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Showing 1-10 of 18 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 96 reviews
on May 20, 2015
“Divine” was the 3rd album from symphonic metal proggers Symphony X and although they already had somewhat of a fan base this one propelled them to the top of heap. The album contains all of the elements that came to define this band. Bombastic progressive metal with fiery guitar and keyboard leads over a frantic rhythm section with Russell Allen’s Dio like vocals soaring over the top of it all. The 20 minute title track is considered by many fans to be the band’s finest individual work and indeed it is a standard bearing prog epic that can hold up to anything band’s like Dream Theater have done. Symphony X would go on to do better albums in my opinion (“V” remains my favorite), but this was a solid effort of a band coming into their own in the late 90’s.
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on June 22, 2013
Almost textbook neo-classical metal. The crunchy distorted guitars add to the more twisted themes of songs like 'Pharaoh' and 'Of Sins and Shadows'.
'The Witching Hour' has a tone very similar to Yngwie Malmsteen's more precision oriented works.
'Pharaoh' has a very strong chorus created by the distorted vocals.
Throughout the album the bass can be heard due to its precise tone. It is features on 'Sea of lies'.
The cover track starts out with a slow choral arrangement but then quickly speeds up into a reference to Mars by Holst! The guitar tone there is absolutely sinister and their slight changes to the famous rhythm are totally acceptable. From there, speedy keyboard and guitar solos are introduced.
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on February 21, 2004
Symphony X is one of the best progressive metal bands around today. Most fans consider this album to be the band's best. The music is very diverse with many influences, from classical to metal and progressive rock, and at times they throw a bit of jazz into the mix. The vocalist, Russel Allen, at times, sounds like Dio, but overall has a very unique operatic voice. In fact, I'd say that it's safe to say he has one of the greatest set of pipes in any genre today. He'd yet to find his signature sound that he achieves on later albums, but due to the production value, he still sounds magnificent. Michael Romeo, the band's shred-master is a standout among the band's standouts and most of the musical highlights include interaction between him and Mike Pinnella, the keyboardist. They together achieve some complex though accoustically pleasing solos perfectly interwoven in a quilted and layered soundscape. The drumming and bass playing are also excellently performed, and the mastering on this album is nothing short of perfect. All of the drum pieces are expertly captured and mixed, which is needed in this music genre. Every track on the album is a winner, though there are a few that deserve to be mentioned in detail.
"Of Sins and Shadows" - this track wonderfully starts off the album with a sonic onslaught that reminds me immediately of Pantera. One of the heaviest songs on the album, it is also one of the best.
"Sea of Lies" - This and the following track, "Out of the Ashes" both serve up a vocal centerpiece ala Russel Allen. These two tracks compliment each other perfectly and when placed after Of Sins, the trio provides one of the best opening sequences of metal ever heard.
"The Accolade" - The opening of this track alone is worth the price of the album. It's a perfect blend of progressive and dark age folk music...something that has to be heard to know what I mean by that. The lyrics are particularly good on this track, though, as mentioned by others, the vocal is not pulled to the front enough....Russel has a great set of pipes and he should be up front in a "ballad" such as this.
"Divine Wings of Tragedy" - This, the title track, times in at over 20 minutes, and could have been released as an EP on its own. The numerous musical themes in this remind me of another progressive band, and despite its length, each section sounds like a new song so it's not so bad even for those less inclined to the progressive scene.
"Candlelight Fantasia" - The second "ballad"-like song on the album, this song reminds me a little of "Beethoven's Last Night" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, though the music and singing are better here. At times Romeo sounds a little like Van Halen.
If this review helps to convince you of Symphony X's genius then I've done my job, if not--keep reading the other 5-star reviews until you are convinced and buy this album today!
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on November 3, 2006
Symphony X - simply they rock, and this is a must have disc.

For any review to be honest you have to give the good with the bad, so lets get the bad out of the way first. The guitar tones get on my nerves after a while (borrowed straight from Diamond Dave). There is only so much my ear can take of that extremely heavy tone, it would be nice if it was mixed up a bit. Second - Like most bands they tend to take a rif or two, or an idea that has already been done before and make it theirs, For me not a big deal but worth mentioning in a review.

Now the good - Even with my previous comments I think they deserve a 5 and I believe this CD is a must have for anyone serious about their progressive metal collection.

The Vocals are that perfect blend of hard edge without that stupid (Grover) growl crap. This guy can actually sing. In my opinion he is one of the better metal singers - up there with the likes of Dio and the late Carl Albert (Vicious Rumors).

