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SYMPHONY X

Progressive Metal • United States


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Symphony X biography
Symphony X is an important progressive metal band that has been born on the fertile American progressive metal scene. The band came into existence when guitarist and composer Michael Romeo recorded a demo tape entitled "The Dark Chapter" with the keyboardist, and future band mate, Michael Pinnella in early 1994. Romeo distributed the tape to various recording labels and, due to the tape's reception in Japan, he got himself a record deal in the Land of the rising Sun with the now defunct Zero Corporations Label.

For Symphony X's first album, the 1995 self titled, Michael recruited bassist Thomas Miller, drummer Jason Rullo, keyboardist Michael Pinnella and vocalist Rod Tyler. Despite not being a bad album, Symphony X is widely considered to be the band's worst album for two reasons: 1 - the album has a relatively bad production; 2 - it does not has Russell Allen. That is because Russell not only has better singing abilities than Rod Tyler, but also because Russell Allen is one of Symphony X's main composers (alongside with Michael Romeo), so the lack of his presence is really something to be noted. In addition, the self-titled debut is the only album that features Rod Tyler as the band's singer.

Only six months after the release of the debut, the band releases their second album, called Damnation Game. Tyler had to leave the band, so Russell Allen was recruited as a replacement. He has stayed as the band's singer ever since.

Damnation Game represents the start of the current band's style for the same reasons why the majority of the fans do not like Symphony X: with Allen in the band and the start of his collaboration with Romeo, there were set the foundations for the band's "traditional style". On the other hand, Damnation Game is still something of a raw album, specially when compared with subsequent releases.

In 1997, the band released their third output, entitled The Divine Wings of Tragedy. This album can be considered their breakthrough album, as it was with Divine Wings that they managed to reach a wider audience than before. The feedback from the specialized media also helped the band greatly to get a foothold in Europe as well as keep growing in Japan, their biggest market so far.

The Divine Wings of Tragedy also can easily be considered the band's first full progressive metal release. Not that their other albums so far didn't had any progressive hints, but this was the first one to fully embrace such tendencies...
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UnderworldUnderworld
Nuclear Blast America 2015
$10.98
$5.46 (used)
Paradise LostParadise Lost
Century Media 2009
$8.64
$11.56 (used)
The Odyssey (Ltd.)The Odyssey (Ltd.)
Limited Edition · Extra tracks
Inside Out import 2012
$33.28
$10.96 (used)
IconoclastIconoclast
Extra tracks · Deluxe Edition
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$12.38
$10.05 (used)
Symphony XSymphony X
Reissued · Special Edition
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2012
$75.00
$6.12 (used)
V: The New Mythology SuiteV: The New Mythology Suite
Metal Blade 2000
$18.90
$16.97 (used)
VV
2000
$62.66
$11.25 (used)
Twilight in OlympusTwilight in Olympus
Limited Edition · Reissued
Inside Out Music 2012
$79.98
$16.73 (used)
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SYMPHONY X discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SYMPHONY X top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.88 | 194 ratings
Symphony X
1994
3.32 | 234 ratings
The Damnation Game
1995
4.11 | 542 ratings
The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
1997
3.75 | 329 ratings
Twilight In Olympus
1998
4.13 | 679 ratings
V - The New Mythology Suite
2000
3.95 | 532 ratings
The Odyssey
2002
3.79 | 489 ratings
Paradise Lost
2007
3.78 | 445 ratings
Iconoclast
2011
3.83 | 244 ratings
Underworld
2015

SYMPHONY X Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 65 ratings
Live on the Edge of Forever
2001

SYMPHONY X Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SYMPHONY X Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 15 ratings
Prelude to the Millennium
1999

SYMPHONY X Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.58 | 10 ratings
Rarities And Demos
2005
4.67 | 4 ratings
Without You
2015

SYMPHONY X Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Iconoclast by SYMPHONY X album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.78 | 445 ratings

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Iconoclast
Symphony X Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars 2007's 'Paradise Lost' is, in my opinion, one of the heaviest albums of all time, and having developed their sound over the years from a neo-classical progressive metal act to an extremely heavy, almost power metal-sounding band, it seems Symphony X have settled on a style that suits them perfectly, as 'Iconoclast', the bands eighth studio album, released in 2011, follows on from its predecessor as a possible candidate for one of the heaviest albums you'll ever hear.

What makes Symphony X so heavy, you ask? While people measure heaviness in different ways, in my opinion, it's the 'weight' of the music. The production and the sound, and in this case, the massive and beefy-as-hell guitar riffs. 'Iconoclast' is like a ten-ton hammer crushing a thousand skulls at once, and incredibly, despite the sheer intensity and brutality, the album is full of wondrous and beautiful melodies too.

