs. "Awakenings" (8:21) provides a kind of break for my ears because it starts with an ambient music exploring long sustain keyboard, piano followed with drumming and guitar solo. Yep! When vocal enters the music, it's representing the style of Kansas music with touchy piano work at background. The music flows into heavier part with more metal music as characterized by heavy guitar riffs and solo.

The album title track "The Odyssey" (24:09) comprises seven parts. Structurally it reminds us to Dream Theater's "Six Degree of Inner Turbulence" because it blows with grandiose full orchestra throughout the span of this epic track. Conceptually, the composition is quite confusing as we, the listeners, do not exactly know on what the band is trying to achieve with this epic. The combination of acoustic guitar with vocal right after the Overture is really nice. The epic offers relatively complex combination of guitar and keyboard works especially during interlude part. Overall, I'm quite OK with this track as generally I enjoy long duration track not because of the duration itself but I kind like imagine how tough the musicians composed such a long track. It's a kind of my deep appreciation to prog musicians. According to the liner note, the opening orchestration was done by Romeo.

My CD is a limited edition one (with external cardboard sleeve) with bonus track "Masquarade" which is an excellent track. I love the cover artwork - it's fantastic - by Tom Thiel @ Illuvision. Because it's limited edition there is a full review of each track by members of the band. This is what I like about owning a limited edition package - I got a full picture of how the album was made and the backgrounds that built an album. Of course, my above review was totally "my perception" and nothing was taken from the band members' words.

Heavier than previous album, but I still recommend you to have it, especially if you can accept heavy riffs metal music. It's too rough for my ears but it's still an excellent album. It's not fully symphonic unless the epic track Odyssey. Keep on proggin' ..

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Monday, February 20, 2006

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Symphony X is kind of like the little brother that never got the attention the big brother got, Dream Theater. Odyssey is an album that is very different, but I don't always know that the uniqueness of it is necessary or has a specific purpose. My look on the band is that they are metal with keyboards. Take out the keys and this would be more or less a metal band. This isn't to say that they aren't interesting or creative, but they've done little to develop themselves as songwriters and are pretty happy with the niche they are in. The best track here is Inferno, though its hardly progressive.

An album with several hits and strong points, but lacking the creative vision of a remarkable album.

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Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Review by JJLehto
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Ley me begin by saying Symphony X is a great band, and this is their best known album. It is definatley my favorite album from the band. The only song that does not really do it for me is awakenings. Besides that I love every song.

Inferno is my favorite song from the CD. It has an insane riff, technical drumming, and great solos from the guitar and keyboard. That is what makes the band so great, every member is very talented. Russel Allen belts out fantastic vocals, (much better than the prior singer) the drumming is amazing, the keyboards are spectacular, and of course Michael Romeo is one the best guitarists out there. While he does not shred, he is well capable of doing so and plays some truly amazing riffs and solos. A great vocalist, guitarist, drummer, and keyboardist...not too often you hear that. Oh and don't want to leave out the bassist, he is great as well but usually does not stand out in any songs.

While it is very difficult to pick out some songs above the rest, I have to say the top songs from this album are Inferno, Wicked, the Turning, and The Odyssey. I was a little worried by The Odyssey due to it's length. However, even a guy like me who only has a few songs that crack 10 minutes, thought it was great. I made it through the song and wanted more. Words really can not do it justice and Allen, Romeo, and Pinella really shine.

I saythis is a must for prog metal listeners, even regular metal fans should try it. I think this desevres 5 stars, no question.

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Posted Friday, August 25, 2006

Review by sleeper
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.

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Posted Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. From "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" up to this album "The Odyssey" SYMPHONY X have impressed me big time. I love how heavy this is at times, and the 24 minute title track is something to experience. In fact this whole album takes me to another world, a place far from reality.

The record starts off like an uncontrollable fire aided by gale force winds, yeah it's called "Inferno (unleash the fire)". And not coincidently Mr.Romeo plays like his hands are on fire. It reminded me of what it's like when a mosquito is buzzing around my head. Everything on this song is done with precision and speed. "Wicked" is about an unlucky traveller who seeks shelter in a cemetary. It kicks in heavily and I love the riffs. Vocals join in. Ripping guitar before 3 minutes, synths follow. Great sound 3 1/2 minutes in before it turns powerful again. I really like the lyrics on this one. Amazing tune ! "Incantations Of The Apprentice" is about this apprentice who travels to a mysterious place to learn from the powerful necromancer. The atmospheric keyboard playing is cool on this one. I like the way it builds until we're galloping along. Killer guitar a minute in. Blistering guitar late as well. "Accolade II" is an amazing tune, and one of my favourites on the album. By the way "Accolade I" is on "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" album. Pinnella says that this is really a sequel to the first one, starting off where the first one ended. It begins with some surprising violin, and there are beautiful piano melodies throughout. Vocals are terrific too. Check out the guitar melody about 6 minutes in.

"King Of Terrors" is another gem. Michael Lepond says this one is his favourite off the album, saying it's the perfect marriage of melody and metal. This song smokes with crushing riffs and the drummer is beating the hell out of his drum kit. I like when Russell screams before 4 minutes. "The Turning" is a high energy tune with relentless drumming and more great guitar. Russell spits out the lyrics with contempt. "Awakenings" has lots of time changes. It begins with piano and features gentler vocals. This all gets wiped out by an avalanche of sound. The epic "The Odyssey" is an expansive and ambitious song. It really is a journey both lyrically and instrumentally. It features orchestral movements and pastoral soundscapes and downright Heavy Metal, it has it all. Killer guitar before 15 minutes with riffs in tow. Nice. It's all incredible though.

If your into Prog Metal i'm sure you already have this album, but if you don't you need to check this out.

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Posted Monday, October 30, 2006

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars SYMPHONY X's "Odyssey" was the first prog-metal CD I had the opportunity to purchase for my own amusement (this time not for my teenager kids, as usual) and I may say that I do not regret the day. Well, some SYMPHONY X's experts say that here they are heavier than in their previous output; fine for me that I'm not an expert in anything let alone the sound of this US band and so I could enjoy (or not) "Odyssey" by myself. Ok if they're heavier, no problem for me, I've carried loads with much more weight and I can support easily this burden even not being my daily café-au- lait.

The two first tracks, 'Inferno' and 'Wicked' are nothing more than pure metal (trash? death? mortal?) tunes with fine guitar and drumming action amid desperate vocals. Ears not too much educated in the metal scene, just like mine, will probably believe we are facing the same song with some variations. The third track, 'Incantations of the apprentice', even showing the same panorama seen in previous tracks, has a progressive intro, soon replaced by the sameness heard before.

Things start to flow toward progressiveness with 'Accolade 2', a fine track provided with powerful but very catchy atmosphere: adequate vocals, nice choir and backing voices, instruments running in the correct dosing and the likes. Changes in tempo are noticeable and finally we can hear some fine keyboards playing - a song well- fitted for my breakfast, of course.

