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Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by iceandfire84, Apr 9, 2015.
(4th review from the top - 9.3/10)
and french review:
(also a good one)
Another german review:
(he says that Underworld is not bad, but they could have done better. His main criticism is that, especially during the later half of the disc, he has the feeling that there is too much stuff reminding him of older Symphony material)
Does he mean that the second half of the album is reminiscent of older SX albums like DWOT, V, etc, and he doesn't care for that style of music, or does he mean that on the second half of the disc, there are alot of repeated riffs from past albums?
He said it more regarding to the riffs that he feels somehow reminded of the riffs of older songs.
But I don't worry too much about stuff like that, because I remember that when I heard V for the first two times, I found the album to be totally bland and just sounding like the albums and riffs before that - boy was I wrong after I really dug into the material on there...
It seems that after all these years, people forget you need to listen to an SX song 10+ times before forming a meaningful opinion.
I've never had that with symphony x...
That never made any sense to me. Sure, if I eat cat food for 10 days straight I'll probably learn to like it but I'm not running out to buy Tender Vittles any time soon. If I don't hear something compelling the first time through there's no sense repeating it. I may get used to it, but what's the point - that's not the same as loving it. The last album didn't have anything I cared for the first time I listened to it. I moved on. Kept listening to the other stuff in their catalog and forgot about it. If this one doen't grab me first time through then it'll be forgotten soon after too. Life is too short to force-feed stuff I don't care for just hoping I'll get used to it.
If I had that same, attitude, I would have never become an SX fan. 8 years later they are my favorite band.
Anyways, the CD is at my post office as of 6:45 this morning, early enough that it should be delivered today, so I will listen a few times and post my thoughts at some point!
Hey guys, I got the album today, and have listened to it 3 times attentively. Here are my brief thoughts:
This is my favorite album from any band to date, including SX. This is coming from a fan of every individual song that SX has released (so that you know I'm not just an Inconoclast heavy metal fanboy).
MJR is insane. His technique has improved more than noticeably, and his riffs were very distinguishable from each other, and from previous stuff, in my opinion. His tone is also better than it has ever been, especially on the lead.
Pinella is abundantly present on the album. He borderline carries half the songs to a high degree. He does some GREAT work throughout. In fact, Nevermore is where he is present least. I was super impressed with his playing, but more importantly, his solo tone AND quality have improved dramatically.
Rullo hits very hard this album. I noticed his cymbal work is a bit more expressive than in the past. Great play by him.
Lepond is a machine. Playing already difficult Romeo parts on the even more difficult bass, all the while spicing the entirety of the album up with his own sassy licks.
Russell is still Russell, don't worry. He hits some crazy notes, shows incredible range and control, and even demonstrates two things in particular: 1) Not only can he hit high notes, but he can jump to them from way down deep in his register flawlessly. 2) He is a master of his rasp. He can flawlessly and gradually switch from clean to absolute filth and back without straining himself whatsoever. It was a treat to hear.
The vocal melodies are generally quite good, in fact. I think Nevermore may have been the weakest chorus, to be honest. In fact, the melodies on this album are strong in general.
Biggest strength of the album: It is SOOOOO varied. Everything from heavy metal, to prog, to ballad work, to neoclassicism, to dark gothic tone, to hard rock, to melodic symphonic wizardry.
I have exactly 0 complaints about the album. It gave me everything I wanted and more. If someone held a gun to my head and made me pick 5 favorites, I'd be upset, but I'd say Underworld, Kiss of Fire, Charon, Swan Song, and Legend. It is awfully close though. Every song has its merits.
One last thing: there are TONS of musical and lyrical references hidden in the album! I'm sure I have not found all of them.
Anyways, I hope this was informative. If you guys have any questions, I will answer them in as much detail as I can.
How did you get it so early?
I have no idea. It shipped from California Friday evening straight to my city and I got it early today.
Ouch - talk about high expectations now...!
I will expect low, still - it's always the better option
I can't adequately express how much I love this album. There is one weaker song: run with the devil, but even that is good stuff.
You certainly see that the album is shortly before it's release, since there is a load of new reviews out there.
Here are some:
German review: (8.5/10) - "a bit calculated, but I cannot escape it's charme"
positive english review:
another German review: (5.5 / 7) - "will put tears in the eyes of fans of the genre, but cannot set new high points in comparison to the past albums."
another German review (12 / 15) - "This album has become fabulous. There is no filler or bad song on there..."
A bad German review (6 / 10) - "by far the worst album of Symphony X - much too predictable...plastered with Guitars from start to finish, there is no air to breathe. The same as ever guitar-legato-runs even start getting on my nerves..."
another German review (12 / 15) - "Nothing against the solid Iconoclast, but Underworld is more diverse and sound. But even so, Symphony X didn't grow out of it's own shadow..."
english review (4.5 / 5)
english review (9 / 10)
another english review (8 / 10)
First of all, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the album that much.
But I think your excitement about the album blinds your judgement. After reading your review of it, I have hopes it will be better than Iconoclast. But saying its better than any album they released is delusional, considering the current state the band is in.
^--- I doubt it's actually their best, but telling someone they're delusional for feeling that way without even having heard the album yourself just makes it sound like you can't wait to not like it.
How does "To Hell and Back" compare with their other longer songs? I think that track is the one I'm gonna love most from the bits that I've read.
Yea guess you are right, Its not fair to judge someone's opinion like that.
But I'm not actually one of those people who will dislike an album before hearing it. Lets wait for it and then see.
My excitement for he album can't be blinding my judgement anymore. I'm on my 10th listen or so. I just think the album is cleverer than their others, and I prefer the sound. For reference, I like DWOT and odyssey tied for second (not that this sounds like either of those a ton or anything.) I'm certainly not delusional. I feel like I waited long enough to form an opinion to be mostly objective. That being said, This is certainly just my opinion though. I can tell you right now some people will not have this as their favorite album. It's factually better than iconoclast, on the other hand. If anyone prefers that album to underworld something is wrong. Not that I don't occasionally like me some iconoclast...
Heavy metal Jesus, what do you mean by "how does it compare?" It's kind of like two songs split by a little middle section. I'd characterize it as moderately heavy in the verseS, and very melodic in he chorus(Es). It's kind of a longing, emotional piece overall, but not epic like them odyssey or imperial like DWOT. I'm having trouble comparing any of these songs to their previous work though. Sorry for any typos I missed, I'm on vacation typing this on a phone.
One other thing I'd like to say, is make sure you listen to it very closely, as there is a lot of nuance. I would also suggest a variety of types of speakers and volumes, but I do that with every album so...