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What's the Sym X album you hate the most?

Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by Indestructible, Nov 13, 2014.

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What's the Sym X album you hate the most?

  1. V: The New Mythology Suite

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Symphony X

    41.9%
  3. The Damnation Game

    4.7%
  4. The Divine Wings of Tragedy

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Paradise Lost

    14.0%
  6. Iconoclast

    37.2%
  7. The Odyssey

    2.3%
  8. Twilight in Olympus

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Indestructible

    Indestructible New Metal Member

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    Exactly bro. And what's really sad about it, is that nearly all the songs on that album are actually great and catchy. Its the production that ruins it all. Perhaps it will be re-issued in a remastered form someday? If yes then that's what would bring life to that album, I think.

    Its still an album I can listen to though, just have to put up the audio in really high volume. Then its loud enough. But you can still feel the shitty production present in the sound there, so its hard to escape that.
     
  2. tony94fcom

    tony94fcom New Metal Member

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    not too crazy about PL's guitar tones... sounds way too dry to me. though I wouldn't say I "hate" the album.
     
  3. TheVarangianGuard6600

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    What?? Damnation Game is my favorite of theirs! Anyone else?
     
  4. Drunc

    Drunc Member

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    Am I the only 1 voting The Odyssey? Apart from Accolade 2 (which knocks the spots off the 1st 1) I can't get into this album at all. The title track has some good moments but also some bad. It needs to be condensed by half.
     
  5. EyeballKid

    EyeballKid Shyamalan'd

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    The title track, Accolade II, Awakenings, Wicked, Inferno, King of Terrors are all god-like, top-tier, incredible songs. Incantations and Turning are both average at best, but the rest of the album is perfect.
     
  6. scanner313

    scanner313 The EYE

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    With Russel singing, and a much much better production, the 1st album would probably be a good listen.

    Otherwise, I'm finding it difficult to embrace the newer albums the way I did everything from TDG to Odyssey. PL was good, Iconoclast was mediocre, and Underworld to me is ok. The biggest criticism of UW are the cliche lyrics, which at times are painfully cliche in my opinion. Whenever they write about personal oppression or struggle the songs are laced with "I stand alone", "My world is crumbling down", etc. Just one cliche statement after another. I think that's why I like Charon so much. It's more of a storybook type lyric ala Medusa's Eyes, Pharaoh, and everything on TIO.
     
  7. scanner313

    scanner313 The EYE

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    I think Accolade II is by far the best song on the album, but aside from Infero I too find The Odyssey pretty boring. I do love the intro to Incantations though, but it weakens once the verse starts. The dry production distracts me as well. But overall, I consider it a good album. Certainly not their best.
     
  8. scanner313

    scanner313 The EYE

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    I can't believe any SyX fan doesn't love TDG. I agree that it is one of their best. In my opinion, it's #3 in their catalog only behind (like I need to list them) TDWOT and V.
     
  9. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    The only SX album to date I love each and every song from is The Odyssey. To me, every single song on that album is top notch. I don't hate any SX album except the first one, but I don't even count that since Russ isn't singing. My next least favorite is for sure Iconoclast. I enjoy the sound, but there is too much of it, and there are some moments throughout the album that irk me (such as the When All is Lost solo, wtf kind of transition is that?).
     
  10. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Hammer of Serious Anger

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    I have to go with the debut album here solely because of the lack of Russell. If the songs were re-recorded with he and LePond, it might shoot the album up in my book. I think Iconoclast is definitely the weakest of their three "modern" albums, but it isn't as bad as people are making it out to be. Yes, the swearing and the "we are this, we are that, we will crush you" lyrics are extraordinarily lame, but a good half of that album is full of excellent songs.

    The Odyssey is one of their top albums in my book, although I too dislike the production. The bass is too compressed and buried, and the whole mix sounds flat. Production-wise, I think they nailed it with Underworld, although I'm no expert in production and mixing. If I can hear all the instruments clearly, I'm happy. As for The Odyssey, the only weak songs are Incantations and Turning, with the former actually having some cool grooves but an unmemorable chorus and the latter being obvious filler.

    I'm not going to lie - the only songs I regularly listen to from Damnation Game are Edge, Winter, and DTK. It's not that the other songs are bad or anything, but the mix is pretty weak and they have better songs in the same styles on their middle-era albums.

