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The best power metal out there - 100%

EzraBlumenfeld, October 9th, 2018

I've never been a huge fan of most power metal; there's too much that could go wrong, too many opportunities for cheesiness to overtake the high-energy operatic vocals and magnificent guitar parts that originally defined the subgenre. That being said, I've managed to find several bands that I can enjoy. Among the ones who stand out most to me is Symphony X, whose deeply progressive riffs and unconventional song structures resonate with my other musical tastes. Having become a frequent listener, I came to the rather obvious conclusion that The Divine Wings of Tragedy is unquestionably their best album.

In 1999, Ronnie James Dio and Yngwie Malmsteen collaborated on a cover of Aerosmith's well-known hit "Dream On." And while this version of the song is laughable at worst and decent at best, it's the concept that really stood out to me: why not take a masterfully shreddy guitarist, pair them with a fantastic singer, and make it a band? Unbeknownst to me at the time, this was an idea that had already been executed several years earlier by Michael Romeo when he formed Symphony X. What happens when you take a guitarist on the level of Jason Becker, a vocalist like Russell Allen who could've passed for Dio himself, and throw in a healthy dosage of Rush-inspired progressive riffs? You get this album, of course.

I'm love pretty much every aspect of this album. Compositionally, every song is very strong and it's obvious that they weren't just written on the fly. And while most of the focus of The Divine Wings of Tragedy is obviously on melody and complexity, there is still plenty of time given to head-bangable riffs, possibly best exemplified on opening track "Of Sins and Shadows."

The nine-track album is mostly comprised of average-length songs, most of them very well-executed and definitely fun to listen to, especially throughout the haunting melodies of "The Witching Hour." But where the band really lets themselves shine is on the longer songs; three songs clock in over six minutes, and these are the moments that really stand out from the rest of the material: "Candlelight Fantasia" is on the softer side, but is the perfect ending for this album; "The Accolade" is an epic, shred-filled song that finishes after nearly ten minutes and may just feature a chorus that could define the entire subgenre in itself; and most importantly, the 20-plus minute title track is simply astonishing to behold and is undoubtedly the best song ever recorded by the band, and I would be skeptical if anyone could listen to it and then claim it is not one of the greatest metal songs of all time afterward.

Writing an album like this takes talent, time, and effort. It's obvious that Symphony X has a chemistry between their musicians that is hard to come across, and it shows: hear the dueling keyboard-and-guitar leads on "Sea of Lies" to for one of the best examples of this. This is personally one of my favorite albums of all time, and I imagine it'll always stay near the top of my list. This has captivated me in a way most power metal has failed to, and I'm very impressed.

A divine album (and a divine review) - 95%

Mr Matt, March 1st, 2018

That one word in the album title says it all: divine. This is an album not for the sensitive and delicate. "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" is so heavy and intense and technical, yet so beautiful and symphonic, that it can be almost scary. Michael Romeo (guitarist) certainly paved the way for modern neo-classical techniques we see today. I myself am learning the guitar solo to "Sea Of Lies". Michael Romeo uses such a number of techniques for the guitar solos on "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" such as, cross picking arpeggios, descending and/or ascending legato figures on one string, sweep picking, many Yngwie Malmsteen-inspired fingering patterns, creative and really fast scale work, and best of all: tapping. Michael Romeo is a master at tapping. He possesses an undeniable skill for doing shred melodies with tapping. Examples of this on "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" are most notably, "Of Sins And Shadows", and "Sea Of Lies".

On top of the sweet guitar solos, not only are there guitar solos, but also keyboard solos next or in-between guitar solos. When I listened to this album and heard the keyboard sound used, I realize now that Symphony X's keyboard sound is what so many power metal bands imitate. The keyboard parts on "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" are just as technical as the guitar part.

As for the vocals, Russell Allen (vocalist) possesses a voice that is one of the most iconic in all power metal. Just like the instrumental parts, his voice is quite heavy, yet it sounds beautiful. The only thing I would change in this album is I would add more vocal harmony. There is some in this album, but not a lot. Vocal harmony is something power metal is absolutely known for. I would have added more harmony in the vocals in many intervals such as minor 3rd, Major 3rd, P5th, and major and minor 6ths. Doing this would make the songs much more captivating and leaving the listener in awe. Maybe even traumatize the non-metaler.

In closing, "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" is a power metal essential and definitely on the top 15 greatest power metal albums of all time. This album has made many innovations in guitar playing and also inspired my own playing. This album sounds divine.

One of the greatest albums ever made in metal - 97%

Human666, April 4th, 2016

The main problem with monumental albums such as The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (as it is with any high quality music in general) is that although it is fairly easy to detect its sheer brilliance and uncompromising uniqueness once you encounter it, it's almost impossible to identify the exact process that leads to such a spectacular result. For that reason, musicians tend to spend their whole lives pursuing something unknown that eventually leads to the creation of such rare, enormous pieces of art. Almost twenty years ago, Symphony X reached that supreme, extremely rare level of creativity that resulted in the creation of this masterpiece.

This album continues the musical line of the former albums. There are nine prog metal tracks in this album, each is an impressive exhibition of remarkable songwriting filled with solid guitar riffs, sophisticated structures, epic vocal lines and mesmerizing guitar and keyboards solos. There is something inexplicable with this album that creates an ongoing, thrilling atmosphere. Each song has a lot of great ideas, and they just follow each other continuously, resulting in a continuous, inspiring stream that will hold you still for the whole duration of this album.

Tracks such as 'The Accolade' and 'The Divine Wings of Tragedy' are just amazingly epic and unforgettable. The first is a grandiose suite filled with numerous catchy motives, thrilling vocals and exciting lead guitar and keyboards, while the title track is a gigantic, twenty minutes long adventure that is composed of seven sections, each helps slowly to build a marvelous experience that will leave you stunned.

There probably won't be any more albums such as this one in the future. Reaching the artistic level and innovative mindset that leads to the creation of such an album is something extremely uncommon and rare. I can only envy these who didn't have the pleasure of discovering this album yet, only because I know that I'll never be able to feel the exact overwhelming sensation I've felt during the first days of discovering this masterpiece.

Musical Divinity - 100%

CireX, August 6th, 2015

Symphony X is a band that offers an original blend of progressive metal and power metal with neoclassical metal as well as symphonic metal. The Divine Wings of Tragedy is the first Symphony X album to have genuinely impeccable production quality and what a blessing this is. The music is executed and presented in an awe-inspiring manner and each instrument can be heard with perfect clarity.

