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Old September 7th, 2011, 07:51 PM   #26 (permalink)
Postulate
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Which vocal lines are you not a fan of?
Really, nearly all of them. Even in songs that were considered only "filler" on the classic albums, like Witching Hour or The Relic, had really solid vocal ideas. Everyone seems to like the title track of Iconoclast as one of the strongest tracks on the album, but really, it seems directionless to me, and the vocals are part of the reason. "We are strong - we will stand and fight" Almost any melody could have done just as well there. One of the exceptions is actually Dehumanized, whose chorus has some bite to it. As others have mentioned about When All Is Lost, the surface elements are there but the spark isn't. There aren't any real "winning" melodies like Edge of Forever, Winter's Dream, Accolade, Awakenings, or heaven forbid, Divine Wings (nothing on this album is even worth being mentioned in the same sentence).

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The only parts of that section that I actually hear keys (aside from the solo of course) are the big synchronized fills right before and right after the solos. Are there keys playing when the riff first picks up? You know, right after the Opeth part?
Sorry, I just meant the solo is all. The guitar doesn't feel like it's squashing the keys. It's not very long, though.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 09:10 PM   #27 (permalink)
Kenneth R.
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In my opinion, Iconoclast is a good album.

I think it's a fairly well-rounded album of good metal music.

However, having said that, I expected, or should say, I wanted to expect more from Symphony X. I will agree with others saying that melody is largely absent from this album, and as a result you end up with something that sounds like a flat field of distortion. Lacking melody, as well as dynamics, contribute strongly to a feeling of flatness and sameness that no virtuosity can compensate. This problem plagues all metal lately, so that is why I say it is a good album when viewed individually, but with respect to great albums of the past, it cannot be compared.

There is nothing memorable about it.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #28 (permalink)
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After many times of listening,I think is a very good album full of power,melody,
good instrumental parts,in few words there is all that a SX fan wants from them.
It was hard for me waiting so many years,but I'm happy now, also because next month they will come in Italy and I'm so anxious to scream "We are strong,
we will stand and fight"
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Old September 8th, 2011, 11:35 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I'm agreeing with Ken here. I can't really find much to get excited about, save for "When All Is Lost" and "Light Up The Night". The bad part is they're on separate discs.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 01:24 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Postulate View Post
Really, nearly all of them. Even in songs that were considered only "filler" on the classic albums, like Witching Hour or The Relic, had really solid vocal ideas. Everyone seems to like the title track of Iconoclast as one of the strongest tracks on the album, but really, it seems directionless to me, and the vocals are part of the reason. "We are strong - we will stand and fight" Almost any melody could have done just as well there. One of the exceptions is actually Dehumanized, whose chorus has some bite to it. As others have mentioned about When All Is Lost, the surface elements are there but the spark isn't. There aren't any real "winning" melodies like Edge of Forever, Winter's Dream, Accolade, Awakenings, or heaven forbid, Divine Wings (nothing on this album is even worth being mentioned in the same sentence).



Sorry, I just meant the solo is all. The guitar doesn't feel like it's squashing the keys. It's not very long, though.
Agreed on everything.
I thought I was the only one who feels that the melodies in When All is Lost are underwhelming. They sound like an attempt at capturing some of the classic SX moments, but with very little effort and creativity. The song sounds bland to me... almost like a Paradise Lost rip-off. I'd prefer they tried using original-sounding chord progressions and note-choices.

The album severely lacks dynamics in regards to song structure, musical styles/ideas, and even individual performances.