'King of Terrors' keeps an average balance between metal-metal and prog-metal although the song is partially spoiled by the somewhat frenzy vocals (and I assure that I really appreciate Allen's work but he seemed not very inspired in many of the tracks here; maybe a production flaw). 'The turning' maintains the climate of preceding track but a soft backing choir and voice contracanto make the difference now putting this song in a higher level.

'Awakenings', is a fine song where we are able to hear again Allen's plain and natural vocals which are far better than the grueling grunts heard elsewhere. The medium-size track is an ideal platform for Romeo's outstanding guitar solos and also for the band shows their musicianship and skills: good drums and bass displays, enjoyable even short keyboards presence.

'Odyssey', the title-track, is the highest point here, an epic that alone pays the CD price. The song divided in seven parts is a good panel of all effort SYMPHONY X put in this album and even not being exempt of flaws, these aren't capable to damage the epic greatness. Most important: there are no dull moments, the track grabs intensely the listener attention and we are vividly waiting for the next surprise to appear.

In spite of some tracks that won't be so pleasant for a non-metal user I dare to recommend "Odyssey" for all prog-fans mainly due to the title epic and 'Awakenings' and 'Accolade 2', both special in their own ways. Rating: 4.

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Posted Thursday, June 07, 2007

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I have to say that I'm quite surprised by some of the criticisms of this album. I think that Russell Allen sounds as good as ever, and there is plenty of prog to keep me satisfied. Perhaps some people were spoiled by The New Mythology Suite, as that album had a coherence, balance, and energy that few bands are able to pull off more than a couple times in their careers. The Odyssey seems to be primarily about prog, but also includes relatively generic metal singles, possibly to appease some combination of metal fans and/or producers and execs. Either way, the epic track and the other prog tunes are more than enough good music to keep me coming back to this album.

Inferno, Wicked, Incantations of the Apprentice, King of Terrors, The Turning. Here are the five metal tunes, and when I say generic, it's because they don't have the elements that I really appreciated about songs of similar structure on The New Mytholody Suite: Rullo consistently switching rhythms (and NOT relying solely on fast double bass lines), moving and emotive piano from Pinella (and not many heavy synth arrangements either), creative background riffing, and few classically-influenced instrumental flights of fancy. These do have strong vocals, plenty of guitar and keyboard runs, and unison keyboard guitar. Here are the Dream Theater comparisons, and in this case we've heard this stuff before and done better elsewhere.

Accolade II. Just a fantastic tune. I think I prefer this over the first (only slightly), mostly for the better, fuller production (the violin sounds MUCH less cheesy here). Allen sounds especially powerful here, and although the chorus reminds of Greensleeves (anyone else notice that?), the melody and lyrics are quite powerful. The Symphony X sound is officially back at this point.

Awakenings. The forgotten gem, based on other reviews. At just before 2:30 in the song, Allen hits a note that is just perfect (ALIGN in the night), and it's just another example of his talent. Just like some opera greats, I can picture people in the front row of concerts getting a shower because of Allen's power. Great tune.

The Odyssey. This is certainly a conceptual epic, but musically it's just solid tunes linked well together. They were smart to save the best for last, though it could have had more of an impact if they had used variations of the melody as teasers throughout the song. The is adventure prog, but the cool (not cheesy) kind, like out of an Indiana Jones movie (and not Pirates of the Caribbean). I enjoy it from end to end every time, probably in my top 50 epics (though certainly no competition for the classic epics).

Ignore the straight metal tunes if you choose, and the rest is great prog metal. Don't let your expectations get in the way, and you'll be well-rewarded. No masterpiece here, but but a solid addition to any prog collection.

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Posted Monday, September 17, 2007

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars High time for a review for an album of one of the best bands ever who made probably the best song ever and it's on this album. It's of course the title track of over 25 minutes. A rare and perfect combination of prog metal and classical music meeting each other in a true epic, a real Greek epic, an amazing piece of art that will probably never be outclassed in the future (as far as I'm concerned). I even had the privilege to witness this song live (in Amsterdam), an experience I will never forget. In this performance Michael Pinella played the entire orchestral contribution on his keyboards. Unbelievable !! Already this one song would be enough for me to give this album 5 stars even if the rest of the songs would prove to be poor. But guess what, they are not ! The first three songs are somewhat alike and sound quite good but not too special. The next is Accolade II, Accolade I was from the Devine Wings album and was already a favourite of mine but this one is even better, a lot better even, brilliant song. The 5th song (King of Terrors) is the least in my opinion, an average song for SX-standards. Next is The turning, another great one mainly because of the up tempo speed of the song, great drumming by Jason Rullo. After this the runner up of the album qualitywise: Awakenings, a fantastic composition with a tremendous riff by Michael Romeo. Then of course THE SONG and at the end of the album (not in the line-up above) is a remake of Masquerade, that is in the edition that I bought (bonustrack). And even that version is better than the original on one of their older albums.

So I think I have given enough reasons to go for the full 5 here !

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Posted Thursday, September 27, 2007

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Impressive prog metal band. Another almost masterpice from this great band. Among the best from today. The odyssey is another stunning album not only in their catalog but in entire prog metal scene. They continue the manner of playing and composing like on previouses albums but with a more metalized sound, heavier than Symphony X have ever 'till that day. The last album from 2007 is even heavier than this one. It is a concept album inspired by Greek mythology. This album is an avalanche of sounds with a lots of guitars made by the master of the band Michael Romeo, stunning keys from Michael Pinella, and the drumer is super. Above all these musicians is Russel Allen, great voice, jawdropping vocals on every piece. So every track is damn good but Inferno and Wicked are my fav from here, full of aggresive guitars, complex structures and fluid keyboard lines. So if you arefan of bands like Shadow Gallery, even Yngwie Malmsteen (in places) The Odyssey is just perfect for you! 4 stars for this super album, with all that i don't consider their best, i think the Dive wings of tragedy is the best they ever done so far.

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Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Review by JLocke
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars THE ODYSSEY was the first Symphony X album I ever listened to, and based on what I have heard, I will definately be checkling out the band's other works. A great experience on the whole. But there are weak points to it that detract that last star from my final verdict.

''Inferno'' Is a very solid heavy metal effort with some truly crunching guitar riffs and hard-hitting drumming. Russel Allen's voice is actually something I am very fond of, and am quite surprised to discover that many people find it annoying. It is very majestic and is very effective in creating the overall epic feel of this album. Even the straightforward metal songs feel alot more grand because of hus power- singing. Michael Romeo is quickly becoming one of my favorite metal guitarists, and as far as prog metal goes, he may not be as technically proficient as John Petrucci, but he comes pretty damn close, and besides, I have never been a fan of all that showoffy style anyway. While Romeo dishes out some truly finger-twisting licks, it never feels like too much, which is always great. The melody of the verses here are quite lovely and preview where the record will ultimately go by the end of it all, as it only gets more epic and more beautiful from there.

