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UNDERWORLD discussion thread

Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by EyeballKid, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    This quote right here, this is automatically bullshit. :popcorn:

    Okay, really now, whose troll account is this? Recommend me some electro jazz.

    Anonym: being called a snob is a high form of flattery to me. I'm not even joking a little bit. I accept that title. I am a high-brow elitist snob. I am discerning, critical, and a holder of high standards. And I'm vocal about art I think does not meet my criteria. I like to discuss opinion, and mine are usually pretty polarizing. Not gonna apologize for it.
     
  2. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    @Kenneth...I certainly wasn't calling you or anyone out. I also think there is a difference between being a prog-snob and being discerning and critical. There is a way to be appreciatively critical that some people on this forum would do well to learn.

    Also, too lazy to read who said it, but someone said it is a fact that V/Odyssey are better than UW, and that anyone who thought otherwise had come into SX only recently. Well, myself and my cousin independently and without any consultation with each other came to the conclusion that we liked UW better than either (albeit by a small margin). Not only are we both extremely long time fans of SX, but my favorite album pre-UW was Odyssey, with V in second (though the difference was so close that I'd have said V was my favorite many days), and my cousins favorite album by far was V pre-UW. Also, my LEAST favorite album is Iconoclast (but I still love it). Not everyone conforms to the same understanding of music, let alone music quality, as the people on this board. In particular, it doesn't matter how much better "quality" an album has over another if the actual content isn't as interesting. Besides, I believe it is dangerous and unhealthy to objectively call music better or worse than other music when we are dealing with this level of skill and talent. It's art, people!


    I am going to offer my criticisms of the album song by song now, after listening approximately 3 million times all the way through...:D


    Overture: The ascending choir run at 1:46ish still sounds weird to me. Almost slightly off time. I think it needed some tenor brass running along with it. It's really cool, though. Rest of the song is sweet.

    Nevermore: The final chorus probably needs a vocal high note somewhere. It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly where, which is a good thing. Also, the modulated section at the very end after the last chorus needs more vocal riffing. Not much, just a little bit more spice. The "Nevermores" should be a little more drawn out and more varied. The choir support is so awesome in this section that it ought to be turned up in the mix more. Speaking of which, there should have been a choir doubling Pinella's chords in the choruses as well (and those chords should have been slightly louder as well). Love everything else.

    Underworld: I have exactly one complain about this song: it needed an organ somewhere. Not sure where. Maybe a separate section. But come on, it's the Underworld we are talking about here. I'm thinking Pirates of the Caribbean Davey Jones style organ. Again though, the fact that I can't pinpoint where is a good thing.

    Without You: When the choirs come in at 3:50ish, they sound too faded in at each ascension. It messes with the timing in my head. When Russell comes in at this section, his little riffs don't have quite enough pizzazz and detail. And again, as per SX usual, the final chorus isn't varied enough from the others. Although I do like the "Ohhh-ohhh" he adds.

    Kiss of Fire: This song is just too good, and I wouldn't change a thing, except that when Russell comes in talking about his serious anger, the keyboard chords are so awesome that they need to be louder throughout both that section and the solo section. Luckily my EQ settings sort of take care of that.

    Charon: Again, vary the final chorus more! Although the variance in the final chorus that is present here is pretty cool. One last thing I can't help but note is that the choirs and strings during the chorus aren't quite loud enough.

    To Hell and Back: Keyboard part during the first half's prechorus is too soft. Awesome keyboard lead during first half's chorus is criminally too soft as well. Change between halves of the song is a little too abrupt. Needed a little hook. However, I got used to it pretty fast and it's no big deal. That's about it.

    In My Darkest Hour: I absolutely love this song, but I'd be even more impacted by it if...you guessed it...the final chorus was amped up more from the others! All Russ really does is add in a little gospel lick (which is cool), but there definitely should have been at least a climactic high note in addition. I also think the strings during the chorus could have been made just a hair louder.

    Run with the Devil: Oh boy. Well, this song continues to grow on me, but it has serious flaws. Pre-chorus bothers me because it just isn't interesting. The section starting at 3:02 is the best part of the song, and it isn't developed nearly enough. There should be a second "verse" to it, at the very least, and the key lead during it should be turned up. The pre-solo riff sounds too much like a riff from Bastards of the Machine. During the solo, I hate the blatant copy of licks from the Nevermore solo introduction. Last chorus isn't varied enough (or at all) from the others. Finally, and most problematically, the song thematically just doesn't fit in with the tone or the rest of the album.

    Swan Song: One complaint only. During the final chorus, which is WAY more interesting than the other choruses in the song (finally!), I think it would have been better if, starting at 6:39, Russell had sung those parts with the usual timing instead of going into a passionate "speech" mode. Not that I don't like it, but it would have been better the other way I think.

