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What do you think about Iconoclast?

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

  1. i am fabio

    i am fabio Member

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    7 years ago id say they are my favorite band now they are not even close..(probly top 20) I like heavy metal very much but this is just getting rediculous. Vocal melodies are bland as shit, keyboards add almost nothing unless its the lead riff, all the songs sound the same. I still saw them live and it was fine. Lazy or uninspired is what comes to mind with the new album...and damn I wanted so badly to love this album.
     
  2. Chainrider

    Chainrider Member

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    I wanted to wait a bit before posting my thoughts.

    Basically, I think Iconoclast is their weakest record to date. Now, to me, this has nothing to do with heaviness, or direction, but simply in the sophistication and quality of the songs. They are all generally predictable and basically never take the listener anywhere new.

    I can almost boil it down to one thing: The choruses. They are all weak, save for maybe Electric Messiah (which I think is a great song.) Worse, many of the choruses feel like a second half is missing. Case in point: The chorus of Iconoclast. What the hell? It feels like it is going to go somewhere and actually phrase together something catchy and memorable. But it never gets to the "B-side" and instead just plays the same "we are strong, we will stand and fight" over and over...and over. It would be like if Evolution just repeated "here we are, children of sun and stars....here we are, children of sun and stars." But no...that chorus actually goes somewhere.

    Other songs suffer from the "domination" syndrome, where a chorus is basically the title of the song repeated. Bastards of the machine and dehumanized are victims of this. Both of these tunes would be greatly benefited from a proper chorus. Is it just me, or was Symphony X the kings of choruses for a while there? I mean...Inferno, Evolution, Of Sins And Shadows, Church Of The Machine, Egypt, Through The Looking Glass, The Accolade...I could go on and on, but each one of these songs has an incredibly catchy and well thought out chorus that is infinitely more interesting than what we are getting from Iconoclast.

    Also...the magic is gone. Now, for as gay as that sounds...listen to Accolade 2. The interlude in that song is so incredible and mood setting...I don't feel like we have anything like that on Iconoclast.

    Let me just add a few positives. EVERYTHING about the song Iconoclast is pure kick ass, except for the verses and choruses. But the intro, the riff (which admittedly sounds a hell of a lot like "eve of seduction"), the whole middle section...I had a giant smile on my face the whole time AND felt like this was the closest thing I had heard to the Symphony X that I loved since The Odyssey. Hey, Symphony X: MORE OF THIS. The choirs and the usage of the keys. Epic. In fact, that little part after the final chorus...that is CLASSIC Symphony X - incredibly dramatic and heavy and theatrical. MORE OF THIS.

    Electric Messiah. Love this tune, especially the chorus and the verses. Great solo too, and just a great feel all around.

    And finally, the bridge to "Light up the night," the part where Russ sings "losing the boundaries." This one moment, seriously, is the most classic Symphony X sounding thing to me on the entire record. The neo-classical part as well. But the verses and the choruses... Even the chorus of LUTN would have been twice as good if Russ sang an octave higher, and has some choir backing.

    Either way, the record has lived in my truck for months and has gotten plenty of play. There generally isn't a song these guys do that I don't dig, and it is unfortunate that they have their own super high standard to live up to.

    Regarding their new direction, if heavy and mass appeal is their goal, then The Odyssey was the closest they ever got to closing that gap. And "Inferno" is the song they should be modeling their new direction after. It has heaviness and sophistication while still being interesting and maintaining that Symphony X feel. Even the fillers on the Odyssey had extended bridges and changes that made it interesting.

    Just my 3 cents...
     
  3. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    Way too gay, dude. Please leave.

    Jokes... I agree with a lot of what you've said here. I've always felt that the chorus to Iconoclast seems to be missing a second half. It feels like it needs to release, but never gets to... that came out wrong... wait... so did that.... ummm... *runs away*
     
  4. PurpleDink

    PurpleDink Member

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    YEAZZZ! /in Cpt Falcon voice.

    That part should have been the verse riff or something. Too good for a bridge.
     