The next song, apporpriately titled ''Wicked'', starts out with some truly devilish riffage that would make any Sabbath fan proud, but the song as a whole doesn't lose any of that epic, mythic aura, which is good, since this album focuses around the epic tale of Ulysses, and speaks of a ruler of an ancient kingdom who gets lost at sea, but ultimately has many interesting adventures during his journey back . . . but we will discuss this subject matter a bit later, as the only song on the album that directly addresses this story is the title track.

''Incantations of the Apprentice'' begins with the first hist of an orchestra on the album, but soon loses that vibe completely and breaks into yet another hard-hitting metal riff. Y'know, I can headbang with the best of 'em, but when I pick up a progressive metal album, I'm looking for more originality than this. Not to say this song doesn't rock, but I don't think that is what a proghead wants to hear when he spends money on a special edition of an album by a highly-acclaimed symphonic metal band. Nevertheless, there are some really great tunes to be found here, as well as the first real metal-esque voice work from Allen. Also to note, is the first truly great guitar solo from Romeo. What makes it great? Well, it has substance, it never gets boring, it kicks ass with it's power, and it lasts only a fraction of the time it usually takes for one John Petrucci to feel satisfied with himself. Truly great heavy metal music. It just isn't progressive, that's all.

Ah, ''Accolade II''. Now we finally have something to be excited about. A truly breathtaking intro thanks to a grand piano solo accompanied by some brilliant strings. Even when the song takes off into it's heavy side, the progressive side of the song stays prominent, with the piano and strings closely flanking the powerfull guitar work, and that makes for the first truly moving track on the entire album. Again, Allen's work on vocal duties in above par when compared to most other vocalists in this overly-crowded genre. This song takes many miniature breaks along the way from the heaviness so that the listener can digest what has transpired, and the softer orchestral side of the track shines very brightly during these moments. I suppose then if I will compliment Russell Allen and Michael Romeo that a shout out to Michael Pinella is in order, as he I suppose is the one providing the wonderfull piano work found on this truly fantastic track. See, we don't see enough acoustic work from keyboardists in this genre; so often they only focus on the [%*!#]y side of the instrument, but sometimes it is just good to put some good ol' traditional piano work on a record of this caliber. The result is an awe-inspiring combination of clean and electric intrumentation. Wonderfull. Oh, and finally the song becomes just as heavy as it's predecessor's, with some great rhythmic drumming from Jason Rullo, but the truly shining moment here is the best guitar solo on the album, courtesy of the great Michael Romeo. It starts off as just another solo, but then soon transforms into a very moving experience full of emotion and power. Allen then follows it up with more epic voice work, giving this track a very uplifting, grand feel to it all. Second best song on the whole of THE ODYSSEY.

''King of Terrors'' is more-or-less the same old song, once again. Really good metal riffs, but not much originality to be found here. This to me is a shame, because the three or four really great tracks on this album are so great that had the duds on the record been removed, we could have been looking at a true masterwork, here. Instead, we get a typical prog metal elabum with some really epic moments, but not enough to save it as a whole.

''The Turning'' brings a yawn out of me quicker than I think any other song on the record, just because based on the loud, in-your-face opening, I know deep down that it will be once again more of the same. Nothing special here.

The next song is again worthy of a listen, as it begins much slower, and has a very classical music overtone to it. Oh, might I also say that this is the first time I can actually HEAR bass player Michael Lepond, who it turns out can also play his intrument very well-- who knew, huh? This song (Aside from the title track) has the most space as far as instruments go, as it leaves room to catch one's breath, and isn't nearly as ferocious to begin with, which helps the listener get more into it later on when it finally does take off. See, had more songs started out like this on the record, I may have given it a complete five rating, but even then thay would have been pushing it. Well, some needless guitar wankery from Romeo for the first time on the release, but thankfully it is still tastefull, or at least as tasteful as guitar wankery can get, as it only lasts a few seconds. Soon we get a taste of keyboardist Michael Pinella's more carnival-like sounds, as well as his very classical-style virtuostic grand piano playing. Overall, this saves the song from ending in a predictable manner, which is always nice. This song by the way is titled ''Awakenings''

Okay, here it is-- the reason this album, despite it's obvious shortcomings, recieved a four-out-of-five rating from me. This is the magnum opus, the gem, the (frankly) only real reason why you as a listener should slam your money down to buy this album. Yes, folks, this song is THAT good, and while I don't normally encourage picking up a record simply because of one song, this is an album that breaks those rules, simply because this one song, ''The Odyssey'', which has a running time of 24:09, features some of the most beautiful orchestra work on any rock album, and always leaves me feeling incredibly uplifted and ready to hear it all over again, is the reason why you got into symphonic metal. Here we go, part one: Odysseus' theme/Overture:

Well, where do I begin, the symphony work here is simply jaw-dropping, and sets the mood for the epic tale that is about to unfold . . .

Part two: Journey to Ithaca Great acoustic guitar work here, and it begins peaceful enough, whith the title character speaking of his love for his family and about how this journey he is about to embark on will only keep them apart for a little while. The lyrics here are provided by both Allen and Romeo, and they are delivered in a way by Allen that really works in the context of telling this mythical story. Soon, things get a bit for frantic and heavier, with Romeo unloading some really great guitar work that truly fits the song's purpous, and doesn't sound out-of-place at all. It then calmes down a bit for some great piano work, backing up the vocals as they sing in a beautiful tune: ''Onward we ride - nine days we brave her might, We are, we are, we are, coming home . . . ''

Part three: The Eye This is a great one, as it speaks of impending doom, yet escape. Once again the musiciansship here isn't frilly or over-the-top, it just seems to fit the song so well, it is unbievable. Though it doesn't last very long, as it gets ferocious, then dies down to a more calming experience, and that is where part four takes over . . .

Part four: Circe Keep in mind also that the orchestra is playing alongside the rock intruments, yet nothing in this composition sounds too busy or run together, it just is a perfect marriage if all of the elemts to create this amazing piece of musical art. So, this section of the epic features more Pinella mastery, as the main character of this tale says ''We sit adrift on the open sea, the gift of wind, by Zeus, so carelessly.'', and this clam cool stream lasts for a while, but soon becomes engulfed by the fiery Michael Romeo, displaying some of the best rhythm guitar work in history, accompanying the lyrics: ''We carouse with the maiden, bedneath her eyes, the madness lies in mystery . . . '' Underneath all of this, the keyboards have taken on the role of incidental music that subconsciousely adds a sense of tension, making the story all the more real. Another brilliant tasteful guitar solo from Romeo, lasting a little longer this time, but not without merit, as it really adds the power to this part of the song.

Part five: Sirens This section of the song bursts in with really awesome guitar riffs, followed closely by Rullo's power playing. ''Dire warnings - told by the sorceress in white 'False bringers of love' - Sirens . . . the lyrics say, as the song takes yet another interesting turn, towards probably the most straightforward metal moment of the otherwise symphony-clad track.

