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What Symphony X's debut album should have been - 93%

Mr Matt, March 5th, 2018

While not my favorite Symphony X album (It's my 2nd favorite however), "V: The New Mythology Suite" might just be Symphony X's best album. I am very impressed with the combination of the Metal band and the symphonic parts on this album. This is definitely what Symphony X's debut album should have been. It's got the heaviness and a bit of the style that I think they might have intended on "Symphony X" (the self-titled debut album where there was kind of a weak sound for what they were trying to play).

As usual, I am very astonished at Michael Romeo's guitar work and Michael Pinnela's keyboard work on this album. Just one pet peeve about the guitar solos on this album. There's this one sound used in the first half of the solo to "Evolution (The Grand Design)" that kind of made it sound... softer, hard to hear, I'm not sure what it is called, but I feel like it covers up/makes the guitar solo hard to notice and hard to hear all of the notes played. (Another example of a sound like this is in the solo to "Symbolic" by Death when Chuck Schuldiner puts on a sound like that during some scale work.) Luckily, I didn't hear this sound anywhere else in the album. But other than that, I couldn't help but get really deep into the guitar solos.

In many parts of the songs on "V: The New Mythology Suite", there were a lot of progressive metal sounds ("Rediscovery (Part II) - The New Mythology" comes to mind) that fit really well in a mostly power metal sound. I couldn't help but think Dream Theater when those prog-sounding phrases came in. Well done on that part mixing power and prog.

While I am not a drummer, I know good drum parts when I hear it. I thought there was an excellent selection of drum rhythms chosen throughout "V: The New Mythology Suite". The one I remember the most was in "Rediscovery (Part II) - The New Mythology" there was rapid alternation of what sounded like four 32nd notes then a half rest in the bass drum (This equals one beat). This was done for only a few measures, but I loved it. Really wish Symphony X did that more or maybe made that the rhythm chosen for a verse.

The part that got me REALLY hyped, was in "A Fool's Paradise", there was a part of the song taken directly from J.S. Bach's Concerto No. 1 in D minor for Harpsichord and Orchestra (BWV: 1052), one of my favorite pieces of music ever, one of Bach's best, and a piece I have the music for (I'm learning how to play it). This piece, combined with the electric guitar, might have been my favorite part of the whole album.

Obviously, "V: The New Mythology Suite" is a power metal essential. It's got some really memorable instrumental parts and the classical influences are very obvious. This album, although it's only been two days as of writing this review, has already put its influences in my own songwriting and guitar playing.