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Symphony X - Live on the Edge of Forever  CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

3.78 | 66 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars At the time of its release I only managed to hear Live On The Edge Of Forever a few times before returning it to the friend I borrowed it from. Fortunately thanks to Spotify I can now revisit it anytime I feel like it.

To tell you the truth I wasn't that phenomenally impressed by this live recording the first few times I listened to it. The production is below the acceptable for a live recording from the 21-century considering the technological progress. Come to think of it I've heard much better production on the live King Crimson recordings from the '70s. The weird thing is that I kind of like the sound better listening to it today. A plausible explanation might be the terrible sounding live performance that I've witnessed from the band but I'll talk more about it once I get to Paradise Lost.

Live On The Edge of Forever is roughly split up into four parts starting with the first part of V: The New Mythology Suite followed by two The Divine Wings Of Tragedy tracks to finish off disc one. The second disc starts with three compositions from Twilight in Olympus, which happens to be the album I'm least familiar with, and then finally returns to the highlights from The Divine Wings Of Tragedy. Track list-wise this is performance seems solid since I consider the second part of V: The New Mythology Suite to be inferior to the first one plus I get an introduction to Twilight in Olympus. It's true that I would also have liked to hear Out Of the Ashes and The Accolade but now I'm just nitpicking.

As it is with many live performances there aren't that many compositions that manage to add anything new to the studio versions. The slight exception to that is the amazing performance of Evolution (The Grand Design) and the much more subtle version of Egypt. The rest of material tries hard to replicate the album versions and does a decent job although I just have to point out Russell Allen's behavior that definitely ruins the mood for me on a few occasions.

At first I had no problem with the frequent shout outs by Russell Allen but it just gets annoying upon repeated listens. I'm talking about the frequent interruptions of music that happen on a few occasions where Allen shouts out to the crowd. The composition that suffers the most of this is Through The Looking Glass. I also don't understand why Allen had to scream out "Thank you very much everybody and goodnight" just where the vocals are supposed to kick it on Of Sins And Shadows. It totally ruins the whole momentum built up by the wonderful intro.

Overall it's not the best introduction to Symphony X and as I previous mentioned I don't actually own a copy of this album. Considering my expressed love for this band in the previous reviews it definitely says more about this album than any words ever could express. Still I'll go with the good, but non-essential rating since the performance, per se, is quite spectacular.

***** star songs: Evolution (The Grand Design) (5:18)

**** star songs: Fallen/Transcendence (6:30) Communion And The Oracle (7:39) The Bird-Serpent War/Cataclysm (3:39) Egypt (7:05) Death Of Balance/Candlelight Fantasia (5:52) The Eyes Of Medusa (4:32) Smoke And Mirrors (6:36) Church Of The Machine (7:21) Through The Looking Glass (14:09) Of Sins And Shadows (7:22) Sea Of Lies (4:05) The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (19:54)

*** star songs: Prelude (1:40) On The Breath Of Poseidon (5:09)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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