Part six: Scylla and Charybdis Well, just as the previous section went all-out heavy, this section features only a small bit of guitars, and ultimately becomes completely orchestral. This section alone is probably the greatest thing Symphony X has ever done, and certainly Odyssey the song as a whole is, but since the rest of the album is not nearly as well polished, it still doesn't get a full five starts from me, but whenever I listen to this section, it is the most beauitful thing I have ever heard, and I often hate myself for rating it only four stars, but I know as a whole album, I must, because it isn't fair to the other truly great albums I have given the same rating to include this one just because of one song. Anyway, it starts out fericious, then becomes very peacefull, and like I said earlier, as far as orchestra music goes, this is the most moving piece of music I have everheard, so yes, this song alone-- hell this SECTION of the song alone is enough reason to buy the whole album.

Part seven: The fate of the suitors/ The champion of Ithaca So, this is the second best part of the song (part six being the first), as the brilliant guitar work and godlike singing really makes my spirit soar. The main character has returned, has taken care of his enemies, and become champion of his kingdom. Great ending to a great story (you should go and read the original tale), presented in a masterful way through the beauty of music, and what better way to do so than to combine the two most epic forms of music there is: classical and metal? Now the track ends with the main character reprising a line he said earlier near the song's opening, and the guitar being played now is not acoustic like before, but clean. This gives the reprised lyric a sense of familiarity, but enough difference to conclude that things have changed for the better, and the journey is now complete.

THE ODYSSEY is one of Symphony X's greatest albums, and the title track in itself is enough reason to buy the thing, but sadly the rest of the album falls short with the exception of a couple of tracks, and while this would normally merit only three stars, the one song that is worthy is so much better than most, that I think it deserves to be considered an excellent addition to any collection, because it is. Had the other songs been as great as the title track, maybe it could have been a masterpiece, but it is still worth anyone's time-- anyone who likes the marriage of a symphony orchestra and rock intruments. This is truly an epic, four stars.

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Posted Thursday, February 07, 2008

Review by Moatilliatta
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Who is more fit to tackle The Odyssey in their music? The answer to that riddle is no one. Symphony X is practically made up of the descendents of Olympians. Look at them! Listen to them! They effuse epic. Russell Allen: other than my buddy Douggy Doug, I can think of no one else who I can directly correlate to the voice of Zeus. Michael Romeo: If Apollo played guitar, he would play like that guy. Everyone else in the band: some other comparison to Greek Mythology.

This is definitely the heaviest album in the bands catalog, and right now it stands as my clear favorite. Sure, there isn't a lot of variety in the sound, and it's pretty darn heavy metal, but I'll be darned if it's not some of the best not a lot of variety and pretty darn heavy metal I've ever heard. That title in quotes sounds like it belongs to Meshuggah as well, but I don't need to tell you that Symphony X and Meshuggah are like strawberries and watermelon in that they are both fruits, but they are nothing alike. It's only partially a comparison, because I've seen pictures of those guys, and their overtly metal appearance and actions, and I find that quite fruity. I'm just kidding guys, you're awesome and extremely intimidating, please take that previous sentence as a joke!!! Moving on...

It's technical, melodic, rhythmic, and conceptual. Despite only the title track having anything to do with The Odyssey, every song sounds like it belongs under that title. All of the songs are great, but the clear highlight is the title track. Opening with a very appropriate symphony orchestra, closing with one of the most epic melodies and riffs the band has created, and filling the middle with the best material the band has to offer, this piece is a giant, like that cyclops from the story only not at all because Odysseus and Co. totally took out his eye when he was sleeping, meaning he wasn't triumphant, and this song is very triumphant.

Excellent album. Most won't recommend this one first, but it was my first experience and I loved it. The novelty starts to wear off after a little while, but, if you must own one Symphony X album, this is still the one as far as I'm concerned.

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Posted Sunday, April 20, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The Odyssey is the sixth studio album from american progressive/ power metal band Symphony X and it was released in 2002. After what I think of as a disappointing previous album (V - The New Mythology Suite) Symphony X really grapped themselves by the balls and said to themselves: Weīre gonna make one hell of a heavy album for our fans. And thatīs exactly what they have done with The Odyssey. They have of course maintained the melodic and more sophisticated side of their music but this album is up until this point their most crushingly heavy effort ( thatīs excluding their next album Paradise Lost which I havenīt heard yet).

Michael Romeo is as always the leading force as his composisional skills and guitar playing style is defining for Symphony X sound. His style is a cross between the edgy and thrashy metal style of Dimebag Darrel ( Pantera) and the neo classical power metal/ traditional heavy metal style of Yngwie Malmsteen. This is a great mix IMO. I usually get bored with neo classical bands if the neo classical style is all they got up their sleeve, but Symphony X is so much more than a normal neo classical power metal band.

The Odyssey consists of eight songs. Seven songs between 4 and 8 minutes in length and the 24 minute long epic title track.

The album starts with the crushingly heavy Inferno. There are some incredibly heavy riffs in this song and Russel Allen has never sounded more angry than on this track. If youīre looking for progressive tendencies in this song just listen to the opening riff or the epic chorus. Note the sharp and edgy riffing from Michael Romeo. Just beautiful.

The two next songs Wicked and Incantations of The Apprentice are great Symphony X tracks even though Wicked is probably one of the weaker spots on the album ( not weak at all compared to other metal bands in this style, but weaker than the other songs on the album)

After three very heavy songs weīre now treated with something quite different on the fourth song of the album Accolade II ( the II refers to the fact that number one appeared on the album The Divine Wings of Tragedy from 1997). Accolade II can be compared to other power ballad tracks from Symphony X like Candlelight Fantasia from The Divine Wings of Tragedy and Lady of the Snow from Twilight on Olympus ( albeit a bit heavier) which means that this song is very beautiful. The vocal melodies are composed so well and there are multible melodic guitar solos from Michael Romeo. This is one of the best tracks ever composed by Michael Romeo IMO. Very majestic and with some beautifully arranged keyboards.

King Of Terrors is probably the most heavy song on The Odyssey and I mean crushingly heavy. I can see a couple of AOR/ heavy rock oriented progressive metal fans being scared away here. Again Russel Allenīs vocals are aggressive yet still controlled and melodic.

The Turning is a faster paced track. very heavy and fast. Note the incredibly fast guitar riff that opens the song. This is the kind of guitar playing I love.

Awakenings is one of the most progressive songs on The Odessey and strangely enough the song I like the least. Itīs not bad of course but it just doesnīt seem to fit in. The jazzy piano part in the middle of the song have always annoyed me too. As I said itīs not a bad song just not as good as the others.

The final song is the epic title track and itīs a really impressive work to say the least. The overture which starts the song were planned to be played by a classical orchestra but Michael Romeo ended up programming an orchestral synth to play that part of the song ( and a later part in the middle) and it works remarkably well. The lyrics are taken for the ancient greek work The Odessey isabout the great warrior Odysseus troublesome 20 year journey to his home island Ithaca where he finds that his wife is being courted by many wooers who wish to take his place. His revenge towards those wooers is classic and youīll have to read the book or listen to the album to get the ending. A great classic greek tale. The song has many different styles and moods and itīs a very eloborate and beautiful composition. Itīs one of the most melodic songs of the album and itīs generally not as heavy as most of the other compositions ( there are of course some very heavy parts, but not as many as in other songs on the album). Be sure to check this one out even if you donīt enjoy the more heavy songs on the album.

