Symphony X - Live On The Edge Of Forever

Year of Release: 2001
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: SPV 089-41722 DCD IOMCD09
Format: CD
Total Time: 104:51:00

With five full albums under their belt plus a full compilation album, the American prog metal company Symphony X decided to pull material from their last three releases when they toured Europe in October 2000 and June 2001. With further European dates cancelled due to the September 11th tragedy, the time to release a live statement on disc was just right, although omitting material from their Symphony X and The Damnation Game albums. Looking at the picture of the torn setlist on the inside of the booklet what you get here on this album is pretty much what the fans heard when they went to check out the band. What you get is a nicely balanced mixture of powerful epics and classical elements with vocalist Russell Allen's voice swimming in between Kansas and Enchant. The first disc almost takes up the entire contents of the band's V album. During "The Death Of Balance," instead of floating right into "Lacrymosa," the band switches towards "Candlelight Fantasia" from their much acclaimed Divine Wings Of Tragedy album. Great drumming here with tons of breaks and changes and a direct applause when Allen starts to sing the first lines of "Candlelight Fantasia." You can sense the atmosphere by listening to this great track whilst the tension mounts to its extreme once the band continues with "The Eyes Of Medusa."

Disc two is equally divided between three tracks from Twilight In Olympus and three tracks from The Divine Wings Of Tragedy resulting in kind of a greatest hits package for the fans. No doubt this results in pure pyrotechnics on stage! What strikes me is the fact that the fans equally welcome the loud, powerful guitar antics as well as the almost classical piano interventions, thus covering a wide musical spectrum. It's also a fact that a lot of these prog metal bands do have a large following due to the constant touring, something a studio project never can realize. You can clearly hear that this band is used to performing live, benefiting from a good monitoring system which enables them to deliver a sound which is almost identical to that of their studio counterparts. To be honest: it's never easy to deliver a clear distinction between powerful guitars and silent pianos in the same mix, something which does happen all over the album here. Just listen to "Through The Looking Glass" as one of the prime examples. The audience gets out of control once the power metal of "Of Sins And Shadows" strikes the venue, splashing the imaginary sweat all around your room! I can clearly see hundreds of imaginary "air guitars" being played all at once! As an encore the enthusiastic audiences are treated to a stunning version of "Sea Of Lies" before the band kicks off their pièce de résistance in the form of the 20-minute long "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy." Symphonic stagediving! And still those keyboards see a possibility to creep out of the loud arrangement, as if it's Nessie sticking her head out of Loch Ness! It's also nice that the pubic can be quiet during the calm passages which is not always the case in these circumstances. So once Michael Romeo plays his guitar in a solitary fashion, all one hears is that guitar, enabling you to witness the moment when Michael Lepond's bass sneaks in. This track sounds like a collection of all the Symphony X trademarks rolled into one so for people who have never heard any music of the band then this is the one to check out to give you a general idea.

Symphony X will certainly please fans of Dream Theater, Kansas and Enchant, thus covering a wide range of musical tastes, a fan base which will certainly grow even more in years to come. Having performed at the 2001 edition of the Progpower festival in the US no doubt they will soon emerge on the poster for the European equivalent in Holland because without them no festival will ever be complete!

Disc One: Prelude (1:40) / Evolution (The Grand Design) (5:18) / Fallen/Transcendence (6:30) / Communion And The Oracle (7:39) / The Bird-Serpent War (3:39) / On The Breath Of Poseidon (5:09) / Egypt (7:05) / The Death Of Balance/Candlelight Fantasia (5:52) / The Eyes of Medusa (4:32)

Disc Two: Smoke And Mirrors (6:36) / Church Of The Machine (7:21) / Through The Looking Glass (14:09) / Of Sins And Shadows (7:22) / Sea Of Lies (4:05) / The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (19:54)

Russell Allen - vocals
Michael Romeo - guitars
Michael Pinnella - keyboards
Jason Rullo - drums
Michael LePond - bass

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: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 621
Language: english


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