Each and every single melody, rhythm, solo, tone, vocal piece or any combination of the aforementioned is absolutely mind-blowing. Indeed, all of the songs are perfect, with each being distinct and yet cohesive with one another. Numerous classical excerpts are integrated seamlessly with the band's original compositions and can be found throughout the record such as Mozart's "Piano Sonata no. 1 K 279" and "The Planets" by Gustav Holst among many others. A testament to this is readily found with the album's title track, which is over twenty minutes in length. The product of such compositional ability is as equally musical as it is technical.

Speaking of technicality, the instrumentation on this recording is beyond world-class. Michael Romeo's performance on guitars is beyond my ability to describe with words alone, but I will try anyway. His performance is incredible whether playing one of the various precisely-picked riffs, memorable melodies or stellar solos, augmented further still by his unique tone. To put simply, he is the greatest guitarist of all time in my opinion. Michael Pinnella plays keyboards and does so with such skill that my appreciation for the instrument has increased exponentially. The atmosphere, melody and solos that he delivers are truly inspiring. On bass guitar is Thomas Miller, whose tone is quite novel. His playing is divine, as evidenced throughout the album's duration by the intricate basslines and blistering solos. He too I consider to be the most talented musician of his chosen instrument. Next is Jason Rullo, who performs the drums with such skill, energy, precision, technique and musicality that I occasionally doubt that he is human. As if this already extraordinary line-up of musicians were not enough, the final member of the band is perhaps the most exceptional of all. I can say with utmost confidence that Russell Allen is hands down the best vocalist that these ears have ever heard. From his soaring range on "Of Sins and Shadows" to his aggressive growls on "The Eyes of Medusa" to the wonderfully soft cooing on "Candlelight Fantasia", there is absolutely nothing that this man cannot sing flawlessly.

With The Divine Wings of Tragedy, Symphony X show that they are surely the greatest progressive band of all time bar none and, even greater still, perhaps the greatest band ever period.

Houston, we have liftoff - 90%

ijy10152, March 14th, 2013

What many consider to be Symphony X's crowning achievement; The Divine Wings of Tragedy is the first album that really launched them into the limelight of the progressive/power metal scene in the 90s. I don't think this is really their best work, but it is a really good album and has definitely become a progressive/power metal classic and will be remembered for many years to come. What's really remarkable about this album is that it fulfills a lot of the potential hinted at in Damnation Game, improving on their previous effort in every way; it takes all that energy hinted at in it and turns it into an album of catchy prog/power masterpieces.

The album starts off with a bang in "Of Sins and Shadows" a loud bombastic and catchy opening piece (not unlike Damnation Game) that every Symphony X fan knows and loves. It's safe to say that this song has become a classic in the genre as well as one of the main staples of Symphony X's live concerts. The chorus rocks and there's this really neat part at about 2:42 where the backup vocals take on this choral quality, like a professional level chorus is singing that part while the other instruments stop playing and it sounds really cool. Today I'm going to treat you all to a track by track run through of this album, it doesn't happen often I know, but some albums just need it because there's something that needs to be said about each song. "Sea of Fate" is another excellent song that has become a staple of their live shows. This one is fast and even angrier than the first song, Russel Allen is able to expertly manipulate his voice and do some really neat things and I find that to be one of the things that makes him a stellar vocalist, especially in this song during the chorus; he does it a little bit which really makes it stand out. This is the first album where Allen fully realizes his potential, and his voice is one of the standouts that makes this recording so remarkable.

"Out of the Ashes" is probably my favorite song from this album, it's got a really cool neoclassical section right off the bat that just sounds so cool, I love when Romeo does those neoclassical runs on the guitar, because he really does do a pretty good imitation of Malmsteen. Then it breaks into the actual singing and on this song Allen sounds amazing, he manipulates his voice (naturally, not with computers) really well and he does some truly stunning things with it. The chorus is the best part of this song though, It's ridiculously catchy ("Out of the Ashes of my youth I rise a man, and through the eyes of truth I finally understand!!") I love this chorus, it's one of my favorite Symphony X has ever written. What I also like about this song is that it's short and to the point, it's meant to be short and catchy with some well done Malmsteenesque soloing, nothing more is needed out of this song.

"The Accolade" is a very well known and liked Symphony X song. Symphony X started writing songs that serve as ballads for their albums, but double as mini epics and they have included one in each album since Damnation Game. What I find so enjoyable about these songs is that as far as the ballad part goes, they're slow, but not boring and they have a fairly upbeat feel to them. It starts off with a really nice acoustic guitar solo until the keyboard kicks in and creates a nice melody on top of the guitar's harmony and it sounds... nice. This whole piece is just very light and airy, one might even call it beautiful. It does have some harder hitting parts in the middle, but it still manages to maintain that upbeat feeling and it keeps the main theme of the piece going throughout. As a ballad, this is a great piece, as a mini epic it's exceptional, but overall this is another standout winner from an album full of them.

The next three songs slow it down a little bit, but in a bombastic way. "Pharaoh" is a mid tempo, heavy beast of a song. like every other piece on this album the chorus is unique, but catchy at the same time. Allen's performance on this song is yet again magnificence, his vocal manipulation creates some really cool sounds in the chorus and the chorus is very, very good; I love singing it. "The Eyes of Medusa" is a little faster as well as another favorite for the band to play live, though out of all the songs on this album it's not quite as incredible and unique as the rest of it, though it's still a good song. towards the end it has this slow section that almost makes you think it's gone on to the next song, but then it gets back into the bombastic melody of the rest of it. "Witching hour" is another unique song, it starts with an acoustic guitar solo which is joined by a harmony on the bass and together the two parts really weave together perfectly, it's got a pretty catchy and unique chorus as well.

Now for the the main course "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" Symphony X's first attempt at a 20 minute epic. I would also consider this their first notable true epic (the one from their debut album sucked), this song has everything you could want from a progressive metal 20 minute epic, fantastic melodies, changing moods and amazing, technical soloing. I think people tend to judge this one a little harshly because unfortunately it's just not as good as their other efforts in the next few albums. But listening to it on it's own, I've come to realize that it really is a great composition; my only complaints are that it's a bit lacking in vocal parts, more than half the song is soloing, it doesn't really have any really catchy parts which leads into the main problem; as a whole it's just not that memorable. I really can only remember the beginning (it's got a really bombastic opening) and the end. Other than that it is truly a great piece of music and the band should be very pleased with this song (and I think they are seeing as they play it live quite often).

I almost always forget "Candlelight Fantasia" when I'm listening to it, I always expect the album to end after the titanic title track; not that it's a bad song, it's just that after listening to a 20 minute epic people generally either want a break or to move on to a different album. It really comes down to bad song placement. It's a great ballad (all symphony X ballads are great) and the band seems to love playing this one live, it just probably should have been put in a different slot. All in all this is a great album with not a weak song in sight.

