SYMPHONY X The Odyssey an audio album review: Check audio
The Odyssey is the sixth studio album by progressive metal band Symphony X. It was the first to be recorded entirely at guitarist Michael Romeos home studio. The fourth track, “Accolade II,” is a sequel to “The Accolade” from The Divine Wings of Tragedy. The album (in particular the track “Awakenings”) is heavily influenced by the band Kansas. The eighth track is the albums grand finale: a 24-minute musical take on Homers “The Odyssey” about the journey of Greek hero Odysseus.
Symphony X The Odyssey
Label: Inside Out Music Inside Out Music 6 93723 65342 6
Format: CD, Album
Released: 05 Nov 2002
Genre: Symphonic Rock, Prog Rock, Heavy Metal
1 Inferno (Unleash The Fire) 5:32
2 Wicked 5:30
3 Incantations Of The Apprentice 4:19
4 Accolade II 7:04
5 King Of Terrors 6:16
6 The Turning 4:42
7 Awakenings 8:18
The Odyssey (24:09)
8a -Part I: Odysseus’ Theme / Overture
8b -Part II: Journey To Ithaca
8c -Part III: The Eye
8d -Part IV: Circe (Daughter And Son)
8e -Part V: Sirens
8f -Part VI: Scylla And Charybdis
8g -Part VII: The Fate Of The Suitors / Champion Of Ithaca (24:09)
Phonographic Copyright (p) Inside Out Music
Copyright (c) Inside Out Music
Licensed From Symphony X
Distributed By SPV GmbH SPV 085-65342 CD
Bass Michael Lepond
Drums Jason Rullo
Guitar, Keyboards [Orchestral], Programmed By Michael Romeo
Keyboards Michael Pinnella
Mastered By Peter Van ‘t Riet
Mixed By Michael Romeo, Steve Evetts
Producer, Engineer Michael Romeo
Vocals Russell Allen
Recorded at the Symphony X Dungeon
5.0 out of 5 stars – A Heavy, Epic Progressive Metal Masterpiece,
You almost have to look at Symphony Xs 2002 epic the Odyssey as two separate albums. At the very least, it might make you wish for the days of vinyl, where each side of a record had its own character.
In this case, side A would consist of the first 7 tracks. Call it “the Heavy Side”. These tracks build upon the same style the band displayed on previous albums, but they are just that much heavier on this album. Michael Romeos Malmsteen-like shredding takes a back seat to more bludgeoning riffs, and while Russell Allen makes full use of his amazing vocal range, hes much more growly and aggressive on this album. This is Symphony X after a Pantera binge, and while it may be heavier than this kind of music usually gets, its nice to see Symphony X emphasizing the “metal” in progressive metal.
The B-side – lets call it “the Epic Side” would boast just one song (2 if you have the limited edition), the 24-minute title track based on Homers epic saga of Odysseus. This is the Symphony X we all know and love. This isn’t the bands first attempt at a lengthy epic song, but it is by far their best. The Odyssey is an extremely well structured song, with each chapter in the story having its own distinct musical style. The whole band is in top form on this one. Michael Romeo in particular shines, and while he has plenty of opportunities to demonstrate his considerable guitar skills, it never veers into self-indulgence. Michael Pinnellas keyboards are strong as well, and help tie the songs individual parts into a cohesive whole. Russell Allens powerful voice works wonders as well, finding the perfect emotions for each stage of the hero’s odyssey.
This is a shining example of what progressive metal can accomplish. Symphony X builds on progressive rock foundations and adds metals heaviness and aggression. Listen to this song after the Kansas songs “the Pinnacle” and “Icarus: Born on Wings of Steel” from the Masque album, and you get a very good idea of where Symphony Xs influences lie. In fact, there are moments on the Odyssey (particularly Odysseuss return to Ithaca) where you’ll swear you’re listening to a vintage Kansas epic. Combine those influences with Romeos obvious appreciation for Yngwie Malmsteen, and the result is a 24-minute epic that demonstrates the band members’ talents and despite its length never gets boring. The title track alone makes the Odyssey one of the best progressive metal releases of the past five years.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the band..
that dream theater wish they were! And thats saying a lot because dream theater frickin owns. What to say about this cd and where to start…man, i don’t know. First of all, the cover art is very imaginative. By just looking at it, you know this cd is going to be one great ride and its going to be one epic piece of artwork.
Vocals: Best vocals of any progressive band that i’ve heard. Unlike a lof progressive singers (geoff and James mainly), he doesn’t try to sound epic by doing a soprano/not quite power metalish voice. He is actually got some pretty harsh sounding vocals, although its no where death metal or even bands like pantera, if thats what your thinking. He almost sounds like some dude from a southern rock, except the music behind him isn’t back water blues…just grandious, epic, metal with a slicing edge.
The guitar? simply put, its just plain amazing. If there was ever a definition of “guitar hero” then its this dude. Easily one of the greatest players to ever pick up the instrument. Crushing riffs, very heavy for this type of metal and some AMAZING solos that just pull you in.
Drums? Some of the best drumming you will ever here from a non-death metal or thrash band. The double bass on the cds just pounds and never lets up. A lot of times, the snare is just hit like he has machine gun arms.
Keyboards: Keyboards are great! they don’t ever try to sound overly bombastic, therefore coming off as corny. They never try to pretend they are what makes the band and try to over come everybody. They blend in perfectly, as if they are a second guitar.
Overall sound? Like dream theater but only in the feel and type of the music. They are much more consistent with their music than dream theater is and they have way more of a metal edge.