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Symphony X - V: The New Mythology Suite - 80%

ConorFynes, December 28th, 2010

Symphony X has been cited alot as being the counterpart of Dream Theater in the progressive metal world. The two are constantly being compared to each other, and while I prefer Dream Theater hands down overall, Symphony X have made themselves a conceptual masterpiece that matches any album by Petrucci and company. This is music that paints a very exotic locale, and has a very classical Greek/Egyptian feel to it, as if it's the soundtrack to a badass, metal version of 'Jason & The Argonauts.' While there's a point where the cheesy power metal approach the band takes in their music can become a bit too much, there's just enough progressive magic here to balance it out and make for a hell of a wild ride.

Judging from 'The New Mythology Suite's name, it's understandable to think of the album has not a mere collection of songs, but a multi-part epic, much along the lines of Fates Warning's 'The Ivory Gate Of Dreams' or The Mars Volta's 'Cassandra Geminni,' spanning the course of many tracks.

Despite the instrumental brilliance that the band adopts, I have never been a fan of Russell Allen's voice, and most likely never will. He's obviously a very technically accomplished vocalist, and is able to hit an impressive range, but the tone of his voice simply contrasts with my personal tastes. While his vocals detract a little from my overall enjoyment of the work, it's still an album that is excellent and enjoyable throughout.

The highlights are always the parts where the band opts to go very progressive and technical. The instrumental parts (for reason mentioned above) are my favourite. Stand-out songs include the epic 'Communion And The Oracle,' the exotic sounding 'Egypt,' the highly progressive and abstract- rhythmic 'Death Of Balance/Lacrymosa' and the fantastic, grandiose closer 'Rediscovery Pt. II.' This is a very neoclassically-arranged piece of progressive metal. I'm sure every prog-metal fan can enjoy the greatness of this album. It's not the superior masterpiece of progressive metal, but it's definately up there, and stands as being Symphony X's most impressive work to date.