Review Summary: Symphony X, the power/prog metal band, gets a huge kick start with their masterpiece, The Divine Wings of Tragedy.
What might this album be? Only the album that kick started Symhpony X's power/prog metal career. While the band started in 1994, this album and V: The New Mythology Suite
finally gets them the attention the skilled band deserves in 1997 and 2000 respectively. Considered by many to be one of the best power/prog metal albums ever, The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
suceeds to combine cheesy power metal lyrics and technical progressive metal riffs together.
Symphony X at this point is...
Russell Allen - Vocals
Michael Romeo - Guitars
Michael Pinnella - Keyboards
Thomas Miller - Bass
Jason Rullo - Drums
The Divine Wings of Tragedy
is a 65 minute album, and most songs are over four minutes. People who prefer shorter songs over long songs still should get this though, as only 3 songs are over 6 minutes long. Unfortunantly, catchiness is something Symphony X's songs don't provide very well, so if you're looking for extremely catchy songs, stay far away from most songs on here. Beware: listen to Symphony X too much and they will become very boring quickly.
The first song on here, and the song that got me into Symphony X is Of Sins and Shadows
. While I said catchiness isn't something Symhpony X does, this is an exception. The main riff of this song is very good, and Allen has a very good clean voice. The prog side of Symphony X doesn't show here; this song is purely power metal. The choir section adds to the cheesy sound of the song. The soloing by Romeo and Pinnella is top notch here, and the consistent double bass adds to the song a lot. It's also pinch harmonic hell, as Romeo does a ton of pinch harmonics in this song. A great listen overall.
Symphony doesn't let up with the next song, Sea of Lies
. Miller finally gets to shine with the driving bassline at the beginning. Not very catchy, but given time, this will be one of the better tracks on the album. The best part of the song is where Allen powerfully sings the line "...sea of lies!" The soloing by Romeo and even Miller is great once again. Pinnella doesn't show very much in this song though except for the fill around 3:30.
In my opinion, the catchiest song on the album is Out of the Ashes
. While only three minutes and forty seconds long, Symphony X hits hard with this song with incredible arpeggio licks at the beginning of the song by Romeo. The chorus of the song is catchy too, so if you've been begging for catchiness on this album, this song is where it's at. Though it is short, it's definently far from being a filler.
While a nice ballad, The Accolade
isn't as good as the other songs. It's very long for one thing; it's almost 10 minutes. This makes the listen boring at many parts in the song. Fortunantly, it's not repetitive so it shouldn't be as boring as other long ballads from other bands. There are some great spots in this song (I like the little fill around 7:26 where the chime comes in, but everything after 8:30 is boring again). Otherwise, this isn't as great as the others (but still decent), and I skip it half the time when I listen to this album all the way through.
The last song was a letdown, but this one definently isn't. Pharaoh
is the hardest hitting song on the album. The song title hints that it'll sound Egyptian-sounding, and it does. Miller's basslines are great, and Pinnella's keyboarding adds a nice effect to the sound of this song. Allen's vocals are angry and harsh, and drives the emotion of the song. Romeo actually takes a backseat in this song; it's Pinnella's turn to shine in this song along with Miller.
The next song, The Eyes of Medusa
, is another great song, and is very heavy. The riffing is very good on this song, but the vocals are kinda boring though. Not a very catchy song at all, though not filler either. Romeo's soling isn't very impressive here either. From 3:45 to 4:40, there is a very annoying bridge section which they would've been better off not having in the song. However, it doesn't last very long, and returns to its heavy riffage. Definently not one of the better songs.
Unfortuantly, another weak song is next. The Witching Hour
has better vocals and soloing, but it's still not very catchy, just like the previous song. It's a little better, but not by much. The solo is obviously much better than the one in the previous song. Luckily, it did not have that stupid little slow interlude that the previous song had. This song, and The Eyes of Medusa, are the ones I skip when listening to this album.
The string of bad songs is broken, thank to the massive epic of a song that The Divine Wings of Tragedy
is. It's a huge song; almost 21 minutes to be exact, but is divided into 7 parts (you can't skip to a certain part though). But unlike other super long songs, it's listenable if you can stand longer songs. Actually, it's not just listenable; it's incredible. From the choir part at the beginning, to its softer guitar bridges, to the all riff fest in the middle, and to the epic-like ending, this song is amazing in every way. Definently one of the best on the album.
is often overlooked because of the song before it, but it's actually a very good ballad; better than The Accolade infact. While the intro is kinda boring, the rest of the song is just as amazing as The Divine Wings of Tragedy was. The soloing by the guitars and keyboard is much more exciting and appealing than the ones in The Accolade were. The soft guitaring during the verses are great, and suprisingly complex. The vocals are perfect for this song. The song closes by fading out. A great way to end the album (though The Divine Wings of Tragedy would have been a better closing song).
[+]Many songs are fantastic; No Filler
[+]The soloing is incredible
[+]Strong Prog Metal and Power Metal showings throughout
[+]The Divine Wings of Tragedy, Of Sins and Shadows, Pharaoh
[-]Most songs are not very catchy at all
[-]Can get boring with too much listening
[-]A couple songs aren't that great
[-]The Eyes of Medusa, The Witching Hour, The Accolade
This is definently worth buying if you love progressive music or power metal. If you're new to this kind of music or Symphony X, listen to some songs before buying, as some will not like Symphony X's sound. If you buy the CD new, it should be a special edition CD (it will have a green cover) that includes a band interview.
Final Raiting: 4/5