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Symphony X - The Divine Wings Of Tragedy CD (album) cover


Symphony X


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 534 ratings

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4 stars The Divine Wings of Tragedy is the third album from neo classical US power metal band Symphony X. This is their breakthrough album and the album where their music reached a higher level. Many consider this to be their masterpiece and allthough I wouldnīt call it a masterpiece itīs very close to being one. Vocalist Russell Allen was added to the lineup on the last album The Damnation Game which gave Symphony X the last dimension they needed in their sound. Here on The Divine Wings of Tragedy the music has taken the last step and itīs now fully mature. This is very powerful music and even though it does have flaws that I will point out later in the review itīs definitely one of my favorite Symphony X albums.

The music is based on the chrushingly heavy guitar riffs from main songwriter Michael Romeo. His guitar style lies somewhere between the powerful thrashy riffing of Dimebag Darrel ( Pantera) and neo classical guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen. There are lots of classical inspired keyboard runs from keyboardist Michael Pinella that sets the mood of the music while the strong vocals and vocal lines sung by Russel Allen are very memorable and powerful too. Symphony X is generally much heavier than most other neo classical bands I know, which is very great IMO. Neo Classical bands tend to be a bit too soft for my ears.

The album starts with the three extremely powerful songs Of Sins and Shadows, Sea of Lies and Out of the Ashes. I was blown away the first time I listened to Of Sins and Shadows with itīs powerful opening riff and the two other mentioned songs are almost equally as powerful. The Accolade is a beautiful semi-ballad epic song. Almost 10 minutes of great acoustic guitar work, beautiful vocal lines, classical inspired piano and soaring solowork. Absolutely a highlight among many on The Divine Wings of Tragedy.

Pharaoh and The Eyes of Medusa are heavy songs with lots of chrushing guitar riffs and while they are not the best songs on The Divine Wings of Tragedy they are still very good songs. The Witching Hour is my least favoured song on the album and quite frankly I find it a bit unneccessary. The Witching Hour is a filler if the word filler ever meant anything.

The title track is an epic 20:41 minutes long track. From itīs a capella choir start to the symphonic end this is one of the most loved Symphony X songs ever written. There are lots of sections and moods in the song and this is another highlight of the album. The last song on The Divine Wings of Tragedy is another highlight. Candlelight Fantasia is a beautiful semi- ballad. Itīs pop at times and shows another strength in Russel Allenīs vocal range but itīs still very beautiful IMO.

The musicianship is excellent. Guitarist Michael Romeo has to be mentioned as usual when reviewing a Symphony X album. He is a genious composer and a very skilled guitarist. I still donīt enjoy the drums from Jason Rullo much. I find them too simple and boring. Fortunately they donīt distract my mind from the real treats in the music which is Michael Romeoīs guitar playing and Russel Allenīs vocals IMO.

The production is not very good if you ask me, but again it doesnīt destroy the music. The drum sound is really hidious and I must say I donīt enjoy the production on the keyboards either.

As you can see I donīt think The Divine Wings of Tragedy is a flawless album. There are enough highlights and brilliant playing here to justify a 4 star rating IMO though. Itīs an essential album to lovers of progressive metal with neo classical tendencies or just people who love powerful heavy metal with a real singer.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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