The musicianship is excellent and this time around Iīm not as annoyed by Jason Rulloīs drumming as usual. Everything seems to work. Michael Romeo and Russel Allen is the most prominent musicians on the album but the three others are also accomplished musicians.

The production is the best sound Symphony X had achieved up until then. Very heavy and crisp.

This is without a doubt the peak of Symphony X career and they will probably never top this one ( as I said I havenīt heard Paradise Lost yet, but I doubt if they can make a better album than this one). I really think Symphony X is something special in the neo classical power metal genre as they also employ a much heavier sound than many of their contemporaries. Something I greatly miss in the sound of other bands in the genre. In this genre this is a masterpiece album and it deserves the 5 stars I will rate it. Be aware that this is not Dream Theater progressive metal. Symphony X rely much more on a traditional heavy metal style with progressive tendencies than progressive metal from the Dream Theater school.

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Posted Friday, August 15, 2008

Review by LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I look at this album as pretty much a Divine Wings of Tragedy #2. Not necessarily in terms of quality, but in terms of album and song structure. You have a number of shorter songs with a ten minute track hidden somewhere in there, a twenty-minute-plus epic, and a final closing bonus track. They both have a track called Accolade, and neither album is conceptual like V or Paradise Lost. Nevertheless, the music and the production is much stronger here than on The Divine Wings of Tragedy, hence the extra star.

Nevertheless, when this album is looked at, it's merely Symphony X playing their game still. Noodly guitars, fast but uninspired keyboards, a strong rhythm section, and fantastic vocals. That is, it's same-old Symphony X until the 24 minute title track comes on, which breaks the mold of Divine Wings. To be honest, out of the four CDs I have the privilege of owning by this band (Divine Wings, V, Paradise Lost, and The Odyssey), this is my least favorite all around. It's not bad, but a number of the songs just never hit me, due mostly to the fact that I'd listened to the other three first and suddenly there were no surprises or tricks here.

The vocals are again the selling point of this album. On The Turning and The Odyssey in particular, Russel Allen blows the rest of the band out of the water. The Turning features him heading a standard progressive/power metal tune about werewolves, if I understand correctly. The Odyssey, though, takes him on an a symphonic, orchestral journey that doesn't spend half its length in noodles and soup, unlike the standard sort of Symphony X track.

All in all, a good album by Symphony X's standards, with all the fast guitars and howling Russels you hope for in such a release. As far as it stacks against the progressive metal world, though, there is very little new to be found here, very little progressive. And so being fairly average as far as prog goes, an average rating it gets.

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Posted Sunday, September 28, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars During most of the tracks, it is true to say that the metal environment is prominent. Don't try to find any prog flavour during ''Inferno'': it would be a waste of time. This being said, while Russel Allen stops shouting and considers that signing might also be an option, things are improving.

Still, these metal lines, or riffs, or guitar extravaganza at your own best choice: they are just too much. I already mentioned why I am reviewing their discography and so far I haven' t encountered the real kick with any of their albums. But I am not of deep fan of the genre, that's true.

As I have already mentioned in other reviews of the band, the quality of the musicians is absolutely not the problem. It is more the style of music they play. While attending one of their concert, they only mentioned ''we were going to get a great heavy-metal evening''. Of prog, there were no question about. The same feeling prevails while you listen to this album (and to some other ones from the band as well).

To summarize, I would just copy/paste the introduction of MikeEnRegalia review: ''This is a really excellent metal album''. I would add: nothing less, nothing more.

The seven tracks featured on this release before the epic, are just plain heavy metal tracks with little inspiration (being ''Inferno'', ''Wicked'' or ''Accolade''). Same sort of mood and no variety in the song writing. Average music IMHHO.

The construction of ''Awakenings'' is slightly better and it is by far my favourite song from this offering. It offers some fine metal music combined with some rock ballad mood in the vein of the great ''Kansas''. It was about time, since it is the last but one song from this album.

The epic and title track holds some fine moments, but you have to overcome the poor intro which sounds as a Cecil B. DeMille soundtrack. Fortunately, the song favourably evolves into some sort of crafted and intelligent metal piece of music. Technically impeccable, this long track (over twenty four minutes) holds the necessary performance to keep the listener interested but these orchestrations are really too much to my ears. At the end of the day, there is not that much to retain about this long track.

This album is not bad but I can't really go over three stars when the rating time is due. Metal music for sure. Prog is just next door. And it is not the bonus ''Masquerade'' and the classical intro that should changed your mind. At least, it is how I feel.

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Posted Sunday, January 11, 2009

Review by WaywardSon
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The first time I heard this album, I thought it was OK but nothing too special. Now, after more than thirty listens, I think its easily on a par with "V", or even better. This album definitely takes a bit of getting used to and is really "a grower"

I feel that the first track is actually the weakest, (still a good song though) and with every next track the album becomes stronger and more progressive, especially on the fourth track. The first three songs are a build up for things to come.

The vocals are spectacular throughout, and Russell Allen has one of the best voices, not only in Progressive metal, but in music in general, the range and emotion that he puts in to his singing is quite incredible. Another great thing about this album is the drum tone, Jason Rullo has an open and loud tone opposed to a lot of other prog metal drummers who have a more closed sound. Michael Pinella sweetens the hard metallic sound and really adds the "symphonic" touch, never overdoing his playing with unnecessary "noodling" The bass can be heard clearly, which is a big plus because it is a common complaint that the bass cannot be heard enough in a lot of progressive metal bands.

The absolute highlight of the album is the title track "The Odyssey" clocking in around 24 something minutes (The same time as Dream Theaters "Octavarium") Unlike "Octavarium" which borrowed from Floyd and some other bands, "The Odyssey" is original ( I love Dream Theater but I just felt I had to mention that)

The orchestral beginning to "The Odyssey" sets the scene and you can almost picture a huge ancient ship moving slowly out the harbor. Russell Allen sings softly (and in a truly natural and beautiful voice) while Michael Romeo picks on his guitar. Of course the pace of the music accelerates as the voyage turns into a nightmare, great guitar and keyboard solos, great singing, until the voyage comes to an end and a calm takes over as he reaches his home.

A masterpiece.

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Posted Thursday, April 16, 2009

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars When reviewing well known album, I do one weird thing. I roll over reviews and pick one of them and read one thing. Sometimes more, today just one thing. But this was easy catch. So to respond: Indeed, this is not album to start with, but this album's epic track could be. I would advise to start with their following one, "Mythology Suite".