Taking the energy of power metal and the songwriting arrangements of progressive metal, Symphony X's music is very upbeat and ambitious. With complex orchestrations and masterful musicianship, these guys are at the top of their game, and on par with the genres finest musicians. In particular, guitarist Michael Romeo and vocalist Russell Allen have an absolute synergy rarely seen these days, with Allen's incredibly versatile range being a perfect match for the guitar riffs.

Released on two discs, or as a one-disc edition for people not willing to spend too much dollar (I wonder how many people actually bought that one), 'Iconoclast' is an incredible album with very few flaws. With absolute monstrous beasts such as 'Electric Messiah', 'The End of Innocence', 'Bastards of the Machine', 'Dehumanized', 'Children of a Faceless God' and 'Reign in Madness', this shows that, while Symphony X may not feel inclined to do many classically- inspired prog epics these days, they've refused to relent with age, instead, getting heavier and constantly finding ways to update their sound and remain relevant.

'Iconoclast' belongs in every metal fans collection. Simple.

 Live on the Edge of Forever  by SYMPHONY X album cover Live, 2001
3.78 | 65 ratings

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Live on the Edge of Forever
Symphony X Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

3 stars Symphony X are one of my all-time favourite bands, without a doubt. BUT... (you knew this was coming), 'Live on the Edge of Forever', their 2001 live album, doesn't really do their music justice.

Now hold your tongue before you condemn me for this blasphemy and take heed! Firstly, I'm not really big on live albums. I do like them, and if I'm a fan of a band I'll endeavour to own everything they release, but ultimately I like the slick, crisp sound of a studio recording. Everything is perfectly balanced (mostly), the sound is punchier, and it just feels more 'definitive'. Live albums can be good for jams and random nuggets of joy where the band can be entertaining through banter or crowd interaction. But otherwise... give me a studio album.

Secondly, to be brutally honest, Symphony X's music doesn't convey the same type of energy that goes down well on a live setting. Don't get me wrong, I love Symphony X, and the song choices here are fantastic! But I love live albums where there's a palpable energy flowing! Where you can really feel electricity in the air. All I imagine here is a bunch of people standing around watching a band play, and then clapping at the end.

Again though, Symphony X are one of my favourite bands, and the set list and the playing is incredible! In fact, some of the songs are played even faster than their studio counterparts, which is insane! The band are truly all masters of their craft. And with classics such as 'Smoke and Mirrors', 'Through the Looking Glass', 'Church of the Machine', 'The Eyes of Medusa' and most of the 'V: The New Mythology Suite' record being played, there's certainly no shortage of bangers.

However, there aren't really many noteworthy additions to the songs and there's no entertaining shenanigans or banter. Just track after track with crowds cheering in between. I love Symphony X, but in the end... I just prefer the studio albums.

 Underworld by SYMPHONY X album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.83 | 244 ratings

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Underworld
Symphony X Progressive Metal

Review by guiservidoni

3 stars Underworld is a solid record by Symphony X. It's got the prog power that gets you hooked, the symphonic elements throughout and even a bass that shines through a little bit more than in the other records. However, that's also the album Achilles' heel: it stops there.

You see, this is a safe album: vaguely conceptual, no 10+ minutes tracks, all songs structured really similarly. It's got an overture, which is nice, but that doesn't make it a five-star record by far.

This album pleases the fanbase, the first-time listener, and the guy that only knows V and Divine Wings Of Tragedy. It's a great one to stream, but not to buy.

 Prelude to the Millennium  by SYMPHONY X album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1999
4.02 | 15 ratings

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Prelude to the Millennium
Symphony X Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars As is always the problem with compilations, they quickly become dated, which is the case for 'Prelude to the Millennium', Symphony X's 1998 collection that nicely compiles material from their first four albums, which in retrospect, covers their mainly progressive/neoclassical phase (subsequent albums would go in a much heavier, power metal-inspired direction).

With that said, there is still plenty of excellent music here which can easily to used to convert new fans. Featuring some of the bands most ambitious and complex pieces, this will appeal to metal and prog fans alike, with a nice mixture of heavy, fast, quiet and epic songs. As is standard with the genre, the technical ability of everyone involved is top-notch, with particular praise going to the chemistry between guitarist Michael Romeo and keyboardist Michael Pinnella, and of course, to powerhouse vocalist Russell Allen.

Featuring some absolutely astonishing progressive metal hits such as 'Through the Looking Glass', 'Smoke and Mirrors' 'Of Sins and Shadows', 'The Damnation Game' and a re-recorded version of 'Masquerade' off of their debut album, the choice of songs here is (mostly) spot-on! And definitely highlights all of the bands strengths. However with that said, there is one problem...

