Symphony X - Live On The Edge Of Forever

Year of Release: 2001
Label: InsideOut Music America
Catalog Number: SPV 089-41722 IOMCD091
Format: CD
Total Time: 104:51:00

Symphony X have a new live album out via Inside Out, recorded in Europe in October 2000 and June 2001. Having just seen them live personally, I can tell you that what is captured here on this two-disk set is what you can really expect to hear live. Oh, I won't deny that some studio fixing may have taken place - adjusting levels and such, though I don't know that that is, in fact, the case. But the skill and talent that this band has is as evident live as on their studio albums. My confession at this point is that, to date, I've heard only Twilight in Olympus and V, their most recent studio album, (though Divine Wings... and The Damnation Game are cued up for listening). And now, of course, selected tracks that appear on this set.

The first disk contains most of V: The New Mythology Suite, and a couple of tracks from Divine Wings... -- "Candlelight Fantasia" (which is paired with "The Death Of Balance" from V) and "The Eyes of Medusa." Disk two features three tracks from Twilight In Olympus and three more tracks from Divine Wings.... Neither Symphony X, their debut, nor The Damnation Game are represented at all, the latter most surprising as the title of the live set is Live On The Edge Of Forever. Still, if you are unfamiliar with Symphony X, this will give you a good idea of what the band are all about. As the dates were recorded on their tour for V, it makes sense that it would make up the bulk of their set.

Unlike some live disks, if there was any band to audience chatter, it has mostly been left out. You do hear some interaction between Allen and the fans, but this is otherwise Symphony X playing throughout. So, I can't say it is a true live experience in that regard. I am reminded again why I have really come to like Romeo as a guitarist -- I call it the Rothery-factor. Not that Romeo stylistically plays like the Marillion mainstay, but he is one of those players that mixes technical proficiency with emotional warmth (and don't I sound a bit like LarryD saying that). I notice this especially here during "Transcendence" and "Communion And The Oracle." It is also during this latter track that we hear what a tight band Symphony X are, though there are times when they appear a little loose. Something I do notice here and I noticed at ProgPower USA as well (with all bands) is how the keyboards lose a little something when they aren't either the focus or playing in warmer colours -- they seem to be a little too tinkly, as if their sonority is cancelled out by the other instruments. However, solo, you get the keys in full technicolour - witness the transition to the "The Bird-Serpent War," as but one example. Interestingly, during the last bit of "Candlelight Fantasia," I thought a bit of mid-to-late 70's Billy Joel...maybe it was the piano, maybe it was the delivery from Allen... have to see if this feeling is true of the album version.

I truly love this live set and have no complaints at all. While I had already purchased Divine... and Damnation on the strength of their ProgPower USA 2.0 performance, this would have done the same for me.

When released by InsideOut Music America - now defunct - the cat no was IOMACD 2030

Side One: Prelude (1:40) / Evolution (The Grand Design) (5:18) / Fallen/Transcendence (6:30) / Communion And The Oracle (7:39) / The Bird-Serpent War (3:39) / On the Breath Of Poseidon (5:09) / Egypt (7:05) / The Death Of Balance/Candlelight Fantasia (5:52) / The Eyes of Medusa (4:32)

Side Two: Smoke And Mirrors (6:36) / Church Of The Machine (7:21) / Through The Looking Glass (14:09) / Of Sins And Shadows (7:22) / Sea Of Lies (4:05) / The Divine Wings Of Tragedy (19:54)

Russell Allen - vocals
Michael Romeo - guitars
Michael Pinnella - keyboards
Jason Rullo - drums
Michael LePond - bass

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: December 7th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1046
Language: english


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