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The next album? American Gods!

Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by EyeballKid, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. EyeballKid

    EyeballKid Shyamalan'd

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    Yes, I am a Neil Gaiman fan boy. Yes, it is too soon to be thinking about the next Symphony X album. But just follow me here...

    We have seen a decided shift in Symphony X’s sound and subject matter over the last two albums, from a mythological focus to a more modern take on evil and technology. With this shift in theme, there has also been a shift in sound – engaging to newer fans and disappointing to some older fans. So, the question at this point is: how to make both sects of fans happy while still progressing?

    Neil Gaiman’s epic novel “American Gods” follows the struggle of the ancient gods as they try to stay relevant in a world where they are easily forgotten. Mythic gods such as Odin, Anubis, Horus, Vishnu, etc. prepare for war with the new gods that man has created (i.e. The God of the Internet, The God of Modern Transportation). If you haven’t read it, check it out.

    I don’t think there could be better subject matter for a Symphony X album! With the older albums having such a strong focus on mythology and Iconoclast presenting reactions to man-made gods (Electric Messiah, Bastards of the Machine, Lords of Chaos, Prometheus), this is a perfect way to reference the past and bring it into the future of SX’s sound. The concept is essentially like taking Divine Wings through The Odyssey and having them battle Paradise Lost and Iconoclast. Now, basing it directly on the novel might be a little too cheesy (think Iced Earth’s Spawn-inspired The Dark Saga), but the theme is completely relevant. It may be too soon for this concept, maybe after another album or two, but I think this could potentially be the most complete Symphony X album, at least in regards to theme.
     
  2. maestro41

    maestro41 Member

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    Yeah man,
    good for you, I was thinking about the next Sym X album relative to content, style and history/themes. I must get the book you cited as it seems very relevant and interesting. I noticed that the masks were on various albums if not all of them, IC has the mechanical faces and even suggests several (mechanical) identities within one. The last two albums seem to have themes in relation to conflict: good/evil and man/machine, like you point out. I wonder if they will develop these themes and perhaps introduce a concept album, based on ones conflicts, ie, Operation Mindcrime.
     
  3. Xtopher

    Xtopher Creation's menace

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    Though i find it a very interesting idea, for it to work music would have to be all over the place...confusing at least.
     
  4. RuRoRul

    RuRoRul Member

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    Yep, Paradise Lost is all about that modern stuff.. Babylon, Adam and Even and all that...

    It sounds like a cool concept and I'd be happy if they wrote an album like that (although I know there's pretty much no chance) as long as the music is good. It does sound like a fitting theme for them (not because of their old, god-like music compared to their new, suckish music like you imply, but just because of they're style and common theme of mythology, their mix of classical elements with metal, of old and new, of keeping ancient stories relevant). But to be honest, as long as the music remains, I'd be happy with any theme (within reason of what they might choose). But if this was something the band knew about and liked I think it could make for an interesting album theme.

    I doubt the guys are too worried about keeping their "older fans" happy though (or about appealing to the masses). I think they just write the music they want to write, put in the effort every time to make something they enjoy and that they think is good, and I think it's really only the fans (and only a certain sect of fans at that, since a lot of them don't really complain or in fact post anything on the internet about the music) that care about comparing old with new, while most bands are too involved with writing and playing their music to over-analyse and discuss it the way we do. In fact, I'm pretty sure the guys in Symphony X don't care at all about pleasing the type of people who, when they have honestly put in the work to try to make something they enjoy and think is up to quality, just dismiss it, tear it down, and claim anything from them not caring about making it good and only trying to appeal to the masses, to them having a mid-life crisis.
     
  5. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    Great book and not a bad idea, but I'm going to disagree.

    I believe Symphony X should experiment more with imagined or at least half-imagined themes as opposed to basing the music entirely on already existing literary works.
     
  6. EyeballKid

    EyeballKid Shyamalan'd

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    Paradise Lost I alluded to in regards to tone and sound. It's edgier, it's heavier, it's more modern in sound. Obviously, Milton isn't current.

    I am not hating on the newer material as much as you seem to perceive. I prefer the older albums, but I enjoy PL and IC for what they are. It is absolutely naive to think that the last two albums are not catering to the masses a little bit, though it is also ridiculous to think that the band does not enjoy playing or writing the music they are playing and writing. I honestly feel like this is an idea that could unite themes from throughout SX's discography while creating their second (true) concept album.

