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A bridge between old and new Symphony X - 73%

linkavitch, August 10th, 2009

This is the album that basically splits the sound of the old Symphony X, who released albums like The Divine Wings of Tragedy and Twilight in Olympus, and the newer sound of Symphony X, who released albums like The Odyssey and Paradise Lost. Basically they blended elements that made Twilight in Olympus into this album, which are mostly the neoclassical solos, and the segue tracks. Twilight in Olympus had an instrumental track that was basically a sonata. They used that idea into three songs for this album, all of which are generally orchestral based instrumentals that fall under two minutes or so.

Now these little segue tracks aren’t the problem. The problem is however is that this album just feels as if it was just recorded just for the sake of having another album out. A lot of the band members are doing more of a half-assed job on this album than any other album before and after this album. The rhythm guitar is rather simple, it’s generally tuned the same and at times sounds like an annoying chug for all the songs, and the only song that really stands out on this album is “Egypt” mostly because of the opening riff, and that song isn’t even that good. You get past the cool intro to that song and you find an almost eight minute song that goes nowhere. The bass is inaudible on this album which was a first for Symphony X. hearing the bass on the previous albums was always a treat; Thomas Miller always made his bass worth listening to with his groove sections, his fretless slides on some songs, and his general speed. The new bassist Michael LePond doesn’t do anything wrong, he’s just inaudible which is just a drag.

Russell Allen is still doing a good job being the vocalist. He doesn’t seem to be singing a whole lot on this album compared to previous albums with him. A lot of the choruses take over his job it feels like. Not to mention all the solos which all still have that neoclassical touch to them, there’s more keyboard work on this album though. With all the keyboard work in this album its clear that the Symphony X is heading for are more orchestral oriented metal, although they didn’t necessary go for that approach for The Odyssey of Paradise Lost.

This album is kind of an odd one. I like to look at it as if it’s a bridge between old and new Symphony X. It still is full of the neoclassical guitar solos that early Symphony X is known for, and it is the basis of new Symphony X also. Fans of the newer sounding Symphony X will probably like this. Fans of the older sounding Symphony X will most likely find it to be a weak effort, yet they will still like it also.