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Discussion Starter #1
Decided to start my own review thread for albums and I'll contribute to this thread whenever I get around to doing more reviews. So far, these are the one's I have completed and plan on doing as many as I can. Even if you don't know who they are (I'm already predicting that 99% of the members here have no clue who the bands are that I will review, let alone having even heard any song by them) these reviews are a good readup and could very well encourage you all to check out these bands, which is what I aim for. I'm very passionate about my music and hope you all can enjoy this. Happy readings! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Symphony X - The Divine Wings of Tragedy



1. Of Sins and Shadows
2. Sea of Lies
3. Out of the Ashes
4. The Accolade
5. Pharaoh
6. The Eyes of Medusa
7. The Witching Hour
8. The Divine Wings of Tragedy
9. Candlelight Fantasia

This album will always hold a special place in my heart as the first taste of brilliant music I've heard of Symphony X forever sealing my devotion to this incredible band. It's no secret that this band is one of the prime leaders of progressive metal today and they certainly proved that with their latest release, The Odyssey, showing their heavier side but still staying true to the progressive genre.

This album launches into one of the most popular songs by the band, Of Sins and Shadows, and it's pretty obvious why this song's so popular among the fans. A very strong opener to this incredible album starting out with a quiet guitar passage that cleverly makes you turn up the volume thinking that the production is horrible and then BAM, Michael Romeo's heavy and godly riffing hits you in the face, volume full blast by now. It caught me off guard when I first heard this fantastic song nearly blowing my eardrums out. Very good solo in this one too to add to the song.

Wow, just wow.. I love Romeo's shredding leading into Sea of Lies. Absolutely drool worthy, not to mention Russel's vocals are top notch in this one showing his harsh and beautiful vocals within this song. The riffing in this song is incredibly catchy and headbanging worthy and to top that off, we get another fine solo by none other than Romeo with some splendid guitar tapping. His playing is so smooth, I cannot believe it every time I hear him play. Definately one of my favorite guitarists that everyone seems to ignore unfortunately.

A pretty funky intro that combines Pinella's keyboards with Romeo's trademark heavy playing kicks off Out of the Ashes. The thing that I love is how you can see so many similarities between Russel and Dio when he displays his ferocious and almost snarling style of vocals. You really have to hear this to appreciate how Russel is a damn good singer. We also have the pleasure of hearing a solo trade off between Romeo and Pinella.

A beautiful intro slowly leads into one monster of a song, The Accolade. What is there not to love on this song? A very emotional song that really connects with the listener, not to mention the story line follows in conjunction with the music (church organs along with Russel's haunting vocals depicting the fall of the brave warrior). We get to hear Russel really pouring everything he's got into the vocal performance. The chorus is so incredible and beautiful, words cannot describe how much they impacted me when I first had the pleasure of listening to it. Pinella and Romeo have at it with multiple duels between keyboards and guitars, gotta love every second of that.

As the calm acoustic guitars close the previous song, Romeo's heavy riffing jolts us from our calm state and immediately grips us into Pharaoh. This is one of the heavier songs off of the album with slow, crunching guitars riffs and harsh vocals. I love the heavy guitar buildup whenever the Pharaoh arises from the grave once again. Another fantastic dueling solo, I cannot stress enough how well this band executes that incredible playing style.

That's what I'm talking about, the two heaviest songs off the album, in a row! Fast and of course heavy guitars backed by really cool keyboard work leads into The Eyes of Medusa. Romeo's riffing is absolutely drool worthy in this song and Russel's harsh vocals in the chorus are jaw dropping. The solo in this song is great, fantastic, awe inspiring! I love the calm symphonic passage towards the end of the song and then it explodes once again with Romeo's heavy guitar playing that will jolt anyone out of their seat.

Pinella has the honor of continuing on the brilliance as keyboards open The Witching Hour. A pretty fast paced song that will have you sing along to the lyrics as so many of their songs already have us do. Another great dueling session between Pinella on keyboards and Romeo working his magic on the guitars.

