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THE METAL OBSERVER - Review - SYMPHONY X - Paradise Lost

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6 tablatures for Symphony X

Symphony X - Paradise Lost (9/10) - USA - 2007

Genre: Power Metal / Progressive Metal
Label: InsideOut
Playing time: 61:24
Band homepage: Symphony X


  1. Oculus Ex Inferni
  2. Set The World On Fire (The Lie Of Lies)
  3. Domination
  4. The Serpentís Kiss
  5. Paradise Lost
  6. Eve Of Seduction
  7. The Walls Of Babylon
  8. Seven
  9. The Sacrifice
  10. Revelation (Divus Pennae Ex Tragoedia)
Symphony X - Paradise Lost

Of all the myriad of Metal genres the term Progressive Metal is the most misunderstood and lambasted. It often implies a group of musicians who are too big for their boots, hung up on technical instrumentation that makes the humble feel even more humble and worthless.


Perhaps the reason why Prog Metal is so alienated comes from the over long, complicated time changes in many of the songs. The catchy hook can be found half way through the song and by that time youíve completed a round trip to Mars. And lets face the average music fan hasnít the time span or concentration level to sit through an album containing a proliferation of nine plus minute tracks.


So how does a Prog Metal band appeal to a more mainstream Metal audience? Well in the case of SYMPHONY X they reduce the Prog and add in a bit more Power Metal. Hardcore fans decry blasphemy! Those unfamiliar with the rich SYMPHONY X sound now get the chance to hear a band trying to break free from the constraints of a niche genre.


Power Metal might well be going through a bit of a renaissance in the USA at the moment and adding the hefty weight of SYMPHONY X to the pack is not going to derail the momentum one bit. Following on from 2002ís opus "The Odyssey" where SYMPHONY X scaled new heights in Progressive brilliance the overall balance of ĎíParadise Lostíí tips in a more premeditated Metal sound. Although the Hollywood epic orchestration of the opening track might confuse, the rampant riffing and up beat chorus of "Set The World On Fire (The Lie Of Lies)" and its following song "Domination" are easily amongst the finest Metal, be it Prog or Power, youíll hear all year. Itís hardened Power Metal segueing the rudiments of the Prog sound with some blistering guitar work of Michael Romeo. Itís what you expect of SYMPHONY X but also a little bit more. And that little more rears it fans in the excellent "Serpentís Kiss" as Romeo destroys all other guitar contemporaryís in his wake.


The sound is even more ramped up with the gritty powerful voice of Russell Alan who ironically delivers his best performance in the ballad of sorts "Paradise Lost" however he commands a presence that canít or wont be ignored all throughout the album. "Eve Of Seduction" is really where Romeo lets fly with some serious guitar histrionics. Donít be fooled this isnít guitar noodling wank only for the bedroom tennis racket brigade itís scintillating, awe inspiring stuff. His playing on "Seven" isnít that bad either for that matter.


From the outset itís clear to see SYMPHONY X honing their Metal attack. Be it through the medium of Prog Metal or an amalgamation of Prog and Power "Paradise Lost" is simply a stunning Metal album. Itís got all the right ingredients and the songs to match, an almost perfect combination of bombast and melody makes this a serious contender for top release of the year.

(Online September 11, 2007)

Chris Doran

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