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Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by clafalc, Sep 6, 2011.
That I can agree with, at least to some extent. At the same time though, there's something I can't help but love about the bit about striking them down (with power, no less!).
Then again, I like old Iced Earth, so feel free to disregard anything I say about anything.
The intro to Lords of Chaos is so different for SX, that I actually love it. LUTN is not as bad as some people here say; it has many strong points.
End of Innocence, and Bastards are pretty awful, IMO. Just taking those out would vastly improve the overall album... along with parts from other songs. I don't need the parts to be replaced with something better, just shortening the album by removing the "bad" parts would be an improvement (not that the songs would still flow, but you know what I mean).
^agreed on all points. I'd have less stuff to skip that way.
I say Reign has "tuf guy" metal lyrics because it has a lot of those "We are [something bad ass]" and "We will [do something violent]" moments that makes tuf guys feel like they're hot shit because they listen to it. It was obviously written for a younger, more immature audience. Lords has the same problem, but it's not as bad because it's all in the chorus and cleanly sung. Lyrics written like this remind me of Kill 'Em All, which I think sounds like a bunch of mentally-handicapped third graders trying to write lyrics. So there you have it.
End of Innocence is a pop-metal song if you ask me. The only thing that doesn't really fit into that description is the solo, but it still has that "fun" riff behind it that makes it sound kind of commercial. I'm certain that this song was intentionally written to be the single on the album; I didn't get that impression with STWOF or Serpent's Kiss.
Bastards is an old-school fun metal song (like the songs that always opened up Dio albums), nothing more. By accepting that it's not trying to be an epic masterpiece, I've come to like a lot of it. It has a lot of energy, the verses are great, and I think it was probably written with it being played live in mind (perhaps more so than other tracks on the album).
LUTN has some decent sections, but it still sounds like it was thrown together at the last minute to me. I like the bridge and (obviously) the neoclassical section, but everything else falls flat. I think they may have been going for an old Symphony X sound with the chorus, but it just sounds dull and cheesy as ever, like a Broadway play (something Kamelot, not Symphony X, would normally do).
Reign is certainly awsome, top 3 on the album.
Surprised by all the dislike for EoI. I think its a pretty solid song that could have fit on their older albums. I like the keyboard.
LUTN is probably my least favorite on the album these days.
Reign is a good song on its own.
If only we had received an album where Reign was the worst song on it. Aah...the possibilities.
But again, almost none of the songs on Iconoclast are worth quibbling about.
It would be like ranking a favorite deformed child. Well maybe not that bad; but you are getting my point now, I think.
I still dislike End of Innocence. Pop-metal à la Symphony X indeed.
I realize this is going to seem harsh (not as much as Prismatic's comments though, lol) because many of the songs are still enjoyable, but as far as I'm concerned, this album has been saved by two songs (IC and WAIL). Without them I would have been really disappointed by this release. Right now I see it as on the same level of PL, which also has only about 2 great songs (Babylon and Revelations).
I think I've said this before but I don't think this has anything to do with the so called new direction and the songs being dark, heavy, and riff-driven. Symphony X did songs like that in the past and they were great, and still had cool literarily-respectable lyrics. e.g. what's wrong with Wicked, King of Terrors, Eyes of Medusa, etc. or even Walls of Babylon? It's not the fact that they're taking this direction, it's how 80% of it is currently being done.
I seriously hope the 'dumbing down' of a great deal of the lyrics and music in this last album is nothing intentional. Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to the next one. I know we're not going to get the old school SymX back but something tells me it's going to be 'different' from the last two (as in more different than IC was different from PL) which is exciting.
Fixed. Though the beginning of IC is indeed phenomenal.
Okay, we've got two scenarios here:
1. Lyrics are dumbed down on purpose. Crushing to prog fans that SX has become 'modern' metal.
2. Lyrics are not dumbed down on purpose. Crushing to prog fans that SX has become incapable of writing good lyrics while trying.
Where's the love for Prometheus?
I honestly think it's a bit of both.
1. There's no way I will believe that certain lyrical parts of the album were not intentionally dumbed down. I can just hear Russ now, saying "Let's put a curse word in there, and have something really violent-sounding here... the kids will love that!"
2. If WAIL is any indication, MJR has lost his ability to write epic proggy songs that are on par with past songs of the same type. This may also be the case with some of the lyrics, too.
The title track is the best.
TEOI is poppy, but it was their single for the album, so that's that. It's great live.
Does anybody else dig Dehumanized? the background riffs during the solo, when you really listen to them, are awesome.
