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Symphony X - Iconoclast (2011) - 90%

Sorrow Eternal, March 31st, 2012

Progressive metal band Symphony X is finally back with a brand new album entitled "Iconoclast." This is the eighth full length album that the they have released. The album is full of progression mixed with symphonic power metal tones. From heavy bass lines and distorted guitar riffs to operatic strings and piano keys, this album has it all.

The album kicks off with the song "Iconoclast," which is over 10 minutes long. This track has got everything. Monstrous guitar riffs fill the air immediately as Michael Romeo shreds the scales up and down. He is accompanied by high cymbals splashing everywhere and constant kick/snare action. This is then surrounded by heavy orchestrated strings, giving the melody a warm background as you jump into the verse. The lead vocalist, Russell Allen, soars over the guitars with aggressive clean singing. Putting so much energy and passion into his voice, he really draws you closer to the music. Half way through the song enters a beautiful guitar solo that destroys every note in sight. The guitar work is absolutely magnificent. Also, pay close attention to the drums as you will notice the constant change in pattern and how smooth each roll is as it flows right into the next one.

"Electric Messiah" fades in with distortion, leading right into a wall of guitars towering over you with catchy yet complicated riffs. After hearing the refrain a couple of times, you will be singing along, as I'm sure you'll find it as likeable as I did. The song also has a melodic breakdown that will have you bobbing your head straight through. The way the drums play off the bass and guitar riffs is incredible. This is followed by a beast of a solo that will leave you breathless as the notes grab you by the throat!

"Heretic" is overwhelming with crazy double bass pedals and constant snares cracking off left and right. The fills that are played between the verses are mind blowing. The guitars are massive as they chug away in heavy melodic patterns. As the verses take over, Allen throws more aggressive vocals at you as he hits both operatic and mid range tones. You'll also find similar elements in "Children Of A Faceless God." Quick guitar riffs accompany booming bass lines giving tremendous power to the lower end of the song. Allen fits in perfect as his vocals fly over top with angelic lyrics. This is a "must hear" song!

Just when you thought things couldn't get any better, you will run into "When All Is Lost." This song starts out soft with ravishing piano riffs and gorgeous lyrics sung with Allen's marvelous vocals. Heavier distorted guitars enter later on. However, they continue to keep sort of soothing feel throughout. Later, an astonishing piano bridge enters layered with consoling strings. This is then followed with an electrifying guitar solo keeping you at the edge of your seat all the way to the end. This is truly a stunning masterpiece with great structure and meaningful lyrics.

After listening to the album straight through, its leaves you begging for more, almost as if they could offer you some sort of encore. Well guess what, Symphony X offers a special edition of "Iconoclast" which includes three extra bonus tracks! I highly suggest you pick this up if you are looking to fill your metal addiction. The album is astounding from front to back. This is a CD you'll want to keep in your stereo for days.