'The Divine Wings of Tragedy'.

Now, the choice of songs is mostly killer here, and although there's one or two songs I'd have left off (this is always the case for compilation CD's), the real overkill is the inclusion of the 21-minute epic 'Divine Wings...'. It's a great song, but damn, it just takes up such a huge chunk here, and really, it just seems too much to hear the entire song! If it'd been up to me, 'The Accolade', 'Church of the Machine' or 'The Eyes of Medusa' are all much more accessible songs that could have taken its place. But never mind... can't win 'em all...

Symphony X are one of my all-time favourite bands, and I strongly encourage everyone to check them out. The music is incredibly well-written and will appeal to fans of both prog and metal. Despite only covering their first four albums, 'Prelude to the Millennium' is still a great starting point for anyone new to the band.

 Paradise Lost by SYMPHONY X album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.79 | 489 ratings

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Paradise Lost
Symphony X Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars Heavy: 1. of great weight; difficult to lift. 2. of great density. 3. 'Paradise Lost' by Symphony X.

Symphony X's seventh studio album, 'Paradise Lost', is, simply put, heavy. The majestic sounds of their earlier releases are gone, and the more orchestral feel of their previous two albums have dwindled. Now, in their place, is an all-out assault of the heaviest, beefiest, and arguably some of the most aggressive music you'll ever hear.

The song structures, while still maintaining progressive characteristics, are nowhere near as complex as past efforts, and the keyboards don't have as prominent a role in the songwriting. Much of the music is based around guitarist Michael Romeo's massive riffs and vocalist Russell Allen's intense yet melodic voice, both fitting together so perfectly that it's easy to forget the bands more classically-inspired days.

'Set the World on Fire', 'Serpent's Kiss', 'Paradise Lost' and 'Revelation' are all fantastic-enough reasons to get this album, but then there's what I consider one of the heaviest songs of all time; 'Domination'. The sheer weight of its huge riffs is insane, amazingly produced to really give it the thickness it needs. You really don't know what "heavy" means until you've cranked this song out at full blast!

Overall, this is certainly not Symphony X's best album, but it's a natural change of direction for the band, and one which should help them appeal to a broader metal audience. And you'd sure-as-hell better be a metal fan if you're going to listen to this!

 The Odyssey by SYMPHONY X album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.95 | 532 ratings

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The Odyssey
Symphony X Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars With 'V: The New Mythology Suite' being a huge hit with fans and praised as one of the bands finest releases, it only stands to reason that they'd further build upon the orchestral elements they'd implemented with that album. And oh boy, does it work, or what?!

Building upon what they'd started with their previous release, 'The Odyssey' continues to see the band become heavier and heavier, with more focus on brutal guitar riffs and vocalist Russell Allen stepping further away from the high-pitched wailing he'd been accustomed to with earlier albums.

Essentially split into two parts, the first seven songs are all absolute bangers! Brimming with amazing guitar riffs, mind-blowing solos, intense vocals and all-round top performances from everyone. Tracks like 'Inferno', 'Wicked' and 'Awakenings' are head-banging anthems, while 'The Accolade II' is an epic follow-up to its epic predecessor.

Then there's the "second half". The main event. The 24-minute title track, which is arguably one of the bands greatest compositions. Taking the symphonic elements of their previous release, the band really crank it up a level to unleash a song that takes you right into the action with Greek hero Odysseus as he sets on his ten-year journey home to Ithaca. It features some of the most insane musicianship imaginable, with some jaw-dropping interplay between the band members, as well as some of the most emotional and sincere vocals I've ever heard.

And I know that right now you're thinking how cheesy this all sounds, right? Well, cheese is good! Everyone likes cheese! And so will you!

In summary, 'The Odyssey' is a four-star album with five-star songs... and five-star songs is an understatement! Worth the price for the title track alone, get it now and go on the greatest adventure of your life!

 V - The New Mythology Suite by SYMPHONY X album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.13 | 679 ratings

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V - The New Mythology Suite
Symphony X Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars With their fifth studio release, Symphony X finally cave in to the common trend amongst progressive rock and metal bands... the concept album.

Having already established a style that incorporated elements of progressive and power metal with a neoclassical flare, the band have now implemented more symphonic arrangements, which gives the music a much bigger and more grandiose sound.

It would be tough to follow up the incredible 'Twilight in Olympus', an album I consider one of my all-time favourites, and for a band to thrive and avoid stagnating, it's good to try different approaches to their songwriting. In this regard, the orchestrations really add a new depth to Symphony X's music. It does add a certain level of pomposity too, but then, this is already a genre rife with musical indulgence, and seeing as this is a rock opera about the rise and fall of the city of Atlantis, it really gives a majestic atmosphere to the story being told.

