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Stylistically superior to The Odyssey - 96%

HealthySonicDiet, December 19th, 2003

While The Odyssey was far catchier and perhaps more technical than V, it's not really what Symphony X is about. Symphony X is a progressive band that is highly technical, and they should utilize those two faculties of their sound the best way they can, not write an assortment of straightforward metal tunes. Although I enjoy The Odyssey more, I appreciate this more. Russell Allen's vocals are perhaps stronger on this record and the overall tone of the album is darker, which I think ties in with the ideologies of metal quite well. Also more prevalent on this album are the backing choirs, which are very powerful and operatic, not in the old-school Therion sort-of way, but in a modern choral way. Maybe they shouldn't be described as operatic, but they damn well complement the already strong presence of Allen. The guitar tone is much thicker and buzzing on this record and its great for the dark feel of the album. There are also several instrumentals to be found here, the best one being Lacrymosa/The Bird Serpent War. Wow, the drumming is spectacular here, and the grinding guitars are excellent as well. For concept albums, instrumentals are awesome because I think they draw you more into the overall spirit and atmosphere of the concept and allow your mind to wander a little bit, as opposed to just the concrete collection of regular songs. The epic song of this album is Rediscovery and it's about half the length of the title track from The Odyssey. It's not nearly as memorable as the latter(The opening sequence is godly), but overall it's more appreciable for its overall structure and riffage. Whereas The Odyssey didn't have very many memorable, groove-worthy riffs throughout its 23-minute plus duration, Rediscovery is rife with them. The only detriment to this song is that it tends to drag a little. Still great though. The bottom line is that I enjoy The Odyssey more, but I respect this more. Now this only leaves their other albums such as Divine Wings of Tragedy for me to buy and compare and contrast.