On The Edge Of Paradise - 99%

GuntherTheUndying, October 19th, 2012

Ah yes, "The Divine Wings of Tragedy." It's often dubbed Symphony X's finest hour; a landmark in progressive metal; an enthroned idol that has stood against time's harsh winds without the usual creative or critical erosion often attached. Symphony X has a freakishly incredible slew of releases—progressive monuments such as "Twilight In Olympus" stand tall, and later works like "Paradise Lost" have garnered critical acclaim as well. I'll flat out admit I love this band and almost everything they've done (I think "V: The New Mythological Suite" occasionally mucks up the waters of Atlantis it desperately tries to preserve, but that's another story) with a greater interest in their Thomas Miller-era material as my musical knowledge and expertise matured. When I first bought this, I hated it. It didn't make any sense to me at all. I coincidentally only found out about Symphony X because they were doing some now-defunct Ozzfest knockoff led by legendary (and batshit insane) Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine called Gigantour. My logic at the time was: if band X tours with Megadeth, then band X is innately awesome and I need all of their albums. I was a dumb kid.

This hypothesis was hit and miss, of course. When I bought "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" and, ironically "V" at the same time, I found myself magnetized to the straight-forward, guitar-driven songs on "V" than the presumably (again, I was a youngster) pretentious, doodling tracks on this bad lad. In fact, I remember struggling with "The Accolade" and could seldom claw through the first few sections of the twenty-minute title track, let alone deal with "Candlelight Fantasia." It was just too artsy and elegant, when I wanted raw, fast, heavy stuff. Things change with time obviously, and after rekindling my Symphony X curiosity with "Paradise Lost" when that came out, I found a remarkable amount of respect for the content within this magnum opus. Maybe it was the influence of time finally fitting "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" and I together like a manpart and that other thing women have, apparently; not to stray away from the point, but yes, it deserves to be crowned a masterpiece, even though it took a few years to click.

Symphony X at this point was coming off of an improved sophomore album that showed growth and maturation in the demanding, complex backbone of progressive power metal; "The Damnation Game" was the first Symphony X release to feature Russell Allen on vocals and further advanced their evolution. Here, they struck creative gold. The opening "Of Sins And Shadows" shows a band riding on every horse Olympus could provide: Michael Romeo's cruising riffs and the wonderfully interwoven keyboard melodies of Michael Pinnella, metal's most prominent keyboardist, overlap each other in a beautifully intense aura of sheer excellence. Allen's vocals accompany this fast-paced canticle in a wonderful storm of powerful, demanding chimes that are mighty and fierce, yet versatile in really any setting, as he's proved throughout his various journeys in Symphony X.

Yeah, it's only one song, but "Of Sins And Shadows" is legendary, a comprehensive classic. The same can be said about "Sea of Lies" and the youthful burst of catchy power metal within "Out of the Ashes," with all three showing Romeo's godly arsenal of riffs and solos, plus the band's magnetic chemistry engaging the sonic front. This legitimately feels like a symphony. The neoclassical elements glaring on numbers like "The Witching Hour" are uniquely wired to so many inspiring keyboard melodies and guitar parts that it all sounds orchestral in a way. I mean, there are loads of different sections and blueprints within each cut, but the specific parts together paint the entire picture, working in unison like a spider spinning delicate strains of web over and over until it all becomes its abstract, mystifying piece. The progressive elements are amplified during "The Accolade," showing Allen's magic in a ballad-based (perhaps a trifle medieval) sonnet largely revolving around atmospheric keys and emotional power that strongly contradicts most of the metal-based tracks; it's an unbelievably beautiful song. "Candlelight Fantastia," too, spotlights Romeo's virtuosic guitar roles in a leading place, yet still applying a somber edge to progressive metal as we know it. Stunning, stunning stuff.

Symphony X separates themselves from cohorts like Dream Theater and others because they are boldly heavy, but can turn into an artsy creature on a dime. I mean, the structures in the first three songs are fast and heavy—lots of hyperactive riffs, barreling double-bass work from Jason Rullo's footwork, Miller's technical bass playing pulling the strings behind the scenes...the works. That's not even including the groove-based beatings of "Pharaoh" and "The Eyes of Medusa," which largely dilute the tempos of the album's beginning phase, yet likewise show so much more in the pristine, methodical rhythms in what are easily the record's heaviest songs. At the same time, it's all incredibly intricate and carefully mechanical, but not bloated or overdrawn; Symphony X knew the limits of their style here, and justified the layered postulates with great music and performances. "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" always cooks up surprises, even to the seasoned, experienced listener that's been under its influence for years.

However, the title track turns more heads than anything else, and with good reason: it's over twenty minutes long! I can picture a new listener viewing that monstrous length for the first time and saying, "Dude, that's, like, two ten-minute songs, but it's one, dude." Yes dude, it's one goddamn song, but an excellent one at that, perhaps their best creation ever. The tune starts with a heavenly choir setting the stage for the triumphs that'll soon follow, and then the band slowly builds up the track with a variety of paces and sections. The piece itself is like an all-consuming sphere that represents everything Symphony X said throughout "The Divine Wings of Tragedy," yet at around the 9:30 mark, Symphony X kicks up the pace and dips the epic in amazingly heavy and forceful riffs; Allen's vocal lines are absolutely crushing, aggressive and infatuating. It's concluding moments are calm and shiny, showing appreciation to the atmosphere and artistic complexity it mastered throughout the title track's impeccable running time. It's the king of kings, baby.

"The Divine Wings of Tragedy" is an unbelievably ambitious and perplexing project. It's one of the few releases that successfully stitches the oddities of progressive metal and the velocity of power metal into one idiosyncratic lump of creative utopia, beyond the visual plains of so many factions that have attempted to capture its otherworldly essence. All of Symphony X's releases have replay value, but this one seems to be the true magnum opus heralded as the undisputed champion among fans, critics, even the band itself. Nothing here deserves banishment; every song is a stand-alone testament to its instrumental magic. It's "The Divine Wings of Tragedy," and it's Symphony X flying high on the winds of Olympus. Timeless, classic, powerful, pristine, angelic and ambrosial; riding on those divine wings.

"And all I know, is my paradise has begun ..."

This review was written for:

One of the best albums ever made, hands down - 96%

Khat57, October 7th, 2011

After suffering through the absolutely painful Iconoclast album from Symphony X earlier this year, I almost doubted my fandom. This doubt was for a fleeting moment, though, as I came across some old mixed CD's I made with "Of Sins and Shadows" and "Sea of Lies" on them, and remembered that fateful day I was walking across Discount Records and stumbled across this mysterious, majestic cover and picked up "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" on a whim, having never heard of Symphony X, nor even hearing a sample in the store. Gotta say, best impulse purchase ever!