(Or something like that).

As always with this band, the musicianship is astounding and really puts these guys above everyone else. Special praise as always goes to Michael Romeo's blistering guitar work, and vocalist Russell Allen starts to step away from the high-pitched wailing of previous releases and adds a new level of aggression to his already incredibly versatile voice. Songs like 'Evolution', 'Fallen', 'Egypt', 'Rediscovery (Part 2)' and one of the bands best compositions, 'Communion and the Oracle', are all fine examples of the talent of everyone involved.

Regarded as one of Symphony X's best albums, 'V: The New Mythology Suite' is another top-notch concept album for progressive metal enthusiasts to sink their teeth into, and non-metal prog fans might just find a few things in here to pique their interest too.

 Twilight In Olympus by SYMPHONY X album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.75 | 329 ratings

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Twilight In Olympus
Symphony X Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

5 stars It would seem a near-impossible task for a band to not only match, but surpass 'The Divine Wings of Tragedy', but if anyone can do it, it's the albums creators themselves, for with 'Twilight in Olympus', Symphony X have unleashed a pure masterpiece of progressive metal upon the world.

Comfortable and confident with their sound, the interplay between all the musicians on this release is breathtaking, with each member given ample time to shine. Michael Romeo's guitars are at their neoclassical best, with keyboard player Michael Pinnella matching him note for note. The rhythm section, despite the long compositions and intricate structures, are as solid as ever, and Russell Allen's vocals are truly at their peak. From aggressive to melodic, from deathly growls to the highest wails, this truly is one of the most versatile singers in the world, fronting some of the most technically proficient musicians in the world.

Despite being a continuation of the style they'd honed and perfected over the last few albums, nothing on 'Twilight' sounds forced or stagnant. The band sound more focused and driven than ever. While every song here is a true highlight in the bands discography, it's the first half of the album that deserves particular attention. 'Smoke and Mirrors' and 'In the Dragon's Den' are relentless in speed and technique, and 'Church of the Machine' and 'Through the Looking Glass' are two of the greatest "epics" the genre has to offer.

With its blend of metal, progressive and neoclassical elements, virtuoso musicianship and solid production, Symphony X's 'Twilight in Olympus' is an absolute beast of an album, and is without a doubt one of progressive metal's finest offerings.

 The Divine Wings Of Tragedy by SYMPHONY X album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.11 | 542 ratings

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The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
Symphony X Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

4 stars Symphony X's upward spiral continues as their third album, 'The Divine Wings of Tragedy', builds upon every improvement made over their previous two albums, to make this one of their finest and most ambitious releases to date.

The music and sound is pretty much similar to its predecessor, yet, everything just seems more accomplished. The band have really hit their stride in regards to songwriting, especially guitarist Michael Romeo and keyboardist Michael Pinnella, who's neoclassical dueling perfectly encapsulates the essence of the band. And vocalist Russell Allen's incredible voice fits the music perfectly, able to shift from melodic to aggressive singing with ease.

After 'The Damnation Game' set the blueprint for a Symphony X album, this is where the New Jersey quintet really started to refine their sound and become the band we all know and love. And with some of their strongest material in songs such as 'Of Sins and Shadows', 'Out of the Ashes', 'The Accolade', 'The Eyes of Medusa' and the 21-minute title track, it's easy to see why this album is held in such high regard by fans.

 The Damnation Game by SYMPHONY X album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.32 | 234 ratings

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The Damnation Game
Symphony X Progressive Metal

Review by martindavey87

3 stars Symphony X are back with their second album and a sound that will quickly distinguish them as one of the top prog metal bands in the world.

The differences between this and their self-titled debut are noticeable immediately. Besides the addition of powerhouse vocalist Russell Allen, who's incredible voice can easily switch between both melodic and aggressive styles, the production has been vastly improved and the songwriting is a lot more confident and refined.

The songs on 'The Damnation Game' flow so much fluidly than before. Michael Romeo's intense riffs and exotic solos are much more tasteful, and Michael Pinella's keyboards never sounded this beautiful on 'Symphony X'. While this is far from the bands most ambitious work, it's still a solid blueprint which the New Jersey quintet would build upon with future releases.

Featuring highlights such as 'The Edge of Forever', 'A Winter's Dream', 'The Haunting' and the title track, the reason this only gets a three-star rating is because, despite being a really good record, honestly, it just pales in comparison to what's to come. Such is the strength of the bands later output that I find myself very rarely listening to this one. Still, if you're a fan of Symphony X, then this is definitely an album worth owning!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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