One of the things that makes this band so great is their compositions, with great use of each instrument, a good balance of going outside of the metal box with their use of symphonic instruments and even a hint or two of some modern Jazz. They are one of the better bands when it comes to mixing the Classical with the Metal (thus their name Symphony X).

This is one of those bands like Dream Theater where each of the musicians are top notch. Once this disc reaches your player it will stay there for a very long time.
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on January 6, 2000
Symphony X is one of the best progressive metal bands around today. Most fans consider this album to be the band's best. The music is very diverse with many influences, from classical to metal and progressive rock, and at times they throw a bit of jazz into the mix. The vocalist, Russel Allen, at times, sounds like Dio, but overall has a very unique operatic voice. In fact, I'd say that it's safe to say he has one of the greatest set of pipes in any genre today. He'd yet to find his signature sound that he achieves on later albums, but due to the production value, he still sounds magnificent. Michael Romeo, the band's shred-master is a standout among the band's standouts and most of the musical highlights include interaction between him and Mike Pinnella, the keyboardist. They together achieve some complex though accoustically pleasing solos perfectly interwoven in a quilted and layered soundscape. The drumming and bass playing are also excellently performed, and the mastering on this album is nothing short of perfect. All of the drum pieces are expertly captured and mixed, which is needed in this music genre. Every track on the album is a winner, though there are a few that deserve to be mentioned in detail.
"Of Sins and Shadows" - this track wonderfully starts off the album with a sonic onslaught that reminds me immediately of Pantera. One of the heaviest songs on the album, it is also one of the best.
"Sea of Lies" - This and the following track, "Out of the Ashes" both serve up a vocal centerpiece ala Russel Allen. These two tracks compliment each other perfectly and when placed after Of Sins, the trio provides one of the best opening sequences of metal ever heard.
"The Accolade" - The opening of this track alone is worth the price of the album. It's a perfect blend of progressive and dark age folk music...something that has to be heard to know what I mean by that. The lyrics are particularly good on this track, though, as mentioned by others, the vocal is not pulled to the front enough....Russel has a great set of pipes and he should be up front in a "ballad" such as this.
"Divine Wings of Tragedy" - This, the title track, times in at over 20 minutes, and could have been released as an EP on its own. The numerous musical themes in this remind me of another progressive band, and despite its length, each section sounds like a new song so it's not so bad even for those less inclined to the progressive scene.
"Candlelight Fantasia" - The second "ballad"-like song on the album, this song reminds me a little of "Beethoven's Last Night" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, though the music and singing are better here. At times Romeo sounds a little like Van Halen.
If this review helps to convince you of Symphony X's genius then I've done my job, if not--keep reading the other 5-star reviews until you are convinced and buy this album today!
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VINE VOICEon January 20, 2002
Every single song on this CD has THE best instrumentals I've ever heard, period. It's just so amazing I'm left speachless. Much better than Dream Theater, but they really shouldn't be compared. I Keep listening to this over and over and I'm simply addicted. Actually the first time I got it I was hooked immediately. It might even be better than "V" Even though I Said that was the best prog metal album ever. The instrumentals and the singing is just UNBEATABLE. My favorite song is "The Accolade", When i hear the first few minutes of this, I just don't want it to ever end. My other favorite is "Candlelight Fantasia" which has absolutely beautiful and haunting piano playing accompanied with soothing singing. And a Lot of songs have a speed metal sound in the background. None of the songs here are weak, each one is a masterpiece. The 20-minute epic title track is good all the way through. Purchasing this has made Symphony X one of my favorite bands. I suggest this to Everyone in the world, even if you're not a fan of progressive metal, because once you buy this, you will be.
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on March 10, 2015
Amazing. I love heavy metal and sometimes classical and this is over the top. The musicality of this band is outstanding. My kid turned me onto this band and I am so glad that they did. I love Metallica, Ozzy, etc. and this is part of the group.
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on December 28, 2013
This is similar in style to Dream Theater perhaps- a prog metal album that is excellent. If it had been done by Dream Theater it would be one of their best albums. The 20 minute title track is excellent- normally songs that long drag, but not that one. In short, if you like pog metal, but this one.
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on August 19, 2016
Awesome album perfect blend of neo classical shred and power metal
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on January 7, 2016
A little tough to find this disc but I'm glad I did as I now think it's Symphony X's best release.
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