  5. donKyle

    donKyle Member

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    As cheesy as it is, I just can't get enough of the part in Reign in Madness when Russell sings "shore to shore." There's something about the vocal melody of that part that I just like, even though the lyrics are recycled. It's also my favorite part of the song, next to the "wacky" intro. Does this make me lame?
     
  6. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    No. It is a cool song, in a metal kind of way.
     
  7. Mantraschism

    Mantraschism Skáld

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    I've grown to like this album quite a bit, but it's not my favorite, for reasons basically everyone in this thread has already stated. Not quite dynamic enough, not enough orchestral stuff, Russell's CONSTANT harsh voice getting old after a while, etc. 'When All Is Lost' is a nice break from the bashing, but I wouldn't have minded another quiet song, and I usually hate more than one 'ballad' on a metal album.

    Those complaints aside, I think they succeeded at what they set out to do this time around, and it's great for what it is - a metal album with a few orchestral touches here and there, and a more-than-satisfying amount of technicality and 'progressiveness'.
     
  8. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    It's funny you mentioned this.

    It's a part I would normally dislike, but for some reason, I love it in Reign.
     
  9. Chainrider

    Chainrider Member

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    Agreed. And I messed up. It's "pushing the boundaries." "Losing the boundaries" is surely some kind of Freudian slip.
     
  10. clafalc

    clafalc New Metal Member

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    In my opinion Iconoclast CD2 is better than the one.... light up the night is very very old Symphony X style.. well about SX old style, I recommend you this band: Wind Rose, from Italy

     
    #90 clafalc, Oct 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  11. Rocksister

    Rocksister Member

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    Bravo, Intergalactic!!!!!!! I'm so sick of hearing everyone whine that SX has evolved into something different from their "V" and "Mythology Suite" days. The reason I can't stand Dream Theater (yes, you read that right, can't STAND them) is that every time I overhear something they did, it sounds the same as the last time I heard something they did. I despise, totally DESPISE, the high-pitched opera-voiced choir boy vocals DT has. Russell Allen has passion in his voice. Listen to Paradise Lost again and this time, try to forget how much you like the "old" prog stuff they did. Listen to the vocals. Listen to how Russell's voice portrays every single nuance of emotion that album is trying to convey. THAT is why PL is my favorite CD and always will be. The entire album is an emotional roller coaster. From love and joy to deceit and betrayal, it hits the gamut of feelings, and HERE is where Russell Allen excels. Do you WANT every SX album to sound the same? No you don't. If it did, as Intergalactic so eloquently and correctly stated, you'd all be whining about THAT. I stopped listening to Kamelot because they recycled their stuff from album to album, very thinly disguised. I wasted money, and that is something I do NOT do purposely, buying their CD's. SX will never do that. They strive to offer their fans something different, something unique, not to everyone else's work, but to their PAST efforts. THEY want to evolve. They do this for a living, but they also love it, I'm guessing. They get to CHOOSE how they do it. Do YOU get to choose what you do on YOUR job? I don't. If I did, I'd try it one way, then another, then yet another. I'm thrilled they aren't doing "V" again. Or "TNMS." Or "TIO." I love those, don't get me wrong, but I'd put that in my CD, and say, "Crap, that sounds just like "TIO" or "V," etc. And I'd be mad. And so would YOU. So shut the hell up and be grateful you have a band out there who does NOT try to cash in on what is most popular, but expands their experience, so you can expand yours. These guys are genius. Each album has a "feel" to it, overall. I can't explain what I mean, I'm sure some of you are music experts and can put a name to it. "The Odyssey" had a sort of adventurous feel to it. Yea, you can say that's because of the subject matter, but just listen to the MUSIC alone. You can stick lyrics in there all day long, exact quotes of Homer's work if you want to, but if you can't write music that can convey the same thoughts WITHOUT the lyrics, you suck as a band. "Paradise Lost" conveys emotions of pretty much every kind and every level. Lyrics notwithstanding. "Iconoclast" is detached, industrial, emotionless, cold, mechanical. You don't need to hear Russell sing at all to feel it. That's intentional, I bet. What's my point? They evolve, they grow, they experiment as a band. I hate to say it, but I don't think it's just YOU they're doing that for. It doesn't matter what they do, someone is going to be critical about it. SX just figured that out much earlier than everyone else, so they ignore it and go their own way. Come on, appreciate it folks. I love this album. PL is still my favorite, because I think Russell Allen is a vocal genius, and all the members of the band are incredible (wish I could hear LePond's musical prowess up front more though, love the feel and sound of bass, and bass ain't just for funk, folks), but the emotion in Allen's voice on PL is insane. From the softest, sweetest vocals on "Sacrifice" to the most sly, evil of "Serpent's Kiss," he can do it all and better than anyone else. Disagree? Name a vocalist and get them to do those songs. Yea. I'm in agreement that he doesn't really get to show off the passionate side of his talent in "Iconoclast," but it still is a fabulous album. Favorites are "End of Innocence," (yea I know it's the most commercial-sounding track, but I can't sit still when I hear it LOL) and "Electric Messiah." Don't care about the lyrics. It could be "She Loves My Tractor" for all I care, RA would still be awesome (but I would no longer sing along, LOL). And I pretty much hit the skip button for "Bastards of the Machine" and "Heretic." Those kinda sound like noise to me, although the superior SX kind of noise, which is worlds better than any other band's best effort. So okay, go ahead and shish kabob me, DT fans, and "Iconoclast" haters, I've heard it all. Opinions are welcome here, so that's mine. If free speech could be taxed, none of us would be on here...........
     
