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Absolutely glorious album

Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by RazielSR, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. RazielSR

    RazielSR New Metal Member

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    Seriously,this band never stops amazing me.

    AMAZING ALBUM. FFS there is no other band nowadays with this new pseudo style they created since Paradise Lost sounding that great. A combination of old style and new with romeoesque amazing riffs and Allen's voice ruling as always.
     
  2. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    The thing that is simultaneously worrying and exciting me is that my fiance just asked for 6-7 songs from the album, and has expressed only dislike to neutral interest in SX in the past with the exception of a few songs from Iconoclast.

    She also just asked me for a bunch of Circus Maximus' Nine stuff...
     
  3. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    Nine is a great album!
     
  4. Liampie

    Liampie Member

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    Forging + Architect of Fortune is fucking amazing. And much more mature than post-Oyssey Symphony X. If it were my wife, this would take away my worries.
     
  5. Plendakor

    Plendakor Member

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    Circus Maximum sucks ass.

    They need to stop listening to DT and SX cause those idiots don't have any identity of their own with their copied style.
     
  6. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Hammer of Serious Anger

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    While I don't agree that Circus Maximus "suck ass," they have failed to hold my attention with each release. Their first two albums were great, but I couldn't get in to Nine at all. And I agree that they do sound like a Dream Theater ripoff far too often. I don't hear much Symphony X influence with them, though.
     
  7. manticore999

    manticore999 Member

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    Let's just hope Circus Maximus isn't influenced by SX. At least they're still progressive, where SX has become a 'me too' metal band, dropping all pretense of 'symphonic' metal and just doing 'metal'. Their latest album at least has some 'real' singing and is miles better than IC, but it's a long way from their symphonic metal roots.
     
  8. Isaac_de_Moorea

    Isaac_de_Moorea Silent Member

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    I really don't care about Circus Maximus, but everything you said about SX its true, despite Underworld is not a bad album at all.
     
  9. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    Was Symphony X really ever that symphonic, though? I mean sure we have the Odyssey, and then the segues on V, and that Accolade part, but other than that the symphonic presence has always just been strings and choirs in the background with some bells and stuff, with smaller snippets of orchestral pieces (ala Masquerade). I think what we have actually lost is twofold:

    A neoclassical sound and neoclassical style chord changes on an individual instrument level.

    Pinella's presence, or, more importantly, thickness in the mix.
     
  10. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Hammer of Serious Anger

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    I completely agree with this.

    Underworld is definitely a step in the right direction following the "digitalness" of Iconoclast, but aside from the chorus of Underworld and a few solos here and there, there's not a whole lot of neoclassicalism going on. I will say, however, that almost every song on this album has a different feel to it, which is quite different from Iconoclast - orchestral (and too brief) intro, thrashy but catchy, brutally heavy but melodic, a power ballad, dark and even Gothic (at times), Eastern/old school Symphony X, mini-epic with Paradise Lost-ish sound, mid tempo with catchy chorus, 70s classic rock, a longer and more emotive and more keyboard-heavy power ballad, and Rush.

    Charon in particular reminds me not only of V, but of tracks like Eye of Medusa, as well.

    As for Pinnella, he is without a doubt more present in a "classic" sense on this album than he was on Iconoclast. Sure, he was all over songs like Bastards of the Machine and Electric Messiah, but futuristic synth isn't the reason I like Symphony X. What I'm not a fan of (and what is, unfortunately, still present on Underworld) is Pinnella doubling the guitar lines with a synth patch. That reminds me of Dream Theater, and says to me "We couldn't think of something unique for the keys to do here, so they'll just follow Romeo and LePond."

    I miss the melodic piano lines that played over heavy riffs, like in Egypt, or Of Sins and Shadows, or Fallen, or Orion, or Eyes of Medusa, or hell, even STWOF. I think that sometimes they try to be too "metal," and as a result, they lose some of the sound that made them unique. Don't get me wrong - sometimes this is warranted. I couldn't imagine that 5/16 polymetric riff in the middle of Kiss of Fire with tinkling piano over it, for example. The same goes for that riff in the middle of To Hell and Back - it's too good of a riff on its own to have anything playing over it. But these are exceptions, and are few and far between.