Did I say The Accolade was the monster of the album? Although a fantastic song, the real monster of the album is the epic song The Divine Wings of Tragedy. Haunting operatic vocals opens up the album before everything soon explodes with Romeo's incredible playing that certainly gives off a huge epic feeling. This is what Symphony X does best, their lengthier songs showcase how insanely good every member of the band is. Romeo absolutely shreds in this song and Pinella easily keeps up with his wild keyboard solos that is pure insanity. Russel's vocals are beautiful and what's great is how he immediately goes from that to a harsher side of him showing how much variety he has. Everything about this track really has me scratching my head as to why this band isn't mentioned much.

Beautiful violins lead into the conclusion of the album, Candlelight Fantasia. For those of you who missed Russel's amazing and jaw dropping vocal performance on the finale of the last track, this track is chaulk full of emotions pouring from him that is guaranteed to move even the most stone hearted of people. Pinella's use of symphs and Romeo's playing really add to the emotion felt in this song. Amazing, amazing track!

This album is definately up there as one of Symphony X's best releases with jaw dropping performances by the entire band showing everyone what the progressive metal genre has to offer. Great job guys, you never fail to disappoint and always looking forward to your new albums!

Rating: 9.5
 

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I'd never heard of these people before, so I looked them up. THis album was apparently released in 1997. I think there have been five albums since then.

I kind of thought they sounded like a cross between Queen, Megadeth and tin trash can being kicked down a flight of stairs with about six puppies inside of it.

Honestly, they do have a pretty '80's metal (aka butt-rock) sound. They probably would have been a lot bigger if they were around then!

Anyway, didn't care for the music, but nice write up on it. Do you like any other types of tunes?

K
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
killerformula said:
I'd never heard of these people before, so I looked them up. THis album was apparently released in 1997. I think there have been five albums since then.

I kind of thought they sounded like a cross between Queen, Megadeth and tin trash can being kicked down a flight of stairs with about six puppies inside of it.

Honestly, they do have a pretty '80's metal (aka butt-rock) sound. They probably would have been a lot bigger if they were around then!

Anyway, didn't care for the music, but nice write up on it. Do you like any other types of tunes?

K
Curious as to which songs you sampled from them and it is sampling which doesn't guarantee you the full effect of a song and I hardly get anything out of a song/band upon the first listen. Have to let everything sink in, but that's just me of course. They've been around since the beginning of the 90's and are still very much around. They've released 3 albums since The Divine Wings of Tragedy, 6 in total for their career. Since you're curious in what other bands I listen to, here's a short list.

Iron Maiden
Blind Guardian
Iced Earth
Kamelot
Symphony X
Judas Priest
Bruce Dickinson
Dream Theater
Helloween
Gamma Ray
Domain
Testament
Megadeth
Metallica (pre Black album era)
Ten
Blaze
Black Sabbath (Dio era)
Ronnie James Dio
 

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I will wait until someone covers those songs in a bluegrass style. Then I'll give a listen.

That might take a while.

Mikey

Puppies in a trash can....thats funny, I don't care who you are :thumbup:
 

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You need to spread your wings a little there classix. :)

Pick up something like VH1's "100 Greatest Albums" book. Start picking up something you would have never bought like Marvin Gaye or Miles Davis and study it. I got it and forced myself to buy something I would have never bought, from Public Enemy to Bob Marley to Paul Simon. There is some really great music out there, don't get stuck in the same rut. If you REALLY love music and want to hear something new to you, check it out. There is everthing on the list from Zep to Hendrix to Sex Pistols to Van Morrison to Tina Turner. You can work yourself up to Patti Smith by buying a few G n' R or AC/DC to get you off the metal. :)

I bought Miles Davis "Kinda Blue" and got hooked on Jazz. Never would have thought I would be listening to it everyday, I didn't "get" it, just didn't get it until reading and understanding how it is made and getting that CD.

