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Symphony X - Underworld CD (album) cover

UNDERWORLD

Symphony X

 

Progressive Metal

3.81 | 252 ratings

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Pastmaster
5 stars "Underworld" is the ninth studio album by progressive/power metal band Symphony X. Ever since 2007's "Paradise Lost", Symphony X has gotten increasingly heavier from album to album. Their last album "Iconoclast" was a heavy slab of crushing metal, and they continue to go further with the prog/US power/thrash/groove hybrid that they have developed with a few more things added in.

The albums begins with a symphonic opening appropriately titled 'Overture', before the entrance of 'Nevermore' which is a great US power metal song. The songs range from melodic power-oriented songs like the aforementioned song and 'Charon', power ballads like 'Without You' and 'Swansong', full-on power-thrash/groove songs like 'Kiss of Fire', and various combinations of styles. The epic 'To Hell and Back' is a perfect example of the combination of all these sounds. Also, what other power metal albums can you think of that have death metal elements? Just take a listen to some of the riffing on the title track and 'Kiss of Fire', it sounds straight out of an old school death metal album.

'In My Darkest Hour', 'Charon', and 'Kiss of Fire' are probably my favorites on the album, the latter easily being my favorite Symphony X song. Russell Allen's vocals are amazing, on this one song he goes from great melodic vocals to gruff groove-metal vocals to powerful screams. This combined with Michael Romero's crushing grooves getting pounded into your skull makes this one addicting head-banging listen. 'Charon' has a really nice middle-eastern sound to it, reminding me of a cross between the bands Kamelot and Ra. Allen's vocals and Romero's riffs really shine on 'In My Darkest Hour', it's hard for the chorus to not get stuck in my head. While the vocals and riffs are what stands out the most to me on the album, the piano on 'Swansong' is very beautiful and certainly deserves a mention. As does the bass that opens the awesome groovy riffs on 'Legend'.

Overall, if you're looking for a prog/power metal album with a great blend of metal styles then you couldn't do much better than this album. An eclectic and incredibly addicting album, this is certainly one of the best 2015 albums I've heard.

(Originally written for www.MetalMusicArchives.com)

Pastmaster | 5/5 |

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