Symphony X - Twilight In Olympus

Year of Release: 1998
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 021
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:44:00

With Larry D's in-depth examination on offer here, I will provide only an overall impression. One note though; here and elsewhere I am reviewing disks that have already been given in-depth reviews. Having been interested enough by those reviews to give that disk a listen, I feel I should also share what I think about it.

That said, there are two obvious things I hear in Symphony X: their sound has been influenced by Dream Theater and Iron Maiden, the former far much more so than the latter. Secondly, many of today's newer progressive bands have been influenced by Symphony X. Neither of these observations are bad things, and Symphony X are far from being a bad progressive metal band. In fact, I'd venture to say they're one of the best.

Another strong influence in their music is classical - certainly in the arrangement of Beethoven's "Sonata," but also in other tracks as well. Aside from the great vocals and musicianship, what I appreciate most here is their refraining from over-using the metal device of jackhammer drum beats. They do make appearances here and there, but under the surface, where the focus is the guitar playing of Michael Romeo, the keyboards of Michael Pinnella, or the vocals of Russell Allen.

A word about those vocals: those who know me from these reviews, know that I think a vocalist can make or break a band. Even if the chops are there, a bad vocalist can put a crimp in the proceedings. Well, no fear here. Allen has a fantastic voice ... as much as I noticed his voice, I didn't notice it. By which I mean of course, no note was pitched so high that I cringed, no note so off key that I winced ... none of that. Allen's voice is rich and has the right kind of range for this kind of music.

Romeo has a playing style that I find very pleasing - clear, crisp, ... notes ring out when they need to, crunch when they need to ... while my first impression of Twilight in Olympus was that it was okay, the more I listen to it, the more I am coming to appreciate it. If there is one fault to find, it is that nothing sticks ... songs come and go without lingering long afterward. There is a hint of familiarity to "Lady Of The Snow," but I couldn't tell you where I've heard it before.

At any rate, what stays with you from this album is that is sounded great, was played well, but ... what do I remember of it? (I've given this a fair shot - giving it a spin three times at work, and five at home...).

Do I like it enough to play it again, long after this review is posted and archived? Yes. And I'm interested in hearing their earlier stuff. Do I recommend it to progressive metal listeners? Yes.

Smoke And Mirrors (6:09) / Church Of The Machine (8:57) / Sonata (1:25) / In The Dragon's Den (4:00) / Through The Looking Glass (Part I, II, III) (13:05) / The Relic (5:03) / Orion - The Hunter (6:56) / Lady Of The Snow (7:09)

Michael Romeo - guitars
Russell Allen - vocals
Michael Pinnella - keyboards
Thomas Miller - bass
Tom Walling - 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: September 1st 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1042
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]