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Discussion on a discussion forum! Who would have thought!
What's incredible is that in a 20 minute long, mostly-instrumental epic, there's only about 40 seconds of wankery. It's barely worth complaining about.It's also, for the most part, not a wankfest.
Yes, I agree with this. I more meant in tone and style than I did in skill. These songs are clearly still progressive metal, but just in terms of the riff selections and the like.I agree with some of the Iced Earth comparisons, but a song like Pharaoh has more to offer musically than what Iced Earth is even capable of (not that it's better necessarily, but it keeps me engaged more than a filler song from IE would).
Yes! It's amazing that he is able to be such an incredibly show-off while still maintaining a true sense of melody and scope within each song. His Sea of Lies solo is just awesome: melodic, hooky, but still with flurries of shred.Romeo owes a lot to Yngwie, but his playing speaks to me much more. I found myself singing along to many of the solos while listening to the album just now. They're that memorable. Even at his shreddiest, the solos have stanzas and lyrical phrasing. It all makes sense.
This analysis just made me appreciate the song more than I already did! Kudos!8. The Divine Wings of Tragedy
I. At the Four Corners of the Earth - The intro gives me chills. Chant, more than song, setting up our premise. Lucifer, the angel, sings his regret to God at having to pick the path he does. He falls to temptation and loses his grace. We are being told that something massive is coming to our ears.
II. In the Room of Thrones - A martial theme, not unlike Mars - The Bringer of War by Gustav Holst (and, I suspect, intentionally so), a rising crescendo. War is coming, war for Earth between the fallen angel and his great rival. This breaks into a heavier riff, and eventually a gallop that would make Steve Harris proud. The best keyboard and guitar solos of the album so far that are the apex of this moment. Lucifer versus the other angels, his expulsion from Heaven.
III. A Gathering of Angels - The previous is followed by a quieter interlude that gains weight as it grows - not speed, not heavyness, but weight, actual gravitas as we transfer to lyrics. Russell is beautiful as he launches into this lament-like verse, the regret of the fallen one.
IV. The Wrath Divine - A faster beat, the power growing of Lucifer as he descends. As he forms Hell, as he prepares his plot to divide humanity and force the end times, so that he might gain what he now considers his birthright. He will cross Jehovah, he will gain his purpose. Powerful.
V. The Prophet's Cry - The time has come. We get heavy beats, a rolling of drums that is like thunder, and then we hear a Nobuo-esque keyboard come in, the kind of sound that can only mean one thing - battle is dawning. Angels are forming ranks again; we can tell the moment of truth is getting nearer. These long instrumental breaks have never ceased being interesting, telling the story without lyrics. The lyrics are rockish, aggressive, hard, as the warrior-prince rises, his leader on Earth. Embodying the growing fire perfectly. Banish all kings from the face of the land! Perfect.
VI. Bringer of the Apocalypse - You really get the feeling during this that things are breaking. You can feel the almost divine-like sounds being interrupted and savaged by heavy, aggressive slams of guitar and keyboard, the intertwining of the two, the way the guitar solo seems to cry out in pain before the keyboards slam down over it, dueling back and forth. A really cool piece of music that, for the first time on this song, might go a little long, but not enough to bring down the overall grade. Riffs from earlier in the song make an appearance, most notably the rising crescendo from II. coming more and more notable with its own new crescendo that sounds like a Satanic march.,
VII. Paradise Regained - When the previous part eventually gives way, it is replaced by a far more utopic sound. Is this Heaven from above? Is this sound Hell making its place on Earth? The lyrics make it obvious - Satan is on earth, the Heaven above that he can never again reach, but now he has the one thing he always wanted, his paradise, a place where he can choose.
It's a neat song, but not a perfect one. Again, points for uniqueness. 8/10MILLER --Lady of the Snow was inspired by a story from Japanese folklore. The character is the Yuki-Onna, she is seen as the mysterious Lady of the Snow.
ROMEO -- The band was looking for a musical and lyrical theme to represent tonalities and scale ideas for a new song, and Tom suggested the Lady of the Snow story and the music was written to reflect the lyrics.