I can rate these two, I've listened them again one after another and so differences are clear. By average rating, it's their best compared to their almost best. Well, this one is less melodic, but (now I'll leave Mythology and focus only on Odyssey) Ulysses (I don't like this name, in my language, it sounds like word, which has equivalent in English language with word "sleazy"), as he's on his journey (or, hehe, odyssey). This journey is more fascinating in some things, like that it uses less expected structure, melody and other things, except words. Lyrics are quite clear to guess, it's about famous tale (at least here in Czech Republic, I know it from school, good old book called "Old Greece fables and stories" - shortened Homer, about gods, Heracles...) about man seeking his home & finally redemption. Turn point of entire album is 8. The Odyssey (24:09). From first fanfare- like tones to last acoustic outro reminds me something I knew all my life, but wasn't (and I'm not) able to describe appropriately. Something of great beauty, adventurous. Mix Odyssey and metal and my memories on this story in modern, metal take and you get this. This synth (emulating instrument I can't remember which one) from 6:50-7:04 reminds me very much music of one game from my youth, Warcraft II. Also fantasy like setting. And first three minutes, do I have to say more ? However, vocals here are sometimes almost of growling type. Or at least very harsh. Not bad, but it's interesting that I actually don't mind this.

5(-) because some flaws occurs (like some unnecessary parts happens), it's not so easy (in fact, it's quite hard) to conquer my heart. Only few managed to do it and those get 5(+). This one is close.

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Posted Friday, September 18, 2009

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars After making what I believe to be their finest record (V: The New Mythology Suite) Symphony X released The Odyssey. To begin with it's obvious from the track listing that album follows the same basic pattern of Divine Wings Of Tragedy which definitely doesn't show any sign of progress but let's not judge the album by it's (back)cover!

The album starts with Inferno which is the obligatory power metal opening track. Although the composition works well I can't help but draw a comparison to the previous Sympony X openers which makes me feel like their power metal well is starting to dry up. The guitar playing is still mesmerizing but the composition doesn't have the same force in comparison to the previous works.

By the time Accolade II-intro starts playing it was obvious that Symphony X weren't trying recreate the spirit of Divine Wings Of Tragedy instead this actually was a direct sequel and the album even features a follow-up to Accolade. The resemblance between the two track is almost as big as the one between the Kansas tune Icarus from Masque and its follow-up from Somewhere To Elsewhere. I guess that comparison was unfair considering the large timespan between the two. How about Rush compositions Cygnus X-1 books I and II? Hopefully you'll get the general idea here. As a matter of fact I actually consider Accolade II to be this albums highlight with its slow progression and strong delivery.

I was really looking forward to the new 20+ minute suite The Odyssey and it was great to find out that it sounded almost as interesting as Divine Wings Of Tragedy. At the same time this epic shows exactly what is wrong with the entire set-up of this album. Every time I listen to it I can't help but think that it has already been do to death by Symphony X and I basically lack any sign of progression. If the band thinks that they can get away with rehashing the same album time and time again then they definitely have another thing coming! At the same time I honestly don't know where Symphony X should go next in terms of development. Somehow I doubt that Michael Romeo would consider to add jazz elements to the next album or how about avant-garde power metal!

Hopefully they'll think of something more creative for their next release but until then this album remains a shameless clone of Divine Wings Of Tragedy. Good but unnecessary and therefore non-essential.

***** star songs: Accolade II (7:06)

**** star songs: Inferno (5:32) Incantations Of The Apprentice (4:21) King Of Terrors (6:19) Awakenings (8:21) The Odyssey (24:09)

*** star songs: Wicked (5:32) The Turning (4:44)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#263696) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 31, 2010

Review by The Quiet One
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Not a Masterpiece as the actual Odyssey, but still Very Good

Is it a coincidence that both Dream Theater and Symphony X released an album with a symphonic epic the same year? Well, I doubt it was planned, but it still is odd. Anyway, to focus on the album, Symphony X's The Odyssey has some masterful material as well as easily forgettable one which makes this album hard to rate and hard to recommend.

Symphony X definitely shows a slight change in the musical direction with The Odyssey compared to the highly acclaimed V: The New Mythology released 2 years prior this one. The band seems to be playing more aggressively throughout, heavier riffs and more straight-forward power metal songs are to be found. However, Symphony X still maintains their symphonic leanings, notable proof is the album's tour-de-force, the 24 minute title track which is repleted with brilliant passages ranging from beautiful orchestral arrangements to powerful in-your-face riffs.

Then there's Accolade II and Awakenings, both also feature the symphonic leanings straight away with melodic and up-lifting passages. Michael Pinella's piano playing is splendid allthrough and it really adds a lot to the music, unlike the usual tasteless playing of Jordan Rudess which shouts 'look at me'. Also, Russel's vocals are really impressive and instantly recognisable, they remind me a lot to Kansas' vocal section.

Unfortunately, those are the only songs that are memorable and worth listening to, the rest are very heavy, straight-forward power metal songs featuring 100% aggressivity, something that is not usually found in bands like Dream Theater. The riffs are not catchy neither there are memorable solos, so it's not just that they're not Prog. Even Allen's vocals are rather bad since he's constantly delivering rage-like vocals, in this case I would prefer James LaBrie take on heavy stuff.

However, mind you that the three highlighted songs occupy more than half of the album, these are 39 minutes of high-quality Prog Metal so that's the reason why this album is difficult to rate and to recommend.

3.5 stars rounded to 3 because having only three memorable songs out of eight isn't something consistent. Yet, I'm sure you have noticed that these three songs are amazing and if you're a Prog Metal fan you should definitely check them out.

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Send comments to The Quiet One (BETA) | Report this review (#272007) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Symphony X embark on an Odyssey of blistering riffs and ambient orchestration; a force to be reckoned with. Immediately the riffing guitars absolutely blaze, the vocals burst out and the guitar lead breaks are as in your face as you would like. The time sigs are all over the place and there is an incessant drum beat from Jason Rullo. Welcome to Symphony X's "The Odyssey". On 'Inferno' the guitar riff is brilliantly played by Michael Romeo especially the screaming lead solo. The trade off between this and keyboards by Michael Pinella. Russell Allen has a clean dynamic vocal style. A masterful heavy metal opener.

'Wicked' features another killer riff that continues constantly and the rhythms are fractured by drums and great bass by Michael LePond. There are moments that are reminiscent of Riverside or Dream Theater. Michael Romeo trades off again with Pinella's flowing keyboards. The time sig changes momentarily before heading back to the main complicated riff. Great metal at the top of Symphony X's repertoire.

'Incantations Of The Apprentice' begins with a very ominous keyboard sound and the distorted jagged riff fades up till it breaks out with crunching riffs like Opeth. The low bass solo of Lepond enhances the mood. An angular guitar riffs with the thrashing drums. The power metal is fantastic and there is a strong melody that drives it along. There is a twin guitar solo with lots of bends and screams. Wonderful metal.

'Accolade II' runs for 7 minutes and is the sequel from the first part on "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" album. The song combines violin and piano and the guitars enhance the atmosphere.

'King Of Terrors' has a crunching riff that tears you rears off and the keyboards are an ambient touch. I love the riff at 4 mins in with the piano breaks and killer keyboard playing. It is very doomy and the time sigs are extraordinary. The lead break is amazing. One of the best Symphony X tracks.