    Legend: One complaint only. Why does Russell not go UP at 5:59!? That is so obvious to me, and there must be a reason he didn't. I think it's because at 6:05, the chord change is different and doesn't really allow for it, and it may have sounded weird to put the high note penultimate to the last full vocal phrase rather than during it. But...why not just switch chord changes then??? It would have been worth it, I think.
     
  3. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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  4. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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    THAT's what i'm talkin` about!

    :popcorn:
     
  5. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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    You missed the point.
    My musical tastes have evolved over the years. There was no Symphony X back in the 80's. So I listened to what was available at the time.
    I wasn't into the esoteric stuff like Pink Floyd. That was a little before my time anyway.
    I was into the harder stuff. I still enjoy the heavy stuff, but I need more melody and layers.
    One-dimensional metal is not for me anymore. Symphony X has raised the bar. I look to the future, instead of dwelling on the past.
    Gotta give props to the classics, but keep it moving forward.
     
  6. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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    Good of you to own it.
    You are what you are.

    Just out of curiosity... who is your all-time favorite band?
     
  7. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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    I'm not trolling. I am on a Symphony X forum telling everyone how much I love the new album.
    That is NOT trolling.

    ( And I agree with what you said here. )

    :D
     
  8. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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    Good stuff. Constructive criticisms. Your opinion about what YOU would like to see with the new songs. Nothing wrong with that.

    I agree with some of your observations, and I have a few things I would like to see as well.
    NAMELY...... "CHARON" being about 15 minutes long instead of 6 minutes!

    ( That song is just too great to end at the 6-minute mark! ) Shame on you Mr. Romeo!

    :D
     
  9. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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  10. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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  11. Liquid Tension

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    No I didn't...

    Symphony X is very close to one dimension and your obsession of this new one dimensional sound certainly seems to have halted your progress to the future...
     
  12. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    I've got that album. It's not realllly jazz. It's kind of prog rock with jazz chords.

    I liked their debut. It was poorly mixed but the ideas were interesting. Still, again, this is prog rock/metal. Not jazz.

    Another prog disc. Nothing wrong with it, I really like progressive rock and metal. But these posts confirm my suspicions that you probably haven't "listened to everything". Because no one has. There's always something new to discover.

    I don't have ONE band I could call a favorite. It's too hard. Here's some of what I'm into:

    Bluegrass + Shakespeare + Great voice = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeyQgBiHArA

    This man is a genius. I respect him deeply as a musician and as an activist = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX7zIypE2FE (Yes, that's Tony Levin on the stick bass)

    Future Sound of London = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lwydkWb6L0 Electronic music that layers digital landscapes of complexity and austerity at the same time.

    One of my other favorite modern folk bands https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nwk1zkM6RU

    Dance + Surf Rock + Sexy Lyrics + AMAZING production quality = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsZGfzPiJC0

    Since you're into metal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZqfH1LQEOQ

    I'm not just going to give you examples of 'manly' music either. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuEqS88g7-A

    The illustrious Dan Swano https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxhjW30Y7nY

    Superior to anything on Underworld, lyrically: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAYybEhOPhU

    Another multi-instrumentalist with great songwriting ability and stellar production https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13HymVYXpfs

    Maybe some pop punk? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoBRnytv7UA The piano solo on this song is a stroke of brilliance, the way it breaks apart and fails the way the woman in the lyrics' life is falling apart. Perfection.

    This guy could end up becoming the next Stevie Wonder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNKYh7rxtjo

    Perfection https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-S28rX_c24

    Poppy metal with a top-notch melody https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CleR2nYASdo

    Less and somehow also more poppy, black metal this time. This could be the song of the year, especially with that turn at the end when the bass comes in strong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg530raHyuo

    Not unlike awesome music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYMaIzFq1Iw

    70s-style psychedelic prog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjc6UD6U2Ks

    I could branch off into stuff like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3BW2vRLKuo and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlWjvNTW0io and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdw-EanLja0 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehLaZ4ejais and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNe4Uiq6oVc and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CclFhTQ1cXo

    And that's without even really leaving the 'prog' genre. There's so much good music out there, I don't have time to be hung up on Symphony X alone. I could flood this forum with pages of links, but I think people would start to get mad at me.

    Okay, one more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khNjK5MRbew

    If you forced me at gunpoint to name just one person, I'd have to think about it for a while, but I'd probably say Peter Gabriel.
     