I can't praise this album enough. (and apparently, neither can everyone else... That 96% average rating is well-earned) All I can say is that everyone in the band is in top form handling every aspect of this-- the production, the songwriting, the instrumental prowess, the pacing... Every element of this album is unrivaled.

Well, okay, I got a little more to say than that. I'm only going to talk about the best songs on the album to avoid a typical track-by-track review (or at least, TRY to avoid a track-by-track, because the best songs are pretty much all of them). Opener "Of Sins and Shadows" stands as one of the best openers in album history, with an opening riff that sends you on your ass, Russell Allen's commanding, powerful vocals, atmospheric neoclassical keyboards, audible bass (what?!) and just kickass lyrics. That part starting at 2:43 never fails to make me smile, and it leading into a sweet guitar/keyboard solo duel makes it all the greater.

"Sea Of Lies" stands as one of the best follow-ups to a kickass opener in album history. (all right, I gotta quit saying stuff like that) Thomas Miller owns the shit out of this song with quite simply one of the best bass performances I've ever heard. He gets not one, but TWO bass solos, and some amazing bass fills in between. Just the fact that the bass is audible in the first place is a miracle, but to hear it this well-played is almost a sin.

"The Accolade" is amazing. Beautiful, even. Heart-wrenchingly so. The airy keyboards that start after the intro are so hauntingly majestic. A mid-paced ballad with balls, it clocks in at nearly 10 minutes, and every second is awesome, especially that chorus. "Across the sea, through sands of time, Knight of the Templar, A charging steed through lands unkind, a legend forever..." After the second and third chorus, the whole song practically stops and sounds like a church, with a somber organ and Russell Allen "ooh"ing his way through like a song director, and then... the church bells. That part gets me every time. One of the most beautiful moments in metal, to be sure. Yes, metal can be beautiful, and this song proves it.

The Divine Wings of Tragedy. As if the rest of this killer material wasn't enough, we got a goddamn 20-minute epic which would be worth purchasing the album alone. Hell, if this album was just the 20-minute titular song, it'd be worth it just to hear the opening minute and a half. That part is just absolutely fucking beautiful, and not one string is plucked, not one drum is hit, not one key is struck. Yes, it's a Capella, for a minute and a half. Yes, it's amazing. And there's still 18-and-a-half minutes to go! Oh, man, so many riffs, bridges, solos... It's just a shame there aren't more moments of Russell Allen singing. Yes, there is plenty of the singing god himself at the mic, but at times, it almost seems like.... wankery. GOOD GOD, DID I JUST SAY SOMETHING NEGATIVE ABOUT THIS ALBUM?! Nah, it's just a minor quibble. 11:03 starts one of the best parts of the song. "Seven deadly sins consume you all, I taste the victory..." Man, he delivers that line so convincingly. If I sat here listing awesome moments of the song, I'd end up writing about every second, so I should probably just move on.

Okay, I legitimately have some negative aspects to bring up about the album. The titular track should have ended it. Or at least put "Candlelight Fantasia" before it. Once you exhaust yourself from all the awesome, listening to anything else after that is gonna be a chore. "Candlelight Fantasia" really isn't a bad song, it's just poorly placed in the tracklisting. It also suffers from being nowhere as good a ballad as "The Accolade" was.

On top of that, after "The Accolade," they play it too safe for a while with plodding, groove-based rockers that have big, anthemic choruses. They're still good songs, but they're not as big or risk-taking as the tracks that preceded them. One might even call them "simple" and/or "straightforward."

But other than that, this album kicks your ass seven ways from Sunday, with Russell Allen's diversified performance utilizing the full range of his voice, Michael Romeo's guitar prowess, Michael Pinnella's complex keys, Thomas Miller's outstanding bass, Jason Rullo's energetic drumming, the kickass lyrics, the pure pants-shitting epic moments and just... wow. This album represents a band at their creative peak which hasn't been reached since. "The Odyssey" was close, but for me, this one is tops.

Fine, I admit it: Symphony X is awesome. - 83%

DarkSideOfLucca, May 5th, 2009

I personally despise power metal. I think that the over use of "epic" keyboarding is just stupid, the over dramatic vocals are more irritating than scratching a blackboard, and for god's sake the fucking lyrics! I love viking metal, and I admit that those lyrics are cheesy as hell, but at least it's not AS embarrassing. Something about these dudes singing about unicorns and dragons just makes me uneasy. I'm a geek, but not geek enough to head-bang to shit like that, never mind listen to it on my own free time. That being said, I saw Symphony X open up for Dream Theater a couple of years ago and was impressed enough to check them out. I'm almost ashamed to say that The Divine Wings of Tragedy is fucking awesome.

Unlike most power metal releases, Symphony X is heavily influenced by prog which definitely helps them seem much more mature. Michael Romeo, Jason Rullo, Thomas Miller, and yeah even Michale Pinella on keyboards are so great at their instruments that they make this album a treat to listen to. As gay as this sounds, I actually enjoy the mystical feel of all of their songs, especially "Accolade" and the title track. They successfully make the listener feel like he or she is living in a fantasy world throughout the entire album, and that's what really makes The Divine Wings of Tragedy so much fun to listen to.

And what about Russell Allen, you say? Well, you just have to hear it to believe it. If i were to say that he has one of the most powerful voices with some of the widest range in metal that I have ever heard, you would most likely doubt me. And rightfully so, because that is a very bold statement. That is the exact reason why you simply have to hear it to believe it. This is where I would usually suggest a track where he truly shines, but in this case I cannot because Russell Allan never stops shining. In fact, other than the album Paradise Lost (so far) he literally never seems to fucks up. The only reason he doesn't rule on Paradise Lost is because he limits himself to deeper vocals, which is just not his style. It really is incredible to be as consistent as he is throughout his entire career.

This is tied with Twilight in Olympus as my favorite release from Symphony X. That is because both of these albums perfectly paint a detailed fantasy/mythological universe and it is also where every individual band member is at their most creative. If you are into power metal, progressive metal, or especially both then you should give Symphony X a shot.

Highlights: "Of Sins and Shadows", "Accolade", "Divine Wings of Tragedy"

Some Of The Most Beautiful Music Ever Made - 100%

zuke2323, January 17th, 2009

It's almost impossible to believe that a band can make music so majestic and still be metal. Symphony X are truly gods of the prog/power scene, and they began to cement their place in history with The Divine Wings Of Tragedy.

Now, I'm not going to lie, I own (and love) every Symphony X album that features Russell Allen as the lead vocalist. The man is an absolute genius in his respective department; you truly believe and hang onto every syllable that bellows from his lungs. There is so much emotion in his voice that one cannot help but be wrapped up in his work. Whether he is reaching truly high notes as in the last two minutes of the title song, or sounding like true power metal royalty in Sea Of Lies and Candlelight Fantasia, Russell Allen has all the tools. There is not a low point in any of the hour and five minutes of this album when it comes to vocals.