The vocal melodies themselves are the weakest here, but I also feel like the lyrics are so plot-driven that it was probably difficult for Russell to inject any more emotion into his performance. I'm glad that we seem to agree 100% on this entire album (despite a few points and half-points here and there)!6. The Bird-Serpent War / Cataclysm - A far more chaotic introduction, with aggressive rumbling drums that sound like a hurricane approaching. For the first time I think Russell doesn't sound 100% on point, but the violence he's trying to embody is evident. But yes, Atlantis is under siege now, the sea reclaiming the island of the Grand Design. All that is Atlantis was lost; the chorus where Ma'at, the child who can bring balance, is saved is the best part of the song. The instrumental sounds like a whirlpool in the sea, with the bass forming rolling waves. Technically good, but maybe not as good as the previous three major tracks. 8.5/10.
Although the quality does go down, it is incredibly minimal. I think that this is Symphony X at their highest point, but also the beginning of their trio of best albums.The best Symphony X album yet, and indeed one of the true titans of prog metal. V: The New Mythology Suite takes the concepts intended for the previous album's title track and blows them out into an entire story, engaging and enthralling, and it reflects it back on modern day. Everyone is on point and the return of Jason Rullo is a triumph for this band. It is probably downhill from here, because how could it not be?
Absolutely. It's still a really really great song on a stellar album.The vocal melodies themselves are the weakest here, but I also feel like the lyrics are so plot-driven that it was probably difficult for Russell to inject any more emotion into his performance. I'm glad that we seem to agree 100% on this entire album (despite a few points and half-points here and there)!
Yes, I agree, though I think it starts to dive after that.Although the quality does go down, it is incredibly minimal. I think that this is Symphony X at their highest point, but also the beginning of their trio of best albums.
I couldn't possibly think of a less "meandering" Symphony X album than this (except maybe Paradise Lost). The first two albums have no unifying ideas in either the songwriting or performance, Divine Wings meanders so hard in the middle that it ruins the overall perfection of the whole, Twilight is literally nothing but meandering from one idea to the other in a forced attempt to release an album quickly, The Odyssey falls victim to the same thing as Divine Wings (albeit with much better results), and Iconoclast is meandering to all hell just in terms of sheer bloat. I guess Underworld is pretty straightforward, too, but sonically it diverges quite a bit more than V.I don't follow along with your discography tour, but I'll just say once again that I've never been a fan of V and it's among my least favourite albums. But it's mostly because the epics don't really click with me this time around (nothing really bad, but also no Divine Wings, no Odyssey or even Babylon or Revelation - probably the best one here would be Communion and even that one leaves something to be desired) and the interludes and concept and whatever really don't work for me and result in a meandering album.
That said, the short songs here are among my all-time Symph X favourites (which is, my all-time favourites overall, because what competition is really there) - Fallen or Fool's Paradise rule supreme. But I don't feel the need to return to stuff like Breath of Poseidon and Egypt with its "five aliiiiiigh" "find the keeeeey" gets somewhat anoying.
I don't know, I just don't hear what you all obviously do. Sorry, there are only three Symph X albums I get bored listening to somewhere in the middle - the debut, Damnation Game and this one. Okay, maybe Iconoclast, sometimes, especially the long version, Light Up the Night or not. Still it's a very good album, because uneven Symph X still trumps most other bands, but I never got the cult of this one.
Definitely a journey I recommend! Start at the very beginning and I think you'll have a much better appreciation for the whole discography (especially if you get through the sub-par debut). It might take you a few spins to get into the material if you're only familiar with the newer, heavier Symphony X, but it will be quite rewarding.Once I'm done with Rainbow I just might do all of Symphony X too. I suppose you could say I'm a "recent albums"-fan; I discovered them through Paradise Lost, which I still regard as one of my all-time favourite albums. Really, it's ridiculously good. I've also listened a fair amount to Iconoclast (which is average but with some real gems) and Nevermore (which is pretty good overall), but aside from that, I'm pretty green. I remember giving both Divine Wings, V and The Odyssey a spin each some time ago, though I can't recall much of what they were like.
I think continuing the song works perfectly with the narrative. Idk, Looking Glass has always been a top ten song for me.Orion’s best trait is its chorus, which was recycled and improved on the next album.
Through the Looking Glass is good but kinda overstays its welcome. I agree with Knick that the chorus is earned, but the buildup to the first chorus is so perfect and well timed that it feels like the song could’ve just ended there. Going into an instrumental section before bringing back the chorus again just makes the song feel kinda bloated to me. Everything else about it is excellent, but that’s what keeps me from giving the song a 10/10.