Just because some of you don't like the lyrics on Iconoclast doesn't mean SX has turned into some corporate machine that exists for the purpose of becoming more popular. These theories of the band intentionally "dumbing down" the music sound completely ridiculous to me. They made an album you don't like, face it and get over it. The guys in the band aren't obligated to cater to your tastes, nor are your tastes any "better" than anyone elses, even if you like to think they are.
You speak blasphemy.
As for Dehumanized, Bastards of the Machine and End of Innocence, I consider them all really good songs. The album would be considerably less awesome without them.
Agreed. Or at least, I highly doubt Romeo or Russell Allen are thinking "We could make music we like and know is good, but let's choose to make music that we don't think is as good to make money." It sucks for you if the stuff they are making now isn't what you wanted them to do but that does not put you in a position to say that they are choosing to "dumb it down" to become popular, when every indication is that they are still just making exactly what they want to and what's to their current tastes.
Also, Bastards Of The Machine is possibly my second favourite song from Iconoclast (close with Iconoclast and Reign In Madness). I think it's different enough to stand out on the album (and for Symphony X in general), the fact that it's so short and fast paced compared to the rest works well for it and the riff, verses and especially the solo section are all great (the keyboard sound in particular - one of the best features that contribute to the theme of the album). The only weaker part is the "Bastards of the Machine" part, which honestly I think is so short and has so little impact to the song to even be called the chorus (and it certainly doesn't define the song, since that's the only part that people always seem to mention about it). And the "Bastards!" section at the end is saved by the instrumentation behind it.
Although I like every song on Iconoclast individually I do agree about the lack of variety (especially since I like to hear more of Russell's cleaner vocals) and the songs sounding samey - but Bastards Of The Machine is absolutely not in the category of samey songs or ones potentially holding the album back. I find it one of the songs on the album that really has it's own identity.
Still, songs like When All Is Lost show that they still do best when they go for more dynamic, epic type songs and that they are still capable of putting out songs like that that are on par (or better) than older songs of a similar nature.
I'm with the detective here. It's a little of both, and it's too bad. I won't delude myself into rationalizing some excuse for why the album isn't up to par.
Isn't that precisely what you are doing with the whole "the album isn't good because they're selling out and not even trying"- thing?
And it is up to par. In fact, it's so high above the par that it can't even see the par. Only it's in a style you can't seem to enjoy.
You're making pretty broad assumptions on my musical taste with little grounds.
And no, objectively criticizing the album for its lesser points is no delusion of rationalization. If you were to try to play that card, you should amend it to a description of dismissal out of hand instead.
BTW, it doesn't suck for me, since I'm just listening to music I'd rather hear instead. No need to try to come to terms with albums I'm not interested in and prop them up with reasons I should like them or why the band should do what I want them to do, or cross fingers for the future. I think I addressed that in another thread where I was likewise blasted as a heretic for stating the obvious.
Oh and furthermore, in case you decide to quote my previous reply dichotomizing the response of SX prog fans to IC, know that I do not consider myself such a prog fan.
Man, reading that was like going through some legal text or something.
But those assumptions were pretty accurate, right? Meaning that albums that are like Iconoclast and you consider really good don't exist, right?
You're right, and I actually think most of your criticism towards the album is quite valid, I even agree with some of the points.
This is all perfectly sensible. What's a little less sensible, however, is the way you jump at the conclusion that SX has to be consciously dumbing their music down just because you feel that it sounds dumbed down. You're right about there being no need to come to terms with an album you don't think is all that good, but do come to terms with how very probable it is that SX really did make every effort to make Iconoclast as good as they thought it could be and are proud of it.
I undestood it as referring to people who only like prog and nothing else, and as such, it made perfect sense.
Well I don't think anybody said that. Why are you twisting/exaggerating it like that?
Some of the lyrics are plain dumbed down. You seem to enjoy that kind of thing, which is cool, not everything has to be so serious and literary. But just as you are free to like it, I am free to dislike it when it's done a certain way by a certain band without having someone, based on his own exaggeration of my opinion, constantly telling me how ridiculous the very notion of it is. Such attitude is more typical of an irrational fanatic than a fan.
Since I'm the one that said "sucks for you" I'll assume this was directed to me. I am not suggesting that music listening is terrible for people just because they don't have new Symphony X that they like to listen to... simply put, obviously if you don't like the new material then obviously you won't be happy with their direction - I don't expect anyone here is so invested in Symphony X that not liking their new matieral will ruin their life though or that they won't just listen to something else instead...
I just think some people make the leap from "I don't like their direction" to "They don't like their direction either and are just doing it for the money / to appeal to the young crowd", when to me it seems highly unlikely to the point of ridiculousness that they are writing music that they don't think is good (whether you think it is good or not).