There is a LOT of music out there besides Metal, check it out.

Just a suggestion.

Brian
 

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I tried listening to some jazz, it didn't do it for me. But some of the old motown stuff from the '60s is listenable. So is some of the eastern music. I found a tape one time by a Santa Cruz indian named Ashwin Batish. That guy was playing a instrument that looked like a giant sitar with about 209 strings on it. He hauled *** on that thing. I listened to that tape until it got stuck in the tape deck of the truck from too many donut crumbs falling through the dashboard in the radio. :pain:
I changed donut brands after that.

My 17 year old son is listening to everything from System of a Down to Led Zep to Motzart and Johnny Cash. By choice. He figures to be good at writing and playing music, (he plays a guitar some), he needs to have a broader base.

I listened to a song by Mudvayne once. It made me want to kill something.

Later, mikey.
 

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Classix_Lover said:
Curious as to which songs you sampled from them and it is sampling which doesn't guarantee you the full effect of a song and I hardly get anything out of a song/band upon the first listen. Have to let everything sink in, but that's just me of course. They've been around since the beginning of the 90's and are still very much around. They've released 3 albums since The Divine Wings of Tragedy, 6 in total for their career. Since you're curious in what other bands I listen to, here's a short list.

Iron Maiden
Blind Guardian
Iced Earth
Kamelot
Symphony X
Judas Priest
Bruce Dickinson
Dream Theater
Helloween
Gamma Ray
Domain
Testament
Megadeth
Metallica (pre Black album era)
Ten
Blaze
Black Sabbath (Dio era)
Ronnie James Dio
This is the stuff my wife calls Dark Music.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
MARTINSR said:
You need to spread your wings a little there classix. :)

Pick up something like VH1's "100 Greatest Albums" book. Start picking up something you would have never bought like Marvin Gaye or Miles Davis and study it. I got it and forced myself to buy something I would have never bought, from Public Enemy to Bob Marley to Paul Simon. There is some really great music out there, don't get stuck in the same rut. If you REALLY love music and want to hear something new to you, check it out. There is everthing on the list from Zep to Hendrix to Sex Pistols to Van Morrison to Tina Turner. You can work yourself up to Patti Smith by buying a few G n' R or AC/DC to get you off the metal. :)

I bought Miles Davis "Kinda Blue" and got hooked on Jazz. Never would have thought I would be listening to it everyday, I didn't "get" it, just didn't get it until reading and understanding how it is made and getting that CD.

There is a LOT of music out there besides Metal, check it out.

Just a suggestion.

Brian
No offense but VH1 is an insult to music. I don't strictly listen to metal, nobody does. That's where about 80% of the music I listen to comes from, I can't help the fact that I get the most out of the metal genre as compared to other genre's which seem to be lacking in creativity. Most of you won't and can't understand some of the emotional aspects of this genre which is why it's so special to me. Besides, that was just a short list of what I listen to. Doesn't mean that's strictly what I listen to.
 

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killerformula said:
what makes it "dark" music?

K
I believe I knew exactly what 1ownerT meant.

It would be easy to call that stuff "dark music" if you grew up with the music of the 50s 60s and 70s.

It is heavy, overpowering, depressing and unpleasant to many. Many,(Most? All?) of the songs are about depressing subject matter. The appearance of many of the videos suggests dungeons and despair and tragedy.

I would easily call it dark music.
It sure got dark for those puppies when the lid got put on that trash can :p

It sure as hell isn't light rock :rolleyes:

Mikey
 

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Discussion Starter #13
1ownerT said:
This is the stuff my wife calls Dark Music.
Dark music? :confused: Nearly all of the people on that list are considered melodic and have there's alot of technical playing involved. Dream Theater, Ten, Judas Priest (mainly 70s era), Kamelot considered dark? Come on man.. Oh and btw, I'm at school right now which is why I'm able to get on here a bit more now. :welcome:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
powerrodsmike said:
It sure got dark for those puppies when the lid got put on that trash can :p


Mikey
I don't get why he gave it that description.. kind of irritating really when it really shows great compositions of music and someone just describes it in that fashion. :sweat:
 

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I remember trying to explain why Led Zepplin and the Grateful Dead was good music to my grandparents.