There may be only one man who is as good at what he does as Russell Allen is, and that man happens to be Allen's bandmate, Michael Romeo. This man is known worldwide as an absolute shredder, and he does not disappoint on DWOT. On this album he really shows off his neo-classical style, especially on Out Of The Ashes, Pharaoh, and the title track. Romeo's solos are absolutley jaw-dropping without being pure wankery, and his riffs can be as heavy as they are melodic.

Obviously Symphony X would not be who they are without the exquisite keyboard playing of Michael Pinnella. He adds so much atmosphere to every song and plays off Romeo's riffs so well that it can often sound as though the guitar and the keyboards are one super-instrument capable of producing stunning melodies.

It would not be a complete review of this album if I did not mention the following two things; the first being the polyrhythm (which starts at exactly 7:25 into the song, by the way) in The Accolade. It starts off with a bell toll and, every 5-10 seconds for a minute, adds in a new sound/instrument. It is truly jaw-dropping to here this masterpiece of an idea come into musical form the way it does; words cannot describe how beautiful this one minute of music is.

The second thing that I absolutely must go into further detail about is the title track. While the album The Divine Wings Of Tragedy is breath taking, the song The Divine Wings of Tragedy is a masterpiece in itself. In fact, if the album consisted of only the title track and 40 minutes of static noise, I would probably still give the album an 80/100. No joke. From the opera-like intro to the beautiful piano outro, this song is perfect. It feels as though no more than five minutes have gone by when one listens to this entire, nearly 21 minute epic song. This song truly does bring a tear to the eye.

This album shoud be listened to by any prog/power metal fan, and really all metal fans. It is the brainchild of truly two of the greatest minds in metal in Allen and Romeo, and one can rest assured they poured their hearts into this one.

Recommended Tracks: The Accolade, The Divine Wings Of Tragedy, Candlelight Fantasia.

Sheer brilliance - 100%

The_Ghoul, August 21st, 2008

I reserve my 100's for true classics. There are some releases that do not let up, that stun you with brilliance from start to finish. There are no weak songs, no average songs, and every song stands out in its own special way.

Such is Divine Wings of Tragedy. The rules state that song-by-song reviews are discouraged, and for that reason, I'll try to steer away from that. However, every song stands out and has an identity of its own, so you might hear individual descriptions of songs.

This starts out with Of Sins and Shadows. What a great way to start an album! This song has everything, and is a good foreshadower of what's to come. It has catchy as hell riffs, memorable melodies, that break in the middle where Russell Allen multitracks himself in an operatic fashion, an amazing solo with an orgasmic climax, and to top it all off it's done with stunning execution. That's basically how this album goes throughout its duration. I desparately want to list the highlights of this album, but that would turn into a song-by-song description. Basically, the whole album is awesome.

The only exception is the title track. However, it's an exception because it's more than amazing. It's long, to be sure, but it's an adventure that tours so many different atmospheres that by the end you are left in a stunned daze, so the fact that Candlelight Fantasia is a slow ballad doesn't detract from the ending BANG! of DWoT. It's simply an afterglow from the awesomeness of the title track. Don't let that fool you into thinking that Candlelight Fantasia isn't a classic. It is. Every song on here is a classic. Every melody shines, every moment is bliss.

I'm running out of adjectives describing a general state of excellence, so let me suffice to say: This is a perfect album. Nothing short of perfect. This takes the wind out of every musician's sails because you can't surpass this. It's impossible. This is a genre-defining classic that resides up there with the other 100's in my list. I can't list highlights because the WHOLE ALBUM IS A HIGHLIGHT. I literally can't find anything to complain about. If you haven't heard this album, maybe you don't understand how something can be so excellent. But it is, and you need to hear it.

It's been said that the concept of God cannot be defined, because a definition is a limit, a limit a flaw, and the concept of God is that it's flawless. In essence, this is musical God. Not the christian God, of course, but this is a musical concept of God. It can't be described adequetely, because a definition is a limit. It's defined by its absence of flaws. So get this.

The Challenging Masterpiece - 95%

Hidius, August 7th, 2008

Are you looking for an album where atmosphere is placed above consistency? An album where neoclassical music is used more to assist in evoking that atmosphere than to impress the listener with technical displays of instrumental brilliance? Welcome to the Divine Wings of Tragedy.

Another reviewer already pinpointed the element that makes Symphony X’s music so unique. It’s that eerie atmosphere that all of their songs have. It backs up the music itself and accents it like a zip sauce on a perfectly cooked steak. For all their attempts at evoking this creepiness, their music never once gives in to the temptation to fall back on symphonic devices to inflate it to the correct proportion. The music remains riff-based, which is to say they actually buckled down and wrote some notes.

The neoclassical playing of the instruments is intended to give the music a Rennaissance attitude, but it’s when this extends to Russel Allen’s singing that the eerie atmosphere becomes most apparent. His voice is adept at sounding both haunting and yet pleasant. When you stay in a haunted house, this is the ghost you want to encounter, and which you typically would not encounter. Allen conjures up in the listener’s mind the idea of a man who is dead but who did not finish living his life, and is thus unable to move on. That’s certainly creepy, but it wouldn’t scare a little kid. This isn’t about being scary, though, it’s about being tragic. If a you die without finishing your life, whatever afterlife you are rewarded with will seem shallow to you, even if it isn’t. Russel Allen’s voice has been compared to several other singers, but it really is unique in its evocative power. Divide the band in two, instrumentalists and singer. Allen could save this band from mediocrity if the instrumentalists ever do slide down the quality scale.

But the instruments cannot be underestimated. They form the foundation for this deceased minstrel from the Shakespearean age to tell his tale. The band plays a set of songs that are very diverse. If you’re talking about the number of different sounds their limited range of instruments make, or if you’re talking about the ratio of heaviness to softness present on the album, or of speed songs to mellow songs, in any of these cases the music thumbs its nose at consistency with surprisingly good results. Many of these opposites appear in a single song and are used precisely because they are opposites. Juxtaposition creates tension, and tension works to the advantage of the specific neoclassical sound they went for. They didn’t want to make a light, airy minstrel-type album. This was meant to sound tragic, whether the subject matter of the lyrics is or not. Drama was heavy among art during the Rennaissance, and that age of history is musically represented on this album better than on any other.

