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Symphony X - V - The New Mythology Suite CD (album) cover

V - THE NEW MYTHOLOGY SUITE

Symphony X

 

Progressive Metal

4.15 | 646 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars V - The New Mythology Suite is the fifth album from neo classical US power metal band Symphony X. It must be considered their most progressive album to date, as emphasis is put on technically challenging riffing and even grander symphonic arrangements than earlier in their career. V - The New Mythology Suite is a concept album about the myth of Atlantis and most of the songs seque into each other or are bridged by small arranged classical pieces. All the classical pieces are variants of the main theme which we are introduced to in the first song Prelude. A typical move in classical music which Symphony X are very influenced by.

The music is unmistakably Symphony X with lots of heavy guitar riffs and classical guitar/ keyboard runs and on top of that the powerful vocals from Russel Allen. One of the good things about Symphony X is that even though their music is in the power metal style itīs much heavier than the average power metal band. They really have some chrushingly heavy riffs. What was even more exciting at the time of this release is that they were incorporating more and more progressive elements into their music. There are still many basic power metal ideas in the music which is best examplified in the opening when the the guitar, drums and bass kicks in. It almost sounds like something Rhapsody could have done.

Evolution (The Grand Design) is a great power metal tune that is really powerful and a real Symphony X classic. Note that allthough all of the characteristic elements from Symphony X music is here youīll hear that the keyboards are much more symphonic than on previous albums. The keyboard sound borders imitating a classical orchestra at times. Fallen is the next track and itīs actually a pretty challenging technical song. There are lots of really heavy guitar riffs in odd time signatures ( at least thatīs how it sounds like to me. But Iīm no expert, so it might be 4/4 played a bit differently). The melody isnīt as memorable as the general Symphony X song but itīs still a very good track. Transcendence is a short interlude of classical music based on the mythology theme and it works as a bridge to the next song which is Communion and the Oracle. This is a very beautiful progressive metal song and itīs a clear highlight on V - The New Mythology Suite. Note the many beautiful and varied guitar solos from Michael Romeo in this song. His playing reaches new hights here.

The Bird-Serpent War / Cataclysm is another powerful song. Listen to the first minute of that song. Thatīs heavy stuff. Itīs almost a ripp-off of The Mirror by Dream Theater but who cares as long as itīs played as itīs done here ?On the Breath of Poseidon is a variation on the mythology theme which was introduced to us in the first song on the album. Symphonic instrumental music. It works as a bridge to the next song.Egypt is a great diverse song with some middle eastern notes to match the lyrics.

Death of Balance / Lacrymosa is another instrumental interlude. It starts out with technical playing and ends with a choir arrangement not unlike the one which starts the title track from The Divine Wings of Tragedy.Absence of Light is together with the next song A Fool's Paradise my least favoured songs here. There are lots of great soloing as usual but the songs are just below par when you compare them to the other songs on the album. These two songs are fillers. Rediscovery is a short interlude with some beautiful classical guitar and keyboard interplay.Rediscovery pt. II - The New Mythology is an almost 12 minute long epic track. Itīs not my favorite here but itīs allright.

The musicianship is excellent all the way round and that includes the returned Jason Rullo on drums who I have complained about before. This time his playing is much better than on earlier albums from Symphony X. I was hoping Tom Walling who played on Twilight in Olympus would continue on the drums for Symphony X but Jason Rullo apparently returned after his break from the band. As always main composer and guitarist Michael Romeo has to be mentioned for his genious playing style. He is such a heavy guitarist but he also masters melody well.

The production is not to my liking. If I have to be frank I must say that itīs ruined my excitement over this album for many years which is too bad. Itīs not that you canīt hear what is happening but itīs the way the instruments sound. Itīs hard to explain but I donīt like it.

V - The New Mythology Suite is yet another brilliant album from Symphony X and even though itīs not my favorite Symphony X album and I seldom listen to it, Iīll still rate it 4 stars. Symphony X continues to develop their sound with this their fifth album. But it doesnīt really prepare you for whatīs to come. Their next album The Odyssey sees Symphony X return to a more simple heavy approach ( except for the title track) which is much more to my liking than the symphonic grand sound they have on V - The New Mythology Suite. I canīt wait to review that one.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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