    Xtopher, I agree...I think it would be very difficult to achieve without each song jumping from one complete sound to another. But if there's anyone who could marry the two tones, I think it's MJR.

    Marwen, I also think that the band should be innovative with concepts. However, at this point, I think it's pretty proven that SX are not creative geniuses in regards to story: they are amazing musicians and good storytellers. This thread was an idea keeping with the way they seem to deliver music based on literary and mythological works.
     
  7. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Yeah, don't become Blind Guardian. GOOD AS THEY ARE, the idea is getting worn out.

    (American Gods is cool though.)
     
  8. Detective Clarence Beauregard

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    The theme of this "American Gods" seems to be right up Symphony X's alley, but I'm not sure it's the direction I'd want them to take (I like Symphony X less when they sing about modern stuff). Xtopher mentioned that the music would probably have to "jump all over the place," but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. It might be interesting and different (although hopefully not "different" in the Iconoclast way).

    But to be honest, I agree with RuRoRul about the music being more important than the lyrics in Symphony X's case. If the music returns to a more melodic vein, I'd be okay if they were singing about something overly cheesy. They've done it in the past and it was awesome (e.g. The Relic, anyone?)
     
  9. Phanto

    Phanto Alalalalalalalala.

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    I hope they go for another mythological theme. They've done Greek and Egyptian, both excellent.
    Maybe something Norse. As long as it's not Manowar'ish ("THOR GOD OF THUNDER LALALALA" etc), it should be cool.

    Also making it based on some type of mythology or culture, it opens up for experimenting with weird instruments and stuff. I miss that a lot.
     
  10. Detective Clarence Beauregard

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    Yes! I really hope they incorporate things like this into their future music.
     
  11. EyeballKid

    EyeballKid Shyamalan'd

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    If they went with Norse...I'd expect we'd get another CRUSHCRUSHCRUSH album. But, that could be fun.

    I certainly hope for some period/regional instrumentation in the future.
     
  12. Pamonha

    Pamonha Petrified Member

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    V had this eastern sounding on a lot of songs, maybe they should return to that atmosphere a little, or maybe even the more slow -paced gothic sounding of DG. I guess it'll be difficult to do something totally different, like an african polyrithm banjo - bongo metal style. But that would be damn cool, going on into some new mythology or at least wrapping up a theme inspired by unusual mythological themes, that's the sort of stuff that brings along a huge creative effort to pull out
     
  13. Krowsnest

    Krowsnest Guardian of the Blind

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    this isn't a symphony x concept, per say, but a cool metal/rock-opera kinda idea would be to have different vocalists play greek gods in some kind of conflict. Zeus would be a power, authoritative vocalist (Russell would work), Hades would be a dark, maybe growler vocalist, and so on...... just a Thought o_O
     
  14. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    No thanks. We had enough of Greek mythology related art (and not just from symphony x). It's getting older than it already is.

    +1
     
  15. LittleTortillaBoy

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    Anyone remember the title of their fake new album? It had something to do with Valhalla and all that Norse stuff :)
     
  16. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    e-mail Arjen. He likes this kind of thing.
     
  17. _Gentleman of_the Snow_

    _Gentleman of_the Snow_ Prog' Drummer

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    Am I the only one that would prefer lyrics that are just based in reality? A song that talks about something real that we can relate to? Cheese factor non-existent?...
     
  18. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    But they already did that. In an awesome way (e.g. Awakenings) and a kinda cheesy way (e.g. Sacrifice).

    Anything more "real" and it's gonna be damn cheesy. i.e. Dream Theater cheesy, or worse.
     
  19. EyeballKid

    EyeballKid Shyamalan'd

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    I honestly feel, especially with power/symphonic/progressive metal - lyrics based in complete realism detract from the song. Keeping things rooted in some sort of fiction or fantasy adds an air of mystique to the lyrics, a mystique which is already present in the music. The sound of Symphony X, regardless of how much they modernize, will always contain a bit of mysticism. IMO, the music demands a certain amount of emotional disconnect with reality.

    If the band was chugging away with guitar/drum polyrhythms and synthesized orchestral bridges, but Russell was singing about some women that done left him for another man...I'd check out.
     
  20. Postulate

    Postulate Have a nice day! :)

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    I like using fantasy to talk about real things, like Awakenings. I think that's my favorite SX song, and the lyrics are pretty convincing.
     

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