You could not do wrong in listening to this unless you are irritated by tension, or you want a nonstop speedfest, or nonstop doomfest. This is a many-faceted masterpiece and must be digested in its entirety at first. The title track can be tough to bear at times because listeners can easily get lost in the long instrumental passage, the best parts being those that feature Allen’s odd evocative singing. It is nonetheless a challenging and rewarding composition. If you plan on listening to their later album Paradise Lost, this album’s title track is mandatory listening, because several ideas from it are sprinkled lightly throughout the later album, perhaps most notably the piano lines. The rest of the songs on here are slightly more enjoyable than the centerpiece, but as a whole the album satisfies listeners who are in it for the tension and the variety, which combine to create an atmosphere that takes you back…four hundred years.

Hands down the best prog metal album ever! - 99%

Wra1th1s, April 2nd, 2008

This album is beyond the ordinary. This surpasses even the Kevin-Moore-era Dream Theater. Not many albums has pleased me so greatly, that upon it's end, I became a thrall to the band and buy every damn release I can get my hands on. Everything you could want from an album is present here: All instruments are performed phenomenally; The production is absolutely perfect; And the songwriting is top-notch! I just can't believe that such an album is fairly recent (1997)!Symphony X is a band that doesn't disappoint, as I had said in my Twilight in Olympus review. Honestly, there is almost nothing wrong with this album.

The band is: Russell Allen-Vox; Michael Romeo-Guitar; Michael Pinella-Keyboard; Thomas Miller-Bass; and Jason Rullo-Drums. Memorize them people! They are GODS! This album shows the band at the top of their game, all of them play with PASSION and EMOTION, both are done without being corny or annoying.

The album opens with the classic "Of Sins and Shadows", fan favorite and for good reason! From the heavily distorted opening riff you can tell that the song rules. Then the whole band comes in, at this moment those of you that do not bang thy head are either dead or a poser. Then, with an "aah", Russell Fucking Allen comes in. Russell's vocal range is very wide, he can go from aggressive growls/barks (not death growls) to impossibly high notes and he makes it seem so effortless, that I want to fucking kill him for possessing such talent. The chorus in this song is fucking catchy too, "Desperate cries/Hail of fire deciding/All our fate in the night/(guitar fill)/Tempt in sin/Shadows then begin to/gather the souls they hold within!", when you hear the song you will have no other choice than to join them sing. During the chorus, the Jason Rullo unleashes his inner asshole. That drum beat is ridiculous, his feet play in the vein of "too fast my ass" while his hands play like normal. But wait, this song is solotastic(tm) as well! There's a nice little opera-styled bridge, then the sweep-tapping solo comes and any doubts of this band short of being jaw-droppingly awesome flies out the window.

"Sea of Lies" follows suit and with a nice bass solo from Thomas Miller. Truly he is an underrated bassist and it's a damn shame he left the band. "Good and Evil/Lust Primeval!/Dragging me down to a Sea of LIES!!!" emphasis on LIES, Russell belts out a high note LaBrie can't reach anymore. The following song, "Out of the Ashes", is a little weird when compared to the rest of the album. It's kind of happy at the chorus but the riffs rule so much you probably won't care. Romeo is a fucking asshole in this song, he is (and probably always will be) my favorite guitarist and this song shows the Guitar God at top form. Then...a ballad!? Yes folks, a ballad. But this song is really a showcase for Russell and Pinella. Here they show that their performance can evoke emotions and it's not completely "pussy" (Pinella truly adds ATMOSPHERE into songs, especially here). Even though it's fairly long, it's damn good.

The second half of the album starts off pretty weak, with the only song that I don't like enough to give this album 100%, "Pharaoh". It's not bad, it doesn't drag on and on forever. It's just that I don't seem to "get" this song. The lyrics are obviously about a mummy and it's good, though Nile does Egyptian themes better. Then "The Eyes of Medusa" comes on and OH MY GOD! A riff so heavy comes on that you just bang-your-head-as-if-up-from-the-dead! (This album is worthy of such a reference!) The keyboards, courtesy of Pinella, is another textbook example of keyboards done good! The piano arpeggios are absolutely HAUNTING! It truly adds to the creepy vibe of the song. One of the trickiest riffs ever is under parts of the verse, one such part is "...Tell me now/Do you somehow/Still recognize/This stare/I wear through crystal tears?" again, Romeo is SUCH an asshole! The chorus is another vocal gymnastic for Russell, he growls then sings then growls and so on until he says "...Medusa's EYES!!!!!". This song has rather out there solo and bridge. The bridge is apparently called "The Isle of Deadly Shores", heh go figure.

"The Witching Hour" starts with Romeo's trademark wankery before kicking into high gear. This song also contains a goddamned infectious chorus (seeing a trend here?) "Visions dance throughout the Night/In the pale moonlight/In the/Witching Hour!!" and hey, the other instrument ain't band either. Drums fly like the wind, the bass is good, and keyboards add atmosphere. Good lord this band is just godly.

"On the edge of Paradise/Tears of Woe fall cold as Ice/Hear my cry/Renounce have you thy name?/Eternal is my pain" and with that the monumental "Divine Wings of Tragedy" starts. The choir continues for a little while until, the Mars Bringer of War riff comes in. You know that one, it's used by a lot of metal bands. the song, at over 20(!) minutes, will no doubt contain wankfests but dammit, they're good. This song really has it all: an acoustic section;a piano moment; SOLOS (even bass solos!); drums from hell; RIFFS; and phenomenal vocals! This song alone is worth the price. I can't be bothered to describe the full awesomeness that is this song so I'll just leave it there."Candlelight Fantasia" ends our sojourn in metal heaven. It's another ballad, again it still rules.

Conclusion: Haven't I said enough already? EVERYTHING is great! Well, not everything. I prefer the album to have ended with "Divine Wings of Tragedy" than "Candlelight Fantasia", it just seems better and more fitting. Seriously if not for minor quibbles (me not "getting" "Pharaoh", the tracklist, the vocals may not appeal to certain people) this album would get 100%!

Sorry for the over-the-top fellating, but this album truly deserves it and a place in your collection. Buy the re-release, it's got an interview and a screensaver.

Divine…perfect…majestic! - 100%

Kalelfromkrypton, December 17th, 2007

It has been said that Symphony X is the Dream Theater most formidable contender and I would say that it does not make sense to me. Both bands have a unique style (which is not the same thing as genre) and once you listen to them you can identify each unmistakably.

Certainly they are two of the best and most recognizable progressive metal bands around the world. Both have put out a collection of albums that appeal to almost every taste you can imagine: some of them are very progressive, some of them are catchier, others are softer, more orchestral, etc. No matter the case once I started listening to Symphony X I immediately felt in love with the band. They have everything you can expect from a top band, saying top notch production, an excellent singer, amazing guitar solos, powerful and technical drumming, keyboards perfectly fitting the music, epic songs, guitar driven songs, keyboard driven songs, bass driven songs, fast songs, orchestral songs, etc. If an album manages to provide this you get hell of an album in your hands.