'The Turning' is a riff heavy metal blaster with more speed playing from the 3 Michaels. It is frenetic metal with very intricate riffing and staccato keyboards. The vocals are quite aggressive and dark on this, much more gravelly than usual for Allen. The blazing riffs go ballistic on this and the layered guitar solo is divine. The keyboards are again a force to be reckoned with. It is the band at their best.

'Awakenings' is an 8 and a half minute quieter track which gives some respite from all the chaos and power chords to provide a melancholy keyboard driven ambience. The intro is an intriguing time sig with nice piano motifs and orchestration. This prepares us for the big one.

The magnum opus of the band is 'The Odyssey' that clocks in at a whopping 24 minutes, the typical prog track. It is a multi movement suite in 7 parts, as good as what Dream Theater achieved on the epic 'Octavarium'. The orchestra is the real deal, a full classical orchestra opens this with a majesty and intense portentous atmosphere like a movie soundtrack. It is of course all about the Greek tragedy that is legendary. This opening section reminds me of what Therion do but it is better.

The parts are separated into distinct pieces that are easy to discern between; Part I: Odysseus Theme / Overture; Part II: Journey To Ithaca; Part III: The Eye; Part IV: Circe (Daughter Of The Sun); Part V: Sirens; Part VI: Scylla And Charybdis and Part VII: The Fate Of The Suitors / Champion Of Ithaca. That is as much as I want to divulge as it would be criminal to divulge the secrets this epic holds, suffice it to say this is a bombastic lavish masterpiece of music. I was in awe of this epic from beginning to end. As good as prog gets; it's seriously got everything.

This is one of Symphony X's greatest albums, it buries 'Twilight In Olympus' and only falls short of 'Paradise Lost' by a bee's sting. I recommend this to symphonic prog and prog metal fans without reservation. 4 metallic stars.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#280800) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 07, 2010

Review by EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Ancient Greece, dangerous seas and mythical creatures are the main scenarios for Symphony X's sixth studio album, definitely one of the very best efforts of the band.

"The Odyssey" is the heaviest, most technical and most violent Symphony X album yet. Compared to the previous albums, this one is much fresher sounding, and in many parts quite original. We do note though some affinities with the following album, "Paradise Lost", since even there there's a more violent and heavy sound. Even though it's not quite as good as "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy", "The Odyssey" has excellent songwriting, probably the nicest collection of songs for the band; while "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" was more emotional and haunting, this one is more concentrated on headbanging riffs and crazy duels between keyboard and guitars during the solo sections. Therefore, the songs have more of an individual purpose, without being connected to each other in a particular way.

However, lyrically speaking the songs are pretty connected; "The Odyssey", like the title suggests, has all songs that involve mythology, fierce battles, werewolves, Sorcerer's Apprentices. Even though the songs, like I said, can be listened to individually, the album has anyhow a beautiful flowing, being this way a wonderful, but tense and savage journey, and that I strongly recommend you try.

Almost all the songs are amazing; the opener "Inferno", with it's in your face riffs, or the mystical tastes of "Wicked", the violent and brutally technical "King Of Terrors", or the desperate melodies of "The Turning". And then there' the mind blowing, epic title track: 24 minutes of symphonic ecstasy, moments you won't easily forget, like the orchestral opening part, or the epic finale, with Russell Allen's vocals at their highest peak.

An album that if you are a Prog Metal fan you cannot miss. 4.5 stars.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#337927) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 29, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars I make no effort to hide the fact that most prog metal doesn't impress me much. Most of the time the metal far outweighs the prog. Yawn. But Symphony X, at least on the few albums I own by them, does it right. And a prog band with the word "symphony" in the name damn well better have something symphonic in their sound. They score on that one as well.

Sure, there is a lot of that generic metal sound. Fast crunchy guitars, machine gun drums, and raspy, throaty vocals. But they never go over the edge. The guitar solos are fast, but artfully played. The synths are out front and artful. And the vocals never turn into that death metal barfing sound.

Two songs stand out from the pack. Accolade II, sounds like a blend of metal and classic era Kansas. In fact, Russell Allen, when singing cleanly, sound pretty close to Steve Walsh. And although it may disappoint metal purists, it's a high point on the album.

The other great piece is the title track, The Odyssey. This has some of the most bombastic, and wonderful orchestra use I've heard in any prog piece. and at twenty four minutes, it does some justice to the epic it depicts.

And remember, I'm not a prog metal fan.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#488056) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review by Starhammer
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Triumphant! Champion of Ithica..."

This is the sixth studio release from the highly respected New Jersey metal outfit. As the name would suggest, their music contains strong symphonic elements, which are particularly noticeable on the stand-out tracks; Accolade II and The Odyssey. The predecessor to Accolade II came five years earlier on their acclaimed record, 'The Divine Wings of Tragedy'. Similarities between the two albums can also be drawn as both feature lengthy title tracks with extended orchestral intros.

Whereas The Divine Wings of Tragedy borrowed from both Bach and Holst, the orchestration on The Odyssey is entirely original, and the track itself is simply one of the best songs they have ever written! It would be better still if it was recorded with a live orchestra, rather than programmed synths, but it still sounds excellent. What doesn't sound quite so good are the 'metal' elements of the album. Whilst the production is certainly better than most releases, it just sounds a little bit tepid when compared to their latest offering, 'Iconoclast'.

But recording aside, the composition and instrumentation on this album is fantastic, and the only thing stopping this from achieving the full five stars are a couple of less memorable tracks.

The Verdict: Stands shoulder to shoulder with both 'V' and 'The Divine Wings of Tragedy'.

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Send comments to Starhammer (BETA) | Report this review (#562211) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 04, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars After producing what was at the time their most progressive album to date in the form of V: The New Mythology Suite, I suppose it's only natural that the Symphony X pendulum would swing back towards the power metal side of their sound. With production values occasionally fluctuating but mostly holding firm, it's all very exciting prog-tinged power metal with the perfect Homeric fantasy concept underpinning it, but it doesn't seem quite as groundbreaking and thrilling as The New Mythology Suite was, and spends a lot more time in much more traditional power metal territory. I suspect many fans of the more progressive side of Symphony X will, like me, find this frustrating, particularly since The New Mythology Suite showed us precisely what they are capable of.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#657899) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review by Second Life Syndrome
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams
3 stars I love Symphony X's masterpiece "V:The New Mythology". I also am a fan of "Paradise Lost", although it has more to do with the source material than with the actual album. However, I really have to force myself to listen to these guys. I'm not a big fan of power metal, gruff vocals, or the like. However, I do enjoy a couple albums.

I decided I would listen to "The Odyssey"; again, more because of the content than the music. I'd heard that the title track is an epic masterpiece. Well, this album is definitely...Symphony X. That's about it. "V" was amazing because of the melody, symphonic arrangements, amazing vox, fantastic guitars, and original drums. This album must be where the plunge started: where the descent to a less proggy power metal began.

