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Symphony X - Underworld CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

3.81 | 255 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Symphony X continues their winning streak of excellent metal releases with Underworld, an album of monstrous hooks and savage riffing that checks just about every box you could want in a prog-metal album. It's conceptual, features brain-twisting instrumental moments, outstanding vocals, and memorable songs; however, one thing that Symphony X continually brings to the table more than many of their peers is a good old fashioned heavy metal style that is simply irresistible.

I had a gushing review of their previous album, Iconoclast, and much of that praise carries over here as well. This band is refreshingly consistent, crushing it from a songwriting and instrumental perspective. Songs are dramatic and ambitious, but not so much so that the album is weighed down in pretense or narrative baggage. The momentum doesn't let up, and the group strikes a fine balance between "normal" metal riffing and prog-metal scope. Every one of these songs has musical moments that will get in your head: maybe it's a soaring metal solo from guitarist Romeo, smartly integrated keyboards from Pinella, or the excellent rhythm section - which, by the way, is masterfully produced, sounding crisp and clear throughout; how nice to hear every member of a metal group! Likely though, you'll be drawn to the rugged and varied vocals of Russel Allen, who with each release becomes nearer and nearer to the top of my list of metal vocalists. The guy is a champ, delivering the often evocative (i.e., tongue-in-cheek) lyrics with gusto and machismo.

My only criticism is that Symphony X is beginning to tread familiar ground here, but when they produce melodies and hooks, and metal moments so epic, it's hard to argue that it's a bad thing.

Bottom line, Underworld is a ton of fun that should absolutely be checked out by metal fans. The "old" Symphony X was great, but the approach that the band has taken in the past three releases hits harder and aims to please, which it absolutely does. I still recommend Iconoclast as the current entry point to this excellent metal group's library, but Underworld is probably right behind it. Check it out, get your fists pumping, head banging, brain twisting, voice crackling, and emotions satisfied with this excellent prog-metal album.

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |


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