I say all this because I started listening to Symphony X when I purchased The Odyssey and I was blown out because of its complexity, power and the progressive feeling that it almost impossible to top but then my friends said: you got to listen to DWOT because that is the one, the best and a musical delight to you. Well, of course I went to buy it and I was speechless when I listened to it. This is such a recording that will leave you hyperventilating your guts out! I am not kidding, it will!

From the very beginning with Of Sins and Shadows you get walls of guitar riffs that will keep at the verge of your sit. Throughout the album you will hear Mr. Allen using all his vocal ranges from harsh to operatic screams and calm passages where you can realize how great he is as a singer. Sea of Lies is keyboard driven. Out of the Ashes has weird tempo changes, lots of double bass and amazing exchanging solos between the keyboards and the guitars masterfully performed. The Accolade begins very smooth, keyboards with drums alternate to set the mood. This is an epic song with outstanding tempo changes and a catchy melody and again you get 2 minutes of pure mastering skills with the instruments interludes. Pharaoh comes up and again powerful riffs, lots of keyboards and a bass solo. The catchiness of The Eyes of Medusa will stick into your head for ours once you listen to it and in here we get Allen’s lowest vocals that perfectly fit the music. By the time you arrive to the epic title track you are but astonished of what you have got so far and with this song you will be blown out completely. That song is impossible to top and it is one of the best progressive songs of all time. Everything is in place: the top production, the warming at the beginning where you get again about 2 minutes of pure expertise and a chance to get delighted by everybody’s performance. In this song Russel, again, pleases your ears with his vocal qualities in which he uses all the operatic style, harsh style, soft vocals, and regular singing style he possesses. There is a calm interlude in the middle where the vocal part is the focal point and then again, you get more riffing parts and mid tempo speed. By the end of the song 20minutes have passed and you did not even notice the time. The mastering of the song is such worthy of worshipping that it is hard to say anything that can make you understand what it is about. You must listen to it to understand it and enjoy it.

I am more attached to Symphony X than other bands because they are more metal instead of jazz fusion, progressive rock or excessive display of virtuosos. Not that it is bad but I find more energizing the metal emphasis and especially since Michael Romeo is a Malsteem fan and the way every guy gets the time to show how good they are as musicians although we know the mastermind is Romeo.

Last but not less I love the lyrical approach they take: epic themes are vital and greek mythology is always present. While other bands are more introspective and psychedelic, Symphony X focuses on culture themes directly pulled up from mythology.

In all this is a progressive metal album at its best, there is nothing else I can ask from it and they have managed to make good albums over and over and this is to me a classic progressive piece of art that deserves a 100 without any question and if anybody still questions me, two years ago I didn’t even like progressive music so this is that good that made me love the genre. This is not a thing any band can achieve with any metal fan.

Divine Wings of Amazing - 93%

ToBidYouFarewell, December 9th, 2007

My first exposure to Symphony X was 2007's 'Paradise Lost.' I had to admit, I wasn't very interested. The vocals didn't do much for me, the guitar work wasn't good enough, and I hardly got through the first song. So, I threw Symphony X off as another overrated, semi-progressive metal band and went on with my prog-death. Well, until I decided to give them another chance, and listened to 'The Divine Wings of Tragedy.'

The album opens with the fabulous 'Of Sins and Shadows.' By the first few seconds, I was thinking, "This is actually a pretty heavy disc!" Michael Romeo lays down a wonderful rhythm section, combining both technicality and heaviness in perfect harmony. As vocals by Russell Allen come in, get ready for your metal climax, for the choruses on this disc will have you singing for weeks!

Hooks, yes, I'm getting into hooks. The word 'hook' is an understatement to what really is a hook on this album. The hooks are more like ropes tied around your head, and a doctor in a mental hospital telling your subconscious to not stop thinking about the magnificent choruses. These are anthems of true metal.

Now, about the guitarwork. This time, I got to hear the true brilliance that is Michael Romeo. With his aforementioned, above average rhythm sections and his swept and tapped arpeggios combined with monstrously fast shredding make this worth listening to. Fans of Yngwie J. Malmsteen or Chris Impellitirri will be all over this.

Each track that passes you by will have your on your knees in awe. Once you get to the epic 'The Divine Wings of Tragedy,' you'll be ready, but to note, the song builds upon itself for a long time, toward an excellent climax near the end. Twenty minutes have never seemed so short since Rush's '2112 Overture.' The next song, unfortuneately the closer, 'Candlelight Fantasia,' is much more mellow, but is a perfect clincher. Overall, I'd say the X made a disc I can actually sit all the way through.

Grade: A.

Arguably their best - 95%

invaded, June 16th, 2006

The Divine Wings of Tragedy saw Symphony-X really take a big leap in composition and maturing their sound to a craft that exceeds the technicality of simple power metal and puts them in a league with Dream Theater as far as prog metal is concerened.

We already knew that Micheal Romeo was one of the fastest axewielders around. We already knew that the band infused many neoclassical elements to their music and we were well aware by now that Russell Allen had a formidable voice that puts him in the top tier of metal vocalists. But the band stepped its compositional elements to feature more abrupt time changes, stronger polyphonic melodies and fierce speed metal elements to rival just about any band around.

The guitar playing on this record is mind blowing. Romeo busts out his chops but never in such a fashion where it doesn't fit the music well. Micheal Pinnella's keyboard mastery is also staggering as he exchanges leads with Romeo as flawlessly as can be and never without a hitch or ounce of hesitation. The drumwork is also a very strong element to the band's sound, with Jason Rullo pulling tricks out of his hat that stem more from jazz fusion than straight up power metal. The bass work on this record is also quite tasteful and very tight with the drum patterns, which makes for an ultimately precise and masteful feel to the songs. Russel Allen probably delivers his best vocal performances on this release. The man has powerful voice that blends so perfectly with the band and his delivery is full of confidence and straight up balls to the wall. However he can also deliver blissful emotion and incorporate softer melodies to the more gentle moments on the record.

Every song on here is absolutely killer, but a few stand on an even higher pedestal. "Of Sins and Shadows" shows off Allen's skills as a vocalist. This is a very difficult song to sing and he pulls this off with what seems to be great ease. The riffs are also great, as for the solos, they're off the wall. "Sea of Lies" is another classic with a strong chorus and a lead section with harmonized arpegggios from Romeo and Pinnella which are simply beautiful. "The Accolade" is an epic track that seems like it could have been written for a musical. The instruments fade in and out during the intro and complement each other perfectly. On to the title track.