    As a whole, I think this album lacks some really memorable instrumental sections that don't feature solos. Their older material had tons of this - hell, even more recent tracks like Walls of Babylon and Iconoclast featured this style. But this album, in my opinion, cuts to the chase too quickly. If I want songs where the vocals enter 10 seconds in, I'll listen to the radio (I don't ever want songs like that).

    But, to reiterate - I do think this album is a step in the right direction, especially with the diversity of the songs. And, while some may disagree, I like the mix. All instruments can be heard clearly (with the infrequent exception of the keys), the album isn't too loud (Paradise Lost), and the bass tone is silky, smooth, creamy, and vibrant (unlike Iconoclast, where it was buried).
     
  11. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    This, this, this. Even Iconoclast wins in this regard. There should be 1-2 technical interludes per album at least. Actually, after a quick check, this is the only SX album where there aren't really any! I wonder if SX thinks people check out during those parts. Maybe some do, but I think the vast majority of fans will appreciate an 8 bar awesome instrumental section if it's written well.

    Without thinking about it whatsoever, SX has done the following cool technical, non-solo instrumental bits:

    Iconoclast: Bastards of the Machine, Light up the Night
    Paradise Lost: Seven, Eve of Seduction
    Odyssey: Masquerade, The Turning, Awakenings
    V: Fool's Paradise, Death of Balance/Lac., Rediscovery part 2
    Twilight: Smoke and Mirrors (intro), In the Dragon's Den
    DWOT: Sea of Lies, The Accolade
    Damnation Game: Damnation Game, Savage Curtain

    ...Underworld: Legend, kind of underneath the first ah-ah-ah-ah?


    Anyways, it is certainly something I'm content to live without for one album, especially considering the strength of most of the songs.

    My cousin predicts they will go full heavy, modern melodic neoclassical in a very epic way next album, as he feels it is the most natural direction in which the band can venture at this point. I think I agree. Based on what I've been reading, the rockier songs aren't the most popular on UW, so I think that will dissuade SX from going more in that direction.
     
  12. Adam Fiske

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    The only obvious one on Underworld is in Without You after the solo.
     
  13. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    Right, and there is nothing technical about it. It is really just an atmospheric section.
     
  14. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    To me, the first 2 Circus albums are not that great anymore (used to love them). I think Nine is the only truly great album, which I find has its own sound to a certain degree. It also fixed that crappy bass drum sound from the previous albums.
     
  15. Progbass

    Progbass Member

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    I like Isolate the best. First Chapter sounds a bit too much like DT and SX ripoff and Nine is not that interesting, just too many ballads and even the heavy songs are kinda boring to me.
     
  16. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    I agree that Isolate is the best. The vocals are nine are generally bland. They need to unlock that vocal range and power again. That said, Architect of Fortune is an amazing song, as is Game of Life. But we digress.
     
  17. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Hammer of Serious Anger

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    Agreed about Isolate being the strongest; the opener and last few tracks on that album floor me every time. But their debut was pretty strong, too, particularly the first three tracks and that big epic song. And yes, Progbass - there's one song on the debut that actually has an instrumental section that switches back and forth between a Dream Theater ripoff riff and a Symphony X ripoff riff. I think it's Prophecy, but it's been a while.

    Nine is actually growing on me. It's much poppier and happy than their previous two, but Architect of Fortune and One are two songs that are stuck in my head. Game of Life is another cool one.
     
  18. Adam Fiske

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    Nine is one of my favorite prog power albums, literally right there next to V. The groove of songs like Game of Life or The One, the atmosphere the keys creates, the 3 epic tracks. Oh man, and that guitar tone. My favorite guitar tone ever.
     
  19. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    When the heavy riff on Game of Life kicks in... *drools* ... definitely a wicked guitar tone and overall great production.

    Once you get over the fact that Nine is a little poppier, you can see that it's truly well-written.

    I probably wouldn't have liked it 5 years ago when I liked their first 2 albums, but times have changed!
     
  20. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    Game of Life is either my first or second CM song of all time. Architect is probably number 1. That being said, with the exception of those two and Burn After Reading/The One, and somewhat Namaste, the rest of the album is very bland to me in comparison to Isolate. It's not the drop in complexity, it's the something else I can't put my finger on. I love every song on Isolate, on the other hand.
     

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