  13. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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    Bluegrass Hamlet - WTF is this lame crap? Nothing original. Lame folk music. I hate this stuff.
    Peter Gabriel - Seriously? You think I never heard this guy before? He's good, but not my style.
    FSOL - Never heard of these guys before. Sounds like good background music when riding in an elevator.
    The Imagined Village - More folk music. You just love boring folk music don't you. LoL
    Minus The Bear - It's Pink Floyd meets the Eagles. ( Yawn )
    Dark Tranquility - Nothing special. Heard this done 1,000 times by other bands. Hate the vocals.
    Third Eye Blind - Disco Pop? Seriously? I'm sure this is popular down at the corner gay bar where you hang out.
    Nightingale - Is this Whitesnake with a lounge singer? I'm confused. LoL
    Zero Hour - I have an old ZH disc in my collection someplace. This song meanders around too much. Reminds me of TOOL.
    Sting - Yeah... everyone knows Sting. Just like everyone knows KISS or the BeeGees. What's the point. ( Yawn )
    Farewell - The artwork made me laugh. The rest of it i'll flush down the toilet. BORING.
    Samuel Yirga - Oh yeah... because I am so much into Stevie Wonder, I'm really looking forward to more stuff that is like Stevie Wonder! NOT!
    Anathema - What you call "perfection", I call "music to fall asleep to". More boring mindless drivel. Which seems to be your favorite style.
    Amorphis - This is what would happen if Soundgarden went Gothic. LoL
    Ghost Bath - What a hot mess. Horrible production. Song of the year you say? You like endless tremelo picking? This sucks horribly bad.
    Agalloch - More boring gothic garbage.
    The Tangent - Gee... what does this remind me of? Wait.... I know! YES! ( The Band ) Duh. ( David Bowie on vocals? ) LoL

    Okay, I can't take anymore. You put me into PROG SNOB OVERLOAD.
    Now I clearly see why you can complain about Symphony X. YOU AREN'T METAL!
    You have to be a metalhead to appreciate Symphony X. Plain and simple.
    Symphony X is METAL. METAL to the CORE. Symphony X is driving rhythms with infectious hooks and blistering solos.
    ALL the music links you provided me were the exact OPPOSITE of METAL!
    I'm into metal. I'll keep my Symphony X, and you can keep your atmospheric prog snob snooze-fest junk.
     
  14. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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  15. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Hammer of Serious Anger

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    I have so much to say about this album, but for now, I'll say that the title track, Kiss of Fire, To Hell and Back, Swan Song, and Legend are amazing tracks with very little to complain about in them. Without You and Charon are both really strong, and while Run with the Devil is a decent song, it doesn't fit the tone of this album and should have been omitted (it would have made more sense on a Russell solo release).

    I like the album overall, but the lack of non-solo instrumental parts is disturbing. Where are the intros? I grew tired of hearing almost every song jump straight into the vocals. This was apparent on half of the album, and in some songs (Charon, Swan Song) it really didn't fit the vibe of the song. Swan Song and the title track could have benefited from being a couple minutes longer each - the former could have had an intro, while the latter could have extended the instrumental section in the middle of the song.

    My most listened to tracks are the title track and Kiss of Fire, because I love that they were able to nail the dark, heavy vibe while maintaining a keyboard presence. There isn't much in the way of a neoclassical feel on this album, but most of what is there is in the title track's chorus.

    Does anyone want to make any predictions on what they'll play on the upcoming North American tour? I'm expecting the first five tracks of this album, and possibly Charon or THAB. Thoughts?
     
  16. EyeballKid

    EyeballKid Shyamalan'd

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    I think you're dead on with the first five tracks. My guess is we'll get a setlist that looks something like:

    (Overture)
    Nevermore
    Underworld
    Serpent's Kiss
    Without You
    Dehumanized
    Kiss of Fire
    Of Sins and Shadows
    To Hell and Back (or something surprising like Accolade II, some sort of mini-epic)
    Evolution (The Grand Design)
    Smoke and Mirrors
    -----
    Set the World on Fire
    Of Sins and Shadows

    Not my ideal setlist, but they are co-headlining and playing with a thrash band...so expect a lot of newer material and a supreme lack of epic/long songs.
     
  17. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    Kenneth, the content of the links you posted makes me surprised you ever liked Symphony X, let alone that you frequent this forum. The only thing listenable on that entire list was Peter Gabriel.

    Alien Mantis, I love you. Haha.

    I think EyeballKid is dead on, but I still think Legend may make its way into the setlist.
     
  18. Alien Mantis

    Alien Mantis Galactic Explorer

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    THIS ^^^ :D

    I found a few of his recommendations "listenable". ( In an elevator, while sleeping, at the doctors office, etc. )

    To be fair, I don't mind his weird taste in music. It's perfectly okay.
    But you can't compare Symphony X to ANY of that stuff.
    Sy X is metal. Gotta keep it in the genre. Just sayin`.
     
  19. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    Right. It's absolutely great that he likes that stuff. More power to him. Just not sure why on earth anyone on an SX forum arguing for the new SX sound would like it. Just out of curiosity, what are your top 5 bands at the moment?

    Also, which solos and choruses do you like the most on UW?
     
  20. Sauna

    Sauna Member

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    Fantastic post there Ken.

    I've yet to hear Underworld, probably going to hold it off until I get around to picking up a physical copy. Pretty sure I'll like it, though.

    No you don't.
     

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