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Symphony X - Twilight In Olympus CD (album) cover

TWILIGHT IN OLYMPUS

Symphony X

 

Progressive Metal

3.77 | 326 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars First, a little bit of context. This is the first review of this album on the archives in close to 5 years; moreover, just as much time has transpired since the release of the band's mega-epic Iconoclast (to which I gave an enthusiastic 5-star review). So there's bound to be a bit of revisionist bias in my feelings, but I'm trying to my best to be objective. With that said...

Twilight in Olympus is a lot of fun. It follows the prog-metal template of the times, thematically and sonically, but is played very well and leaves very little to be critical about. Symphony X is a crazy talented group of musicians, and their take on that prog-metal template is sophisticated. This is not an "every thing and the kitchen sink" metal experience; neither is it a overly thoughtful work of art. Its blend of melodies and metal and nuance sort of sifts its way perfectly into the "good but not essential" rating. It does everything good, but nothing great.

For fans of the band, Twilight in Olympus sounds very much like a slightly more metal take on the same sort of scope we heard in Divine Wings of Tragedy. The band is still growing, still flexing their muscles, and it shows mostly in their song writing, which isn't as sticky as later albums.

For newcomers, Twilight in Olympus is a blend of outstanding metal riffing and faux-symphonic stylings. Symphony X sounds more grandiose in scope than that "other" prog-metal group whose heyday was during the late '90's/early 2000's, thanks mostly to their fantastic lyrics and use of keyboards. Pinnella is a fine player, no doubt; his keys come across as less busy as other prog-metal groups though, in the sense that he's mostly filling space or textures as opposed to jumping into the foreground soloing. He also selects a palette of sounds synthesizing reconnaissance-era organs or harpsichords or whatever (at least that's my take; I'm not a historian of keyed instruments!). This gives the album more of a neo-prog feel. Depending on your outlook, that's pretty cool! You've got crazy metal chugging and bass lines sitting alongside tinkling or symphonic keyboards. Again, I'm sort of middle of the road on this. It works, but doesn't connect with me as much as we'll hear on later works.

In the end, Twilight in Olympus is a perfect example of a 3-star release. Get it and you won't be disappointed, but you probably won't place it at the top of your prog-metal playlist. Great stuff for those having experienced the band's later works, or who like Symphony X's voice, but not the heavier style of those later works.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |

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