  12. Progbass

    Progbass Member

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    I guess SX have to release double album, first CD having PL and Iconoclast type stuff and second CD having softer and more proggy type songs. That should please everyone...or maybe not, someone would still complain about something.
     
  13. maestro41

    maestro41 Member

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    I can see your point here. I may disagree with your comments on tone but the progressive elements are not as abundant unfortunately. I think others mentioned this though; the lyrical style is much different now than in the past which is also not necessarily a good thing. Sym X is still my fave but IC is a break from their usual style unfortunately.
     
  14. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    I AM a prog-nerd, and yes, I find IC to be too non-prog, but it isn't the main issue for me.
    The reason I like prog is because it incorporates creative, detailed song-writing. IC does not really contain these elements, so it falls flat for me. It's too 1-dimensional.
     
  15. -Rivfader-

    -Rivfader- Klingons on Uranus

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    I think Iconoclast is one of the best albums they have ever done. Of course I prefer more heavier rocking stuff. I get pretty bored with their overly prog stuff.
     
  16. maestro41

    maestro41 Member

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    Wow; this was my fave all time post. I see your points a good bit; however, there is a quality in past albums that is not evidenced too much in IC. I am referring to the guitar keyboard "duels" in songs such as Of Sins and Shadows and the artfulness in lyrics in the same. I do however, feel that Iconoclast is one of their best songs for the same reason BUT their tone seems to be more mainstream for the lack of better way of saying it. I realize I am sounding like I am findng a reaoson to complain. I dont mean to. I think your points about evolving are right on. I think I am just in love with songs such as Of Sins and Shadows, Smoke and MIrrors, Domination (absolutely the baddest ass song on the planet) and so forth. You are right again, they are geniuses; however, if RA would not growl so much. yknow?
     
  17. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    I'm the opposite. I get bored when it's just straight metal for long periods of time.

    I finally listened to Wolverine's Communication Lost. I like it! I think I prefer "Still", but this is a lot better than people around here were letting on.
    It's not album of the year, but I think it'll be high on my list.
     
  18. -Rivfader-

    -Rivfader- Klingons on Uranus

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    Gotcha. Well everybody has different tastes. I have always felt this band did a good job of catering to both sides of the fence. But I do agree there was a lack of the epic prog songs on this album for fans on that side of the fence.
     
  19. PurpleDink

    PurpleDink Member

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    Or like, you know, successfully combine the two elements to make you own sound in your own way instead of being a tool.

    "Well we cant have ALL metal songs so lets put in a 2 minute ballad...and...DONE!"
     
  20. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    Srsly... that kind of approach sounds so forced and fake.
     

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