That meeting of the minds never happened.

Mikey

BTW
I think the puppy description was nice. When ever I hear anything they call "metal" today, I hear what sounds like the end of the world. I think it won't be melodic. :pain:
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
powerrodsmike said:
I remember trying to explain why Led Zepplin and the Grateful Dead was good music to my grandparents.

That meeting of the minds never happened.

Mikey
I always feel like I'm fighting a losing battle when I try to explain these things to people at my school who don't have an open mind about exploring more into the musical genre past all that crap that gets played on the radio but I pretty much never win on that matter. Zepplin is a great band though. I really need to get some more cds by them.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Symphony X - V: The New Mythology Suite



1. Prelude
2. Evolution (The Grand Design)
3. Fallen
4. Trascendence (Segue)
5. Communion and the Oracle
6. The Bird-Serpent War/Cataclysm
7. On the Breath of Poseidon (Segue)
8. Egypt
9. The Death of Balance/Lacrymosa
10. Absence of Light
11. A Fool's Paradise
12. Rediscovery (Segue)
13. Rediscovery (Part II)-The New Mythology

On one fateful day in the year 2000, five stars aligned and the gods have released upon us another brilliant album for the world of metal to reckon with. This is THE definitive Symphony X album that will make you crap yourself from this unbelievable album showcasing the band in their finest form.

Prelude begins the album with an even larger presence of keyboards then previous Symphony X albums and continues on through the entire album. After the operatic type of choir bellows out the lyrics, it just explodes onto the real album opener Evolution. Holy... what an incredible opener, especially with Romeo's amazing shredding in the beginning. When I first heard this song, I was absolutely blown away and I love this song so much. Couldn't have asked for a better opener, awesome chorus, solo is amazing.

I pray they continue this brilliant display of musicianship onto Fallen and they do not dissappoint in the least. This song is absolutely incredible and the guitar trade off between keyboards is pure orgrasmic. I love the part after the solo where it builds up as Russel sings, "What have I done? My shadow burning.. my shadow burns across the land!" Great great greattttt song.

The beautiful instrumental Transcendence helps transition the last song onto our first slow song Communion and the Oracle where it opens with amazing keboards by none other than Pinella. Keyboards really show throughout the song. This song perfectly represents the calm before the storm, in the sense of the calm music pertaining to the story that progresses on. Yet another jaw dropping solo and awesome compositions showing that these guys know exactly what they're doing.

After the calm song, it explodes again into a furious guitar onslaught by Romeo and immediately pursues into The Bird-Serpent War/Cataclysm. Such a crazy and creepy intro that works perfectly with the chaos that ensues in this song. Wild guitar solo and keyboard tradeoff between Romeo and Pinella, I love how they do this! Pureeee ear candy!

We continue on to our second instrumental, On the Breath of Poseidon, where it's actually pretty lengthy compared to the previous instrumental where it helped transition the song. Awesome composition by the band and a great listen, it slowly builds up and then all hell breaks loose with Romeo shredding yet again but then slows down to a pretty damn epic feeling with the grand keyboards and other symphs working hand in hand.

Egypt, omg such a cool song! Love the very egyptian intro that immediately let's you know what theme this song pertains to. The chorus is simply incredible as Russel shows you what he's made of as he nails vocal line after vocal line. The story line is awesome if you're still following along and you can notice the immediate change in the song in the second half towards a darker side and pay close attention to the slight change in the chorus lines, gotta love it! I love this solo too, very egyptian feel to it even in the keyboards right down to the guitar.

