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Symphony X - The Divine Wings Of Tragedy CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.10 | 557 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is another album growing quite a lot of dust on my shelf and I purchased it some years ago when I've been enjoying more this kind of neo-classical and speed metal stuff. Artists like Malmsteen, Stratovarius, Satriani and so on used to belong to my favs back then. Meanwhile (after passing several phases of musical taste I've to say when I'm listening to such records they don't do much to me and I'm rather happy when they're over. Thus I'm asking myself do such bands like Symphony X (and actually that applies as well to Dream Theater,at least with me) really deserve to be called essential in Prog and in this sub-genre in particular if they appeal mainly to people with a very specific, narrowed taste? I would answer rather no, but anyway let's finish this more general discussion and concentrate on this album here in review.

I mentioned already that I really used to like it very much years before and as far as I can remember this was mainly due to the title track which appears to be the most interesting one of this album (at least if one's able to support Gregorian type of chanting). But even this track (though usually I can enjoy extended epic suites as Morte Macabre's "Symphonic Holocaust" for example) I find just quite ok meanwhile and it fails inviting me for a second visit. As do the other tracks on here even more, apart from Russell Allen's excellent vocals (admittedly for miles better than LaBrie's) there's little enjoyable for me to be found on this album. The moments without shredding or cheesy sound are just too few here, too bad. I really can't follow anymore what I used to like with their music, maybe the melodicity, the bombast (something I can't support anymore) and most probably I've been impressed (in an admittedly quite naive way) by the enormous technical abilities of Romeo / Pinella on their respective instruments. They CAN play incredibly fast, no doubt about this fact but I've to say as well that speed and technical skill are by far not the most important features for creating excellent and timeless music.

As a summary I wouldn't go that far to call this a bad record just for the reason that it's not fitting (anymore) my taste. That's my own fault and I can't blame the musicians for that. On the other hand I'm far from giving more than an average rating to this work for the mentioned reasons above. Unfortunately I've to say that Symphony X is just another one on my ever growing list of artists/bands listed here that did not pass the test of time. Essential only for fans of bombastic (neo-)progressive/classical/symphonic metal showing mainly hollow pathos and high technical skill.

hdfisch | 3/5 |


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