    Edit: I should clarify that I don't hate any of their albums. People complaining about Iconoclast forget that if it was released by just about any other metal band, it would be the best thing since sliced bread. It's just that we tend to hold Symphony X up to higher standards.
     
  11. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    So much truth, Detective. So much.
    Except that Incantations and Turning are AWESOME.

    Laughed out loud.
     
  12. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Hammer of Serious Anger

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    I'm glad we see eye-to-eye!

    It's not that I hate Turning or anything, but it's one of the few Symphony X songs that sounds like it was thrown together in a few minutes (Light up the Night, anyone?) The tail end of the second verse with the sweet bass and the instrumental sections are cool, but the vocal melodies just don't add anything to me. It's one of the few Symphony X songs that I usually skip whenever I'm listening to a full album of theirs.
     
  13. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    The Turning is very strong to me because Russ uses vocal technique to accurately convey what is happening in the lyrics. I also actually really like the chorus. The little instrumental section leaves something to be desired, though. I also like Light up the Night. The pre-verse riff is a little thrown together, and the chorus lyrics are cheesy, but I genuinely think the rest is a good piece of work from the band. Thrown together=Lords of Chaos, maybe.

    Songs I generally skip while listening through SX stuff:

    Secrets, Winter's Dream part 2, DWOT (yea, yea, I know; I just don't particularly care for the song past the intro "chant" part), Children of a Faceless God, Lords of Chaos, Paradise Lost, Eve of Seduction, Church of the Machine, Orion of the Hunter, Run with the Devil, Absence of Light, Rediscovery Part 2.

    What a weird list, now that I look at it closely. No rhyme or reason whatsoever, haha. Even these songs I genuinely listen to and like at least a little bit some days, though.
     
  14. Adam Fiske

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    It is a weird list because I think that Paradise Lost, Eve of Seduction, Orion the Hunter, Run With the Devil and Rediscovery are some of their strongest songs from their respective albums. Orion and Rediscovery are actually my favorites on each of their albums.

    I can see the view that The Turning is one of the weaker songs from The Odyssey, but it's also the requisite neo-classical song, much like Fool's Paradise and Light Up the Night. The sort of general perceived weakness of these tracks could be why we don't really have a neo-classical one on Underworld.... maybe they don't have much left new and exciting to do in that area anymore. Although, there was a ton of neo-classical influence on Paradise Lost (Set the World on Fire, Eve of Seduction, Serpent's Kiss, Seven). I can pick out a few progressions on Underworld (end of Nevermore solo, Underworld chorus progression, In My Darkest Hour chorus progression), but they're definitely much harder to pick out that they've ever been.

    I actually think Light Up the Night is a stellar classic-style track that (musically at least) would fit in right at home on DWoT. The bridge after the second chorus ("pushing the boundaries") reminds me very much of V. Children of a Faceless God, End of Innocence and Electric Messiah also have parts that are very reminiscent of V, to me. Children is overall a very good track, minus the main riff that just sounds like a recycled Serpent's Kiss groove. But the verse, pre-chorus, chorus, and bridge sections are all top-notch Symphony X. Really I think that album would have been excellent if they dropped Bastards, Heretic, Prometheus and Lords of Chaos. Maybe stick on one more short ballad before Reign in Madness (call it Fall from Grace). Also the Iconoclast chorus could be better. I am glad we didn't get any chanty choruses on Underworld.
     
  15. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    My problem with Paradise Lost as a song is that it almost achieves greatness so many times, but never actually does. It doesn't even scrape against it. It just hovers in the nearby neighborhood. Eve of Seduction is just generally not memorable for me. The chorus is the only part I really think worked, and even that is a bit "peppy" for me. Orion is just boring to me. Could have been great if it was shorter per section. The chorus again is a saving grace. Rediscovery suffers from the same problem DWOT (song) does: I only care about certain parts, and I find myself wanting to constantly FF or RW to get to them. And it's not as if those parts are that close to each other within the songs, either. In contrast to you, I think Through the Looking Glass and Fool's Paradise are my favorites on their respective albums.