Continuing onto the next instrumental/song, The Death of Balance/Lacrymosa, where it opens with a very cool keyboard intro but soon erupts into fantastic guitar and drum work. The haunting operatic vocals help convey an emotional feeling to this song.

Onto Absence of Light, the intro immediately grabs you with the riffs and almost immediately we have a solo trade off between Romeo and Pinella, mother of god.. how I'm not crapping myself right now as I listen to this beyond me! The chorus is the type where if you told me you don't sing along to it, I wouldn't believe you in the least bit. Brilliant chorus, awesomeee job Russel. We are rewarded again with another ear candy solo trade off between Romeo and Pinella, how do they do it?!?!

The drums kick in and we're at our next high paced song A Fool's Paradise. Russel really kicks *** on this song, but when has his vocals not shone this album. Great chorus yet again and I call out anyone who doesn't sing along! Omg another solo trade off between guitars and keyboards, stop spoiling me!! I'm running out of words to describe this, I have not reviewed an album before this good, it's insane!! STOP WITH THE BRILLIANCE I SAY!!!! : )

With Russel's haunting vocals closing the last song, we continue onto the small instrumental passage Rediscovery. Awesome, awesome, awesome way to calmly and slowly buildup the before the next song. Good work Pinella!

And here we are, Rediscovery (Part II), to close this fantastic album, I don't want it to end!! But at least it's the longest song in the album, clocking in around 12 minutes. Romeo's incredible crunching riffs open this song up along with the nice keyboard work ever so present in the background. After Russel's harsher vocals kick in, we have a wild guitar solo followed by a calm keyboard passage which is a great visualization to this song with the guitars and keyboards working together. Russel blows my mind when he starts singing the passage starting with "Lost evermore the essence of truth.." it's mind blowing the way he sings that passage, you just have to hear it to experience it. Another highlight is the galloping drums along with Russel's harsher vocals, it triggers you to want to headbang along with the madness. Great solo in this song and yes it's another outstanding trade off between the keyboards and guitars, awesome! Another thing to mention is the great way they pause slightly after Russel's outstanding vocals close the song, you think it's over and then BAM they have huggeeee operatic type of vocals slowly fade out the song, amazing!

Omg... what a great way to spend an hour of your time, it is truly a pleasure listening to this album. This is without a doubt THE best Symphony X album, hell, one of the best albums ever made! I have never heard anything like this before, not a single, SINGLE filler, single second that didn't seem appopriate with this album. Fantastic Symphony X, I don't know how you guys do it!

Rating: 10
 

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Discussion Starter #18
powerrodsmike said:
I remember trying to explain why Led Zepplin and the Grateful Dead was good music to my grandparents.

That meeting of the minds never happened.

Mikey

BTW
I think the puppy description was nice. When ever I hear anything they call "metal" today, I hear what sounds like the end of the world. I think it won't be melodic. :pain:
Trust me Mikey, pick up a copy of Images and Words by Dream Theater and if you still think it sounds like it's dooms day, then there's something wrong with ya! ;) A saxaphone solo in the middle of a song considered doom music? Hardly.
 

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Classix_Lover said:
I always feel like I'm fighting a losing battle when I try to explain these things to people who seem to be uneducated QUOTE]

How perceptive of you.

I'm sorry if I seem uneducated to you..
I will remain blissful in my ignorance.

I only wish I knew as much now, as I thought I knew when I was 18.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
powerrodsmike said:
Classix_Lover said:
I always feel like I'm fighting a losing battle when I try to explain these things to people who seem to be uneducated QUOTE]

How perceptive of you.

I'm sorry if I seem uneducated to you..
I will remain blissful in my ignorance.

I only wish I knew as much now, as I thought I knew when I was 18.
LOL wasn't directed at you Mikey. I'm talking about mainly the people I go to school with who strictly listen to radio. Should've been more specific and not used the word "uneducated." Probably should've used the words, not having an open mind. I shall edit my post! Didn't think anything about it when I first typed it, don't hate me Mikey! :p :D
 
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