Overall, a fun listen, but not memorable in the least.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 03:14 PM   #31 (permalink)
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What do I think of it? I'm glad I didn't waste my money! I heard the album once, and once was enough. Too repetitive, just me too metal. And I HATE the 'rough' vocals. For cryin' out loud let Russ sing! He's got an incredible voice, but it's completely wasted on this one. Paradise Lost part deux.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 04:35 PM   #32 (permalink)
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My tastes have evolved one way and Symphony X's style has evolved in another. I don't think I'm gonna play it much any time soon.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #33 (permalink)
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What do I think of it? I'm glad I didn't waste my money! I heard the album once, and once was enough. Too repetitive, just me too metal. And I HATE the 'rough' vocals. For cryin' out loud let Russ sing! He's got an incredible voice, but it's completely wasted on this one. Paradise Lost part deux.
Russ himself prefers this way of singing.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 05:54 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Russ himself prefers this way of singing.
Well, to each his own, I guess. That's why I won't buy the Adrenaline Mob EP either. That kind of 'singing' is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 09:23 PM   #35 (permalink)
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guess you don't like any death metal then. shame...
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Old September 8th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #36 (permalink)
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guess you don't like any death metal then. shame...
You're right, I can't stand death metal. SX never used to even be mentioned in the same breath as something as juvenile. A shame what they've become
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Old September 9th, 2011, 07:05 AM   #37 (permalink)
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They've become a modern metal band. The same as many other modern metal bands. They still don't classify anywhere close to DM. It is my hope that their next album draws them away from that modern metal classification and back to something that was somewhat unique, even if some of the melodies were stolen from classical pieces, they were at least well-arranged.

I doubt that would be the case though, since doing so would be to turn back against a growing fanbase in a stiffer current.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I agree,with you,I like this wy of evolving their sound looking more like a metal
band than simply a melodic prog power,and doing this they keep on satisfying
all old fans kepping their old classic style and melodies,I don't know what we want more,I'm proud of being a SX fan,their way of working ,the long waiting
for a record coming out,long live to them,I'll always supporting them
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Old September 9th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I've never really thought Russell's "harsh" vocals sounded that harsh. It seems like it's made to be more than it is.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I agree,with you,I like this wy of evolving their sound looking more like a metal band than simply a melodic prog power,and doing this they keep on satisfying all old fans kepping their old classic style and melodies
I have to disagree. If I want to listen to average, generic metal, I'd listen to the thousands of other metal bands that are doing the same thing. Granted, Iconoclast is still well above most generic metal in my book, but neither it nor Paradise Lost can even touch the band's previous albums. Symphony X used to be unique, but with their last two albums they're trying too hard to fit in. Hell, if the songs "When All Is Lost" and "Paradise Lost" are any indication, I'd say they've lost the ability to write great melodic pieces like they've done in the past. Either that or Romeo needs to stop being the sole songwriter. The band was incredible when P, Lepond, and Rullo chimed in on the songwriting, and I think that their absence on the last two albums in this department is one of the reasons that they're rather generic.

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I've never really thought Russell's "harsh" vocals sounded that harsh. It seems like it's made to be more than it is.
I agree to an extent. It bothers a lot of people, but he's been singing "rougher" since V. The rather lackluster songwriting of the last few albums bothers me far more than Russell's "harsh" vocals.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 05:11 PM   #41 (permalink)
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I have to disagree. If I want to listen to average, generic metal, I'd listen to the thousands of other metal bands that are doing the same thing. Granted, Iconoclast is still well above most generic metal in my book, but neither it nor Paradise Lost can even touch the band's previous albums. Symphony X used to be unique, but with their last two albums they're trying too hard to fit in. Hell, if the songs "When All Is Lost" and "Paradise Lost" are any indication, I'd say they've lost the ability to write great melodic pieces like they've done in the past. Either that or Romeo needs to stop being the sole songwriter. The band was incredible when P, Lepond, and Rullo chimed in on the songwriting, and I think that their absence on the last two albums in this department is one of the reasons that they're rather generic.



I agree to an extent. It bothers a lot of people, but he's been singing "rougher" since V. The rather lackluster songwriting of the last few albums bothers me far more than Russell's "harsh" vocals.
Agreed x 10... especially the part where they seem unable to write great melodic pieces. It seems that even when they try to, it's a far-cry from something truly interesting and unique.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 04:01 AM   #42 (permalink)
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I miss the older sound of them too. But I think you are forgetting that its whole different thing to be a "prog nerd" experimenting with different sounds and styles in your room. Rather than being touring metal band with families like sym x guys are. And on top of that having made a contract to a bigger record company. I'm sure they are doing the best they can in that situation.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 06:56 AM   #43 (permalink)
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^ An interesting viewpoint.