    I really didn't think Odyssey or V had requisite neoclassical songs. I think the albums in their entireties are very neoclassical. I also agree that Paradise lost is quite neoclassical overall, despite many propositions to the contrary.

    Your last paragraph assures me that the mixing and mastering process, and the increase in the band's technology are much more of a factor in their new sound than many people think it is. It seems alot of people blame the song-writing, and while that has changed certainly, it hasn't necessarily diminished in quality.

    I really want to like Children as a song, but it sounds too much like Serpent's Kiss, and the chorus melody is very, VERY cheesy. I mean, it's "fine". I actually think Prometheus and Bastards are very good songs, whereas Heretic is mediocre but still awesome. Lords and Children are my 2 least favorite, easily, on Iconoclast. Other things like the solo section in When All is Lost, the lack of "bang" in Reign in Madness, the Iconoclast chorus, the utter "on-timeness" of each lick in the Iconoclast solo, and the swearing all just keep the album at the bottom for me. However, even if each and every one of those things was changed, I still think it'd be my least favorite simply because it isn't as "grand" in scope as the others.

    I can't agree more that it needed another ballad right where you said before Reign. All this being said, the album did produce some very excellent songs that belong in top tier SX: Iconoclast and Electric Messiah in particular are glorious in my opinion despite my complaints about the former.
     
  16. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Hammer of Serious Anger

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    Regarding the ballads on the last few albums...

    I agree that Paradise Lost doesn't really go anywhere. The verses with the 7/8 turnaround are really interesting and emotive, but the chorus is musically (and vocally) uninteresting - it's just kind of "there." The bridge buildup back to the quiet acoustic guitar was great, and the closest thing the song has to a climax, but overall this song just never takes me anywhere.

    The Sacrifice is a ballad that's actually grown on me quite a bit. It has a lot of neoclassical influence, and if you can get past the cheesy "singing about love" lyrics, the music is really dark and interesting. The ending with Romeo shredding away on the acoustic is amazing.

    WAIL is another song that aside from a few sections I really can't get into. I love the first verse when the band kicks in and the middle instrumental bit where the piano plays the same riff as the guitar but a measure behind it. The latter is an example of the musical brilliance we haven't really heard from this band since The Odyssey, and sadly, we don't really hear anything like it on Underworld. However, the song's biggest downfall is the abysmal lyrics, which really stand out in a quieter song. Songs like Domination, Dehumanized, and Kiss of Fire may have some downright awful lyrics, but they fit the aggression and heaviness being displayed there. In a ballad, I tend to hold the lyrics up to a higher standard than I would in a heavier song. All in all, I get the impression that the band decided they needed a ballad for this album and threw a bunch of stuff Pinnella had written together without any real cohesive direction. The sad thing is that aside from the brief quiet bit in the middle of Reign in Madness, this is the ONLY break we get from the futuristic robot assault on the ENTIRE ALBUM. It should have been one of the strongest songs on the album due to the dynamic shift, but I'd rank it as only average in comparison.

    With Underworld, I think the band finally nailed what they were going for on the previous two albums with Swan Song. Yes, the vocals are rushed in too soon in the beginning, but other than that, I really have little to complain about. The chorus is a bit too long and perhaps could've used some more variation on the repeats, but everything else in this song is beautiful. Lyrically, it's Sacrifice all over again, but this song is darker and contains some more interesting keyboard work. Throw in easily the best guitar solo on the album and you have an enjoyable ballad that may not compare to classics like Candlelight Fantasia, but is equally interesting when compared to the rest of the album.

    Conversely, Without You may be my least listened to track on the album (save for Overture). Underworld and Kiss of Fire are two of the album's highlights for me, and as soon as Underworld starts fading out (a trend which was far overused on Paradise Lost and Iconoclast and thankfully only used once on this album), I just want to jump straight into Kiss of Fire. I understand the placing, but the song is too straightforward for me to really enjoy it. I like the middle instrumental section the most, although I don't hear any similarities to DWOT other than an acoustic guitar playing. In fact, people have gone on and on about how this part or that part from Paradise Lost and Iconoclast remind them of the quiet part of DWOT, but the only time I've ever heard any similarities is the obvious ending to Revelation.