"The Divine Wings of Tragedy" is arguably Symhony-X's greatest moment. Spanning over twenty minutes, this song contains all the elements that make this band special. The classically harmonized vocal intro is gorgeous and sets the tone for the rest. There are furious riffs, jaw dropping lead play, powerful vocals and steady and complex drumming during the first few minutes, only to change into blissful acoustic sections where the guitar and piano interplay is fantastic. Then we get the "The prophet cries!" section which is flat out balls to the wall and inspires quite a bit of headbanging. When we hit the eighteen minute mark approximately, there is another gentle section. "Looking out on a blue sky, I can see a new world arising...", this part of the song just has imagery written all over it. It has a paradisical effect in which you can see a serene blue sky and a horizon just waiting. The ending just captivates the listener.

Unfortunately, the only flaw of the record is in the way it was constructed, because the title track defintely should have been the closer. Alas there is one more song, which isn't bad or anything, but you just kind of dismiss it after having listened to something so epic.

All in all, this is a spectacular release from one of USA's best bands, a must have for fans of power metal and prog alike.

Neo-classical prog metal at its finest - 100%

metal_fais, October 14th, 2005

The main challenge for Prog Metal is to clearly avoid itself from being 'total technical wankery' and aim at being 'jawdropping musical virtuosity', and Divine Wings Of Tragedy is clearly an example of Symphony X's success at that.

After listening to this album, there's no denying that Symphony X are an all-star band. The creative neo-classical crunching guitar riffs, to the amazing vocal delivery, to the well arranged drumlines, to the keyboards that add a whole level of depth to the songs... and to top it off, classy songwriting and arrangement to tie everything in together perfectly.. giving birth to one of the best Prog Metal albums ever.

Highlights are everywhere throughout the album. Opener "Of Sins And Shadows" has a heavy, evil vibe throughout, with its almost Pantera-like riffing and dark, almost Dimmu Borgir-like keyboard work, and Russel Allen's usual unique and superb vocal delivery. "Sea Of Lies" and "Out Of The Ashes" combine the elements of prog, neoclassical and classic heavy metal seemlessly. "The Accolade" slows things down a bit with its keyboard heavy arrangements and emotional vocal delivery. The title track is a good long epic in itself, though maybe a little *too* long to be entirely enjoyable, but a great effort throughout. "Candlelight Fantasia" is a beautiful 'power ballad'... a perfect ending to the perfect prog metal album. While the remainder are relatively unexciting, that is only because they are compared to these previously aforementioned superb tracks; they still do provide an interesting listening experience.

I don't quite understand why some people dislike this album, but I can honestly say it's one of my favourite metal albums ever... and I'm not even a big fan of Prog Metal to begin with! It's varied, well composed & arranged, well executed and has superb production. Russell Allen's vocals are special standout, allongside with Michael Romeo's superb guitar performances. Whether you like prog metal or not, you have to give this album a try.

Prog Metal's finest moment in compositions. - 100%

Demon_of_the_Fall, July 16th, 2004

Seeing as the Prog genre may go all the way to the firery depths of hell with such bands like Spiral Architect, who deliberatly go out of their way to make their entire songs and even albums of them completly wanking it to high heaven. Symphony X shows the world that not only can a band be extremely talented musicians, because they also write structured songs accordingly with about every tasty hook in music that you can suckle at.

Lets put it this way for those of you who ain't knowledgeable on these guys. Picture Dream Theater without James Labrie's constant unmanly voice, instead Metal's finest singer Russel Allen, who can practically belt whichever note he pleases. Then the drums, oh THE FUCK DRUMS god Jason Rullo has to be one, if not the most technically trained drummer. I don't think anyone could have done a better job on this album, and no not even Lombardo can touch this guy. Michael P fits keyboard passages and solo into X's music flawlessly, and again hes obviously one of the best players in his feild. Last but not least is the writer, and leader of Symphony X, Michael Romeo. Here is a man that can not only outplay, Ynqwie Malmsteen (with all do respect), but he can also write a better track. Everthing is so well thought out in all of Symphony's Music.

Divine Wings of Tragedy, Symphony X's third release brings us outstanding production thats rarly seen that good in 1996, flawless playing, Ultra emotional and intence lyrical content, as well as vocals, blazing solos, slamming drumming, and bass as funky as Mr T. I can always come back to this album and never get bored. These tracks are not only tracks to me, these are fucking anthems. Also as a musician i can truely appreciate their music much more than the average listener so these guys are most definatly an aquired taste but thats not to say they are hard to get into. This is well composed music, why am i saying composed you ask? Well who the fuck uses Gongs, marching snares, chimes, timpani, multiple piano and keyboard tracks, and classical influences up the wa-zoo.

Tracks such as Pharoah, Eyes of Medusa (Ronnie James eat your heart out), the epic and bold Divine Wings, Of Sins and Shadows leave you in a trance. Every moment on this cd is special, and this is a true accomplishment. Some point this as being their greatest effort, it's very hard to say for me, I love each album for different reasons. But I highly approve of Divine, V, and the Odyssey. This one truely greatest albums ever recorded, it's pretty hard to get me worked up and into a band, but these guys just do everything I like in the genre and in music. Prog metal fans may as well sign their name in blood on the Symphony X logo. I rest my case!


Best Tracks: Of Sins and Shadows, Sea of Lies, Out of the Ashes, Pharoah, Eyes of Medusa, Divine Wings of Tragedy

Really solid prog/power - 92%

OSheaman, August 24th, 2003

I'm not as much of a Symphony X fan as I should be. It's not that I don't like their music, but it's almost like I haven't gotten around to really listening to them yet. Considering how big they are in the Prog/Power Metal scene, I really should know them better than I do.

With the exception of Prelude to the Millenium (which is a "Best Of" CD), this is probably the album by them that I know best. All of the classic sounds that have made Symphony X such a huge name in Power Metal are here. The most noticeable part of their sound is Michael Romeo's distinct guitar riffage which has come to set the standard for prog/power guitar sounds (a standard, I might add, that Evergrey beats the fuck out of in Recreation Day). The drums and bass are cool, and the vocalist is the standard prog/power vocalist in the sense that he has a more rough, mid-range voice with no incredibly fancy vocal work.

The song on here that's really worth mentioning is Out of the Ashes, one of OSheaman's Top Ten Power Metal Songs of All Time (I think I have around 14 of those now). Out of the Ashes, as many people seem to note, has an extremely catchy chorus. It also has great riff work and a nice little keyboard solo in the very loud beginning of the song (loud as in volume--whenever I put this on a compilation CD, I have to turn the volume down in my car when it comes up). It's a great little number that doesn't last too long and hits you right where you need it to. The riffs and the chorus aren't as good as in End of Your Days (see Recreation Day for more on that), but the song is more consistent overall--there really aren't any weird slow parts here--and therefore makes the coveted list.

Everything else on here is decent, but not out of this world. Nothing blows too horribly, though, so this album is definitely worth buying for Out of the Ashes alone.