Symphony X - V: The New Mythology Suite

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Metal Blade
Catalog Number: 3984-14344-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:42:00

Symphony X's V: The New Mythology Suite is hitting me in all the right places. I am especially struck by the intense beauty of "Communion And The Oracle." It is such a stunning piece of work that I am left almost breathless, afraid to move or make a sound in the event I miss some nuance. Soaring vocals and harmonies, sparkling keyboard passages, magical guitar passages ... and I have to tell you I was already swept away by the opening tracks. There is a reason why some revere this band as the gods of progressive metal, and the proof is no more evident than in this track. If you read the Progpower USA board (no plug intended), you'll see that some want Symphony X to return for a three-peat. And but for the chance for me to be wowed by some other group, I'm being drawn into that camp. This is the epitomy of everything I love about music - power, beauty, warmth, emotion, drama, feeling, depth... I often caution when I wax lyrical about a band that I am not prone to hyperbole -- in fact, many who know me aren't sure what I think about whatever it is I am supposed to have a reaction to. So for me to get giddy - which I do feel right now, even if it doesn't come through in dry text - says quite a lot. Yes, folks I'm practically bouncing off the walls. I have, of course, listened to this many times before this writing, but it is only now, as I have the disc at a decent volume and no other distractions, I see/hear clearly what it is that has kept me playing this CD over and over again. It's not that the magic takes a while to work, but that you need wipe away any blocks to let it all come through.

Blech! I am unaccustomed to such flowery (or flowery-esque) language... but there is no way to be blasé about this disk. Certainly it is a top contender for my best of 2001...oh, but I think I'm a year too late, as the copyright notice says 2000. Hmm...I may have to cheat.

Anyway, there are 8 more tracks that follow "Communion..." Symphony X, for those few who haven't heard them, are a band that blend classical influences with metal influences into a spectacular whole. This has a very cinematic feel - the end of "On The Breath Of Poseidon" reminded me of the music that John Williams composed for Star Wars (not the famous themes...though it may be "Leia's Theme" I'm thinking of). Along with the beauty, you get muscular metal pieces as well, "Absence Of Light" is one such piece... LePond's bass is throaty, Romeo's leads spirited. amd Rullo's drums commanding without being overpowering. And, of course, Allen makes this all seem so easy with his singing, equally adept at the upper edges of his range as well as the lower and never the one at the wrong time. There is some terrific interplay between Romeo and Pinnella on the keys (the one instrument that seems to suffer the most in a live setting). Here, as throughout, there are moments that you want to go on forever ... examine them more carefully, to pick out the details --- well, like a detailed painting or, of late, piece of animation.

Some of the artists I thought of as I was listening to this, other than the expected Dream Theater, were Arena, Damien Wilson, and, during "Rediscovery (Part II) - The New Mythology," of late 80's Queen ("Who Want's To Live Forever" is was comes to mind in terms of the epic arrangement and broad emotionalism).

Hmm. Need I tell you that it comes very highly recommended?

Prelude (1:07) / Evolution (The Grand Design) (5:20) / Fallen (5:51) / Transcendence (Segue) (0:38) / Communion And The Oracle (7:45) / The Bird-Serpent - Cataclysm (4:02) / On The Breath Of Poseidon (Segue) (3:01) / Egypt (7:04) / The Death Of Balance - Lacrymosa (3:42) / Absence Of Light (4:58) / A Fool's Paradise (5:48) / Rediscovery (Segue) (1:25) / Rediscovery (Part II) - The New Mythology (12:01)

Russell Allen - vocals
Michael Romeo - guitars
Michael Lepond - bass
Michael Pinnella - keyboards
Jason Rulo - drums

Symphony X (1994)
The Damnation Game (1995)
The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (1997)
Twilight In Olympus (1998)
V - The New Mythology Suite (2000)
Live On The Edge Of Forever (2001)
The Odyssey (2002)
Paradise Lost (2007)
Iconoclast (2011)
Underworld (2015)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: December 7th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 785
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]