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What do you think about Iconoclast?

Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by clafalc, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    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.
     
  2. Progbass

    Progbass Member

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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.
     
  3. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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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.
     
  4. PurpleDink

    PurpleDink Member

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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.
     
  5. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    ... biting my tongue.

    Oh, and SX doesn't get mentioned in the same breath as death metal anyway. There are no similarities, whatsoever.
     
  6. intergalactic

    intergalactic Member

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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
     
  7. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery, and Evergrey are really pretty boring
     
  8. donKyle

    donKyle Member

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    ^Yep. Except there is one Shadow Gallery album I like.
     
  9. Marq

    Marq Member

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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.
     
  10. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    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.
     
  11. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    That's actually somewhat true. :lol:
     
  12. PurpleDink

    PurpleDink Member

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    Not at all. It was more like 500 :lol:
     
  13. SyXified

    SyXified Member

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    Iconoclast has exactly zero outstanding songs; at least PL had Set the World on Fire and Serpent's Kiss. The technology theme is clearly tacked on spuriously based on a couple of keyboard samples that were probably stumbled into in the later stages of writing. I mean, it's not a terrible album; I still give it a listen now and again... but there are so many bands capable of making an album like this, whereas only Symphony X is capable of making an album like V. To me its a shame to see them come in so far below their potential.
     
  14. Detective Clarence Beauregard

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    I think you've hit the nail on the head. If you look at The Odyssey and the albums before it, the other band members had quite a few writing credits, both musically and lyrically. For the last two albums, the show has been run exclusively by MJR and Russ (excluding one song co-written by P, and I'm convinced he only wrote the main piano theme of the track).

    Since even deaf people can hear the amazing quality difference between their latest two efforts and the rest of their catalog, I think Lepond, P, and Rullo need to start co-writing more stuff. If the next album comes out (in 2017) and every song is written only by MJR and Russ, I think we'll know what to expect even before listening to it.

    It certainly seems that way for the most part. Many of these songs are riff fests, which isn't always bad, except for the fact that several songs clearly lack direction. For example, I had thought that the band had learned what not to do with PL when it came to the full-band fade-outs, but I was clearly wrong. Songs like Dehumanized, Electric Messiah, and Lords of Chaos sound awkward fading out; it's like the band couldn't bother to write a proper ending. I like the live ending in Dehumanized far better. The only fade-out that made sense to me was Prometheus, since it's a mid-tempo groove and it fits the theme of the song. But when a song is full-speed ahead like Electric Messiah, it just doesn't work.

    I'd say Iconoclast has a few songs that are very good, but yeah, nothing is truly Odyssey, Accolade, Communion, Divine Wings, Looking Glass-level outstanding.

    STWOF and Serpent's Kiss were two of my least favorite tracks from PL, and in my opinion the most generic-sounding (which is probably why they were chosen for videos, haha). However, unlike Iconoclast, PL was a much more consistent album. I may not like the two tracks above as much as the rest of the album, but they are far from filler. Iconoclast has quite a few fillers and a few below average songs.

    I'm split on this. For some of the songs I would agree (the synth-style keyboard seems tacked on in End of Innocence, Heretic, Children, and Dehumanized), but other songs (Reign, Bastards, the title track) seem to be built around it.
     
  15. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    Agreed. I personally find it kinda strange that someone would find the two most "commercial"/generic sounding PL songs to be the best on both PL and Iconoclast. This is because what I consider Symphony X's most outstanding songs are usually the least generic-sounding. Oh well.

    :lol:

    Seems true, especially that I've known Symphony X to be pretty good at closing songs (as always, V is a great example). I've even wondered if it was intentional, i.e. was supposed to mean something theme-wise. You know..

    "What's done is done - I'm dead inside
    I'm what you've all become - Mindless and mesmerized
    "

    At least I do know that the album's deliberate lack of colorfulness and dynamics and being edgy and mechanical instead is strongly related to the theme. But when it comes to something like this I'm not too sure. Maybe they were just not bothering to write a proper ending.
     
  16. clafalc

    clafalc New Metal Member

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    Personally, as an old Symphony X fan, Iconoclast is a failure. Not a bad album, but they re no more SX...
     
  17. metalxmetalx

    metalxmetalx Member

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    By the way, Sir Russell Allen appeared this month in the Brazilian magazine Roadie Crew. His task was to listen to 10 selected songs and try to identify the bands. The comments he made shed some light on his musical tastes. Two excerpts:

    1) Halford – The One You Love to Hate: “This is very traditional and I'm not used to listening to it, but it sounds like a mix between Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Wait, now it seems I'm listening to Bruce Dickinson. This song is cool and funny. Those singers are heroes and masters of all, for I learned how to sing listening to them and Ronnie James Dio. Excellent choice.”

    2) Cannibal Corpse – Stripped, Raped and Strangled: “It's Cannibal Corpse! I love this kind of extreme, heavier music. I'm just not a fan of guttural vocals, but the music livens up things a lot. (RC.: Are you a Death metal fan?) I like it a lot, but I prefer Thrash Metal bands such as Slayer, Pantera... I like vocalists who can sing in a clean and clear manner. (RC.: I think Chuck Schuldiner is the best Death Metal vocalist ever) I have to agree with you on that. He was a very cool guy an even went to one of our shows.”

    Sorry guys, a made a terrible mistake. I checked the original text, and Allen actually says that he DOESN'T like guttural vocals. I apologise for this blunder!
     
  18. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    It's pretty cool that he appreciates guttural vocals and Chuck Schuldiner. :)
     
  19. Pamonha

    Pamonha Petrified Member

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    Holy craps. I've just imagined being on a show where SX opens for Death; hearing songs from Divine Wings, Twilight, Symbolic and Sound of Perseverance in a year like 1999 I'd probably die of crying like a whiny 12 year girl...

    Dreams apart, the best thing MJR did was start the album with Iconoclast. That's by far the closest thing that most SX fans want to hear, up there with WAIL I guess. When I listen to the album these days I hear a minute of any other song in the album then I hit Iconoclast between. Sometimes Reign in Madness, but that begginig makes me give up sometimes.
     
  20. Prog is King

    Prog is King Member

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    I have to say I was somewhat disappointed by Iconoclast. I expected so much more. Not that it's a bad album because there are some very good songs. The title track would have been so much better
    without the "We are strong" chant. I'm probably wrong but I'm hoping they released Iconoclast just to
    satisfy their label and have been secretly writing another epic Symphony X album to be released soon.
    While Iconoclast is good, it just seems like it shouldn't have taken 4 years. I realize that everyone in
    SX is married and has kids so maybe life gets in the way. I patiently await an old style SX album.
     

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