This album is interesting and okay. There are lots of riffs, if that's your thing. The vocals are gruff and unchallenging. Any symphonic segments sound VERY cheap and VERY 90's--- almost like the badly composed keyboard music on Hercules or Xena: Warrior Princess. Amid all of this, the drums even fail to impress: Nothing new is really displayed here. The lyrics are kinda derivative and lame, something that "V" and even "Paradise Lost" did not have. I don't know. I just feel like my avoidance of Symphony X is quite justified by this album. Aside from a few enjoyable parts; corny, neo-epic filler is all I really hear here. Should I even bother listening to "Iconoclast" or anything earlier than "V"? If I do, it'll be a while.

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Send comments to Second Life Syndrome (BETA) | Report this review (#951272) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 28, 2013

Latest members reviews

2 stars This album is since a number of years in my collection. Haven't listen to it too much as it always left me totally cold. Today I sought lets give it another try. And I am disappointed again. Especially the first three tracks make it hard to go beyond that. Main reason for this are the atrocious ... (read more)

Report this review (#1165841) | Posted by King Manuel | Saturday, April 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The Odyssey is my second take of this band, with the first being Divine Wings of Tragedy. Unfortunately, my views still haven't changed, as this album sounds almost identical to Wings, in addition to the individual songs sounding too similar to each other. I will admit some of the riffs are killer, ... (read more)

Report this review (#803024) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Saturday, August 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Symphony X is the Progressive Metal band I have been following the 2nd longest, next to Dream Theater. To add to this, The Odyssey is probably my favorite album by them, though it is very difficult for me to pick one album by them that I like better than all the others (this is a common difficul ... (read more)

Report this review (#759107) | Posted by dtguitarfan | Saturday, May 26, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY: "THE Odyssey" IS THE WORST ALBUM OF THE SYMPHONY X " Until his debut was better.I mean, it was more interesting, while this is a boring and uninspired that did not deserve to succeed the band's masterpiece, "V". When the opening track "Hell" began, I expected a violen ... (read more)

Report this review (#471121) | Posted by voliveira | Monday, June 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars awesome riffs galore - that's the story of "The Odyssey" and not the Accolade sequel or the almost 25-min title track. the riffs are what make the album and also what keep it from being a 5-rater 'coz, at the first run, they sound quite similar. i couldnt distinguish several parts of "Wicked" ... (read more)

Report this review (#463323) | Posted by sv_godspeed | Friday, June 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the many releases by the prolific and wonderful metal band Symphony X This one is not their best. Not even close. This album is clearly not even great for the majority. In fact, only one of the eight tracks is actually better than 'passable'. The first seven tracks are generic metal, no ... (read more)

Report this review (#292849) | Posted by Relayer Duos | Saturday, July 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album was alot more metal and probabbly was considered as more of a band effort than a real piece of music. I still find this album to be great with some fantastic (and one of the greatest) songs they ever made. This album was alot more metal than V and a bit less prog, but it still had ... (read more)

Report this review (#287893) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Odyssey Symphony X, a Dream Theater Clone? Not really. For this album, yeah. They Odyssey is some what of a concept album. The topics of the songs all deal with mysticism for the most part. The first song is a killer. "Inferno" is heavy and fast paced. "Inferno" reminds me that Michael Romeo ... (read more)

Report this review (#255599) | Posted by kawkaw123 | Friday, December 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I played this album a lot when I got it. I recently listened to it a few times and it still works its magic with me. There is a lot to like in this CD. I really like the mix of classical and heavy. Symphony X certainly have their sound which set them apart from other bands in the prog- metal sc ... (read more)

Report this review (#250321) | Posted by bluegecko | Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Symphony X is one of my favorite progressive metal bands because they combine melody,technicality and impeccable performance along with sentiments. In this effort they focus on progressive metal and the result is something more than satisfying. I will not judge the extra songs that special edition ... (read more)

Report this review (#219391) | Posted by mel from hell | Monday, June 01, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Symphony X is often seen as a clone of Dream Theater. While they are both heavy-ish bands with lots of progressive elements who focus on melody rather than the more brutal elements of metal, there are quite a few dissimilarities between their sounds. Quite possibly the most notable of the diff ... (read more)

Report this review (#219175) | Posted by topofsm | Sunday, May 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars While progressive metal is my favorite genre, I also enjoy power, trash and death metal quite a bit. So for me, Symphony X is just perfect and this is my favorite album from them. This cd just has everything, but of course it means that overall, it's sort of a compromise and that's why many "pure ... (read more)

Report this review (#212276) | Posted by rowyco | Friday, April 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The album opens up with heavy Inferno (the first song I heard with Symphony X.) Then it continues with the feeling that the whole album is the building up for the last track, the great epic The Odyssey. So the rate for the first seven tracks would be 3 stars. There is some highlights (Inferno, ... (read more)

Report this review (#187260) | Posted by Arnold | Tuesday, October 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Symphony X suffers from a disorder I'd like to call too-much-fantasy-and-manowar-when-I-should've- studied-in-scool-syndrome, while being widespread in this genre, Symphony X stands as the epitome of this. Being a huge fantasy fan, and having laughed at Manowar since I was a kid, I do not mean th ... (read more)

Report this review (#184274) | Posted by Lezaza | Wednesday, October 01, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When I listen to this album I tend to divide it into two parts. Part one is the first seven songs, and part two would be the title track. The first seven tracks are all brilliant. Full to the brim with amazing riffs, solos, melodies and lyrics. Symphony X's usual, epic style is all here in full effe ... (read more)

Report this review (#183021) | Posted by Valarius | Sunday, September 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Odyssey is an astounding album from start to finish. I believe this album even outdoes The Divine Wings... for these following reasons. First of all, the production has never been better and the production of a power-metal album does a lot to help or hinder it's overall appeal. Secondly, i ... (read more)

Report this review (#176087) | Posted by ahg33 | Friday, July 04, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Contrary to some of the reviews here, this was my first Symphony X album, and it did not deter me from the band in anyway. I had purchased it on a suggestion, and received it about 1 week prior to seeing the band tour to support it. Needless to say I had little time to truly absorb the music befo ... (read more)

Report this review (#171726) | Posted by drmfreek | Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As a Symphony X lover, I've listened to all of their albums multiple times. I must say that this one is my absolute favorite. Symphony X has a grasp on everything that makes them great. The music is beautiful, elaborate, and passionate. Songs like Wicked have wonderful imagery, and others like ... (read more)

Report this review (#165126) | Posted by wuxingwarrior3 | Thursday, March 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It is easy to tell that SYMPHONY X put their focus on the song The Odyssey with this album, because the rest of the album really suffers. The complex and powerful title track has to be one of SYMPHONY X's finest accomplishments. Unfortunately the rest of the album detracts from the masterpiece s ... (read more)

Report this review (#157203) | Posted by asimplemistake | Sunday, December 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is an impressive slab of prog metal. Like most people my favourite SX album is "Divine Wings of Tragedy" but this is up there as one of my favourite albums. I suppose i should mention the title track, "The Odyssey" is one of the greatest opus' i've ever heard in my life, i was blow ... (read more)

Report this review (#135413) | Posted by petrucciftw | Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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