Symphony X - V: The New Mythology Suite

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Metal Blade
Catalog Number: 3984-14344-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:42:00

Ahhh, finally, the wait is over. This is definitely one of the most anticipated releases this year. V is, as the title implies, Symphony X's fifth cd, not counting Prelude To Millenium, and with 63 minutes of music, you would think you'd get value for the money, right?

Well, first off, there are so many details to consume and like Nightwish's latest opus (Wishmaster), Symphony X has perfected and matured their characteristic sound. Having that said, you should also know that this CD grows with each spin! What's good to know though, is that this new Symphony X is one musical movement entitled: The New Mythology Suite. A concept album built as thirteen cuts which glide over into each other and end up as one long track basically, or one musical piece, if you want.

About V, there's been a lot of talk and speculation about this CD, but I think Sy-X fans will be happy to know that you will find all the characteristic trademarks. This time even more marked than ever. The guitars are heavier and crunchier; Romeo pulling off incredible grooves and licks all over. It's not a shred-fest from beginning to end though. There are lots of variation and even many parts without Romeo's chunky guitars. The keyboard is perhaps given more space, although not at the expense of the guitars. Russell Allen once again proves to be one of the best singers of the genre, with his mid-ranged, powerful, hoarse voice. Jason Rullo really deliver the goods on drums and I'm extremely happy to see that this guy is still with the band. Newcomer Mike LuPond does a hearty job on the bass, producing lots of tasty licks. He seems to fit the band perfectly. The symphonic sound is still very present, although the emphasis seems to be more on the operatic, theatrical and classical arrangements and elements. Huge choirs, interludes, instrumental parts etc take effect.

The songwriting and arrangements are improved and perfected. The best description I can give of the overall sound is that this is more back to the crunchy sound of the classic Divine Wings Of Tragedy combined with the melody and progressiveness of "Through The Looking Glass" off Twilight In Olympus. An ideal combination if you ask me. There is lots of variation, so don't expect catchy crunch all the way. This music is about so much more than just that. The production is solid, coming off well balanced and powerful.

I can't find anything specific to put my finger on, although a friend over at the Sy-X mailing-list pointed out that a couple of solos were actually a bit blurry and he's right, but that is just us being on the picky side of things. I seriously can't find one single bad track here. This is a fantastic musical experience from beginning to end, and perhaps Sy-X most consistent release to date. I can't say if it's better than TDWOT or not, but it's right up there, ranking as one of the best prog metal discs ever!

This is my fave CD so far this year. The musicianship, songwriting, arrangements, melody-lines, choruses, etc. are 100% professional and 100% Symphony X. Fans of progressive power metal with neoclassical influences will eat this thing raw. Remember one important thing though, don't expect this to be an instant winner. This CD is not as easily digested as it's predecessors. This musical piece has to grow on you over time. Having that said, I have one final plead; buy, buy, buy! Essential!

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Prelude (1:07) / Evolution (The Grand Design) (5:20) / Fallen (5:51) / Transcendence (Segue) (0:38) / Communion And The Oracle (7:45) / The Bird-Serpent - Cataclysm (4:02) / On The Breath Of Poseidon (Segue) (3:01) / Egypt (7:04) / The Death Of Balance - Lacrymosa (3:42) / Absence Of Light (4:58) / A Fool's Paradise (5:48) / Rediscovery (Segue) (1:25) / Rediscovery (Part II) - The New Mythology (12:01)

Russell Allen - vocals
Michael Romeo - guitars
Michael Lepond - bass
Michael Pinnella - keyboards
Jason Rulo - 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: February 20th 2005
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website:
Hits: 1182
Language: english


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