    Interesting viewpoint. I think Heretic is probably the best written and most seamless song on the album, save for the switch back to half-time after the solo. Sure, it's extra aggressive, but in this song it actually works. Prometheus is another one of my favorites, due to the "mad science" lyrics and polymetric verses. Bastards is a fun Dio-like song but definitely is nowhere near the band's top tier, and Lords of Chaos leaves little to be desired (although I still prefer it to Light up the Night).

    I think the song is musically very interesting, especially some of the polymetric stuff happening in the main riff and other sections. But yes - I find the chorus to be a weak point. I actually feel the same about Electric Messiah's chorus - too simple of a progression and melody. I just don't think it fits with Symphony X. Serpent's Kiss is superior to me, with its "not-chorus."

    It seemed they finally nailed being able to write catchy but also musically interesting choruses on Underworld, as there aren't any I dislike. IMDH's chorus is probably the cheesiest and most Iconoclast-like, but it's far catchier than any chorus from that album.
     
  17. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    I love the Sacrifice. I think it and Swan Song might be my two favorite SX ballads to date along with Communion, if you count that. I like Candlelight Fantasia (alot), but the section starting at 3:21 just doesn't fit the song IMO and actually even sounds straight up bad. What's great in the song is great, though. I think I Find Swan Song slightly more interesting than Accolade II which is on par or slightly more interesting than Sacrifice. Accolade I has always been low ranked on the ballad list for me, but still fantastic. That really leaves Lady and Communion. Lady is a slightly flat and wandering song throughout compared to the others, I think, though still great. Communion, which I count as a ballad, really has very few flaws. I think Communion >= Swan Song > Sacrifice=Accolade II > Lady of the Snow =Candlelight Fantasia, for me. Those are the best 6 "ballads" from SX by far, imo.

    Swan Song solo is probably tied with KoF and Underworld solos for me. While it is musically more interesting, the other two have a "lose my shit" factor which is as important to me as musicality.
     
  18. Adam Fiske

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    Sure, I agree that V has neo-classical influence all over it, but that Fool's Paradise is the straight-up neo-classical number. Similarly, while PL has classical influence all over it, Seven is the straight up neo-classical track. Twilight has Smoke and Mirrors, and DWoT has at least two, Out of the Ashes and The Witching Hour (arguably Of Sins and Shadows too). Coincidentally, Out of the Ashes is probably my favorite track on that album and The Witching Hour is my least favorite. But that's not to say that these albums don't have neo-classical parts strewn throughout.

    As far as the song Paradise Lost, I think the only thing that stops it from reaching greatness is the chorus. I really love every other part of the song, but the chorus suffers it the same as the chorus from Without You. Although Paradise Lost's chorus isn't nearly that boring, it still still has a lack of anything interesting going on save for maybe the instrumentation. I think that Paradise Lost has one of Romeo's best solos on that album too. Plus the chorus doesn't eat up as much of the song as Without You (and some other tracks on Underworld).
     
  19. anonym115

    anonym115 Member

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    I feel like many of us can agree that SX really needs to work on the variation between choruses within the same song, particularly really strengthening that final chorus. Without You in particular would have been pure glory with a properly amped up final chorus. Same with In My Darkest Hour (along with a neoclassical instrumental section). Kiss of Fire achieves this very well by adding that crazy high note snippet at the end with the "rises" leading up to it. Swan Song also does a great job with it using modulation. It makes no sense to me, for example, that Russ's highest 3 or 4 recorded notes (as well as his lowest, I believe) are in Adrenaline Mob. I feel like SX is where he needs to be really letting his range loose and use his pipes to produce some beefy climactic end choruses with various high notes and cool little vocal licks. Maybe add some Pinella thickness to the last choruses sometimes as well, and use modulation a little more often.
     
  20. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Hammer of Serious Anger

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    I miss the modulation of vocal sections that the band displayed on previous records. This was rarely evident on Iconoclast, but it was on all their other releases (including even a few times on Paradise Lost). Subtly shifting the key of the song adds much more flavor to it, and can be done so well that the listener often doesn't realize it's happening. Take Accolade II, for example. On a first listen, would you be able to tell that the second verse is a half step lower than the first, or that the third chorus is a half step higher than the first two? THAT'S good songwriting.

    This trait has spoiled me so much that I often find songs with three choruses that are all in the same key quite boring.
     

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