I have a feeling SX believes this to be mandatory in their situation. IMO, it doesn't have to be that way.
Bands like Opeth and Pain of Salvation are pretty big, and they've compromised nothing in their sound.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 10:32 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Honestly if you think Russ' vocals are "too harsh" than i think its time to grow up past the 70s John Anderson age. His voice has the perfect balance of aggressiveness while still being easy to comprehend. There is no reason to compare to him death metal and growls. He sings NOTHING like that.

To me WAIL still does have winning melodies like around the 4:50 area, and the riffing at 2:46, it fits really well and moments like this tell me they spent a lot of time on this song. I do sometimes however skip the first couple of minutes. The lyrics are kind of embarrassing. I think if it had a stronger opening it would be considered by some overrated but for me the remaining 7 minutes make up for it. The title track is still a major listen for me. I love every bit of it.

I listen to my ipod on shuffle quite frequently and i still only skip Children, Heretic, and sometimes others if I'm just not in the mood. IC is better than PL but not by far. PL has more memorable moments but IC i feel is just better written. Ill never say its better than the DW-Odyssey era because they are more artsy and interesting. But i think the band feels they covered enough ground searching for exotic sounds and just want to pull off being badass for a while. And they can very well indeed pull off being badass.
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Old September 11th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #45 (permalink)
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You're right, I can't stand death metal. SX never used to even be mentioned in the same breath as something as juvenile. A shame what they've become
... biting my tongue.

Oh, and SX doesn't get mentioned in the same breath as death metal anyway. There are no similarities, whatsoever.
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Old September 11th, 2011, 01:34 PM   #46 (permalink)
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some people are complaining about the fact that they can't write good melodies as in the first albums .What if they would keep on writing the same stuff,I mean
another "of sins and shadows","Smoke and mirrors", "Candlelight","Lady of the snow",we will be here to say "good,that's all we need" or we will be bored of
listening the same songs? Even Dream Theater,Shadow Gallery,Evergrey once
they found their style they try to keep it without cloning in every record,this is
progressive,SX are not like AC/DC that once you've got "Back in black" you've got all their records,it's their duty trying to get more audience ,I only read very good reviews on italian metal magazines about "Iconoclast" and I'm glad that for
the first time I saw their faces on the front cover of the magazine
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Old September 11th, 2011, 06:39 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery, and Evergrey are really pretty boring
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Old September 11th, 2011, 06:48 PM   #48 (permalink)
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^Yep. Except there is one Shadow Gallery album I like.
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Old September 12th, 2011, 12:39 PM   #49 (permalink)
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I think this is a dark chapter in Symphony X history. Iconoclast is easily the best sounding album as far as the mixing, but imo it is almost like Paradise Lost pt. II. There are a LOT of rifts that just seem regurgitated and have been used before. Perhaps this is a result of MJR having too much creative control. Don't get me wrong, Michael Romeo is a master composer; however, it seems like this album just lacked in originality. I think they're also held to such a high standard because it takes them around 4 years per album and until now, each one of them was very different from the next. Maybe the fire is beginning to dwindle. This a band that is still relatively underground, when I think they really could be something much bigger - considering how long they have been a band.
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Old September 12th, 2011, 12:56 PM   #50 (permalink)
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some people are complaining about the fact that they can't write good melodies as in the first albums .What if they would keep on writing the same stuff,I mean
another "of sins and shadows","Smoke and mirrors", "Candlelight","Lady of the snow",we will be here to say "good,that's all we need" or we will be bored of
listening the same songs? Even Dream Theater,Shadow Gallery,Evergrey once
they found their style they try to keep it without cloning in every record,this is
progressive,SX are not like AC/DC that once you've got "Back in black" you've got all their records,it's their duty trying to get more audience ,I only read very good reviews on italian metal magazines about "Iconoclast" and I'm glad that for
the first time I saw their faces on the front cover of the magazine
I'm not saying I want the songs to sound the same as the old ones, I'm saying that I want to quality level to be the same. There's no comparison in regards to compositional quality from pre-PL to post-Odyssey.

Iconoclast and PL come off as if Romeo wrote 193 riffs and decided that he was going to construct an album around them, or solely based on them; everything else is an afterthought.
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