Symphony X - The Odyssey
The Odyssey is the sixth and highly awaited release from this brilliant Progressive Power Metal band. From the first time I heard it, I new that this one was going to be truly special.

The album opens fiercely with Inferno (Unleash The Fire), a monster heavy track with great fast guitar riffs and a stunning chorus, a song that just blows you away. Russell Allen sings one moment aggressively and the next with melody and harmony; this man is simply one of the best singers ever.

Wicked is the next song, a mid-tempo track about evil possession. A pretty cool riff from Michael Romero carries much of the composition, I just find it a bit stationary compared to so many of the other magnificent riffs on this record.
I must say that this is my least fave on the record, especially the chorus that is distorted in a strange way doesn't really work that well. Russell offers a great vocal performance in the middle of the song, and the down tuned keyboard is a pretty cool element, but all in all a more simple and not that thrilling song.

Incantations Of The Apprentice opens with an atmospheric keyboard intro and then burst into a heavy riff followed by pounding bass and detailed drums, then it accelerates and the moody keyboard takes a central place creating a dramatic mood, I totally love this start. The track has some interesting vocal lines, and also a cool lyric about magic and mystic phenomenons. The in-front keyboard arrangements remind me a bit of parts from V, very melodic.

Accolade is one of my absolute favourite Symphony X tracks so a sequel must be pretty damn genius if it is to live up the first one.
This 7-minute epic is the slowest song on the record. It has some brilliant melodies and Michael Pinnella is a master of this harmonic keyboard playing. The story is a continuation of the first one; about noble knights fighting for what is right and true. There are elements of the first piece to be heard here and there which works quite well. The song is filled with emotions of honour, sorrow and glory. A very atmospheric track which reaches the genius of the first piece, a brilliant song!

Next up is King Of Terrors, here Russell again sings with a very hard approach, which fits the music extremely well. This is a track that adds to the impression that this is Symphony X's most aggressive record to date. A monster riff, very solid drums, hard and fast bass lines, and keyboard arrangements that underline a dark mood.

Reading the lyrics to The Turning makes me think of Mr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, quite creepy. The song is a fast and wild ride. The beginning features a great solo from Romero, and the middle section has a great lead guitar/keyboard part with a striking key solo. A very powerful and intense song.

The keyboard arrangements on this album seem more incorporated into the songs than for example The Divine Wings Of Tragedy or V. It shifts form background to foreground in just the right places, being very mood creating in style. I think it works totally brilliant and balanced here, where on V it also ruled, but at times it made the atmosphere distant, here it works the other way around. In general this is for me clearly their most balanced and well-put together release.

Awakenings was exactly an awakening for me. The album's second "slower" song, about a person who is searching for direction and answers. A great and highly relatable lyric sung brilliantly and very heartfelt. This song provides music on the highest technical level you can reach, just listen to the stunning and jamming mid-section, I simply love the driving piano elements on this one, the detailed drums and the fantastic bass lines. I think this is one of their all time best compositions.

This can also easily be said of the last track of the record, the 24-minute epic/dramatic/bombastic The Odyssey, based of course on Homer's classic story. Seven brilliant parts filled with musical genius, nicely flowing along in a very suiting fashion.
The beginning sounds extremely bombastic and very soundtrack-like, the keyboard puts out a brilliant melody and a great underlying rhythm section adds tons of vigour to the picture.
The ending is just pure magic, a brilliant lead guitar melody, a stunning chorus and an atmosphere filled with love, passion, drama and emotion of heroism and glory.

I must admit that I started out with a 10/10 rating, I guess my impression of this record got just a bit more "realistic" with time, still this is a overly divine and totally thrilling piece of art, Wicked being the only song that doesn't keep me spellbinded all the way.

I am still completely amazed by this release, the production is perfectly balanced and extremely solid, and the music and lyrics simply breathtaking. The band performs on the highest level of composition and the entire record is filled with ingenious and overly thrilling inputs.

A grand and flaming fountain of technical, poetic, dramatic and melodic music.

Written by Tommy
Sunday, December 1, 2002
Show all reviews by Tommy


Tommy: 9.5/10

Members: 9.16/10 - Average of 3 ratings.

Member ratings

Profile pictureSteen (Staff)

Rating: 9/10
Yeah, this is a fantastic album. The ending part of The Odyssey is simply... · Read more ·
Profile pictureSandra

Rating: 9.5/10
The Odyssey is my favorite Symphony X album - and what a great theme! The title song is a... · Read more ·
Profile pictureProfessorShred

Rating: 9/10
This album marked a prelude of what was to come from Symphony X,Russel Allen has an exempl... · Read more ·

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by eddie (Anonymous) - Tuesday, March 12, 2002
great review
great album
nothing more to be said

Comment by Mads (Anonymous) - Thursday, September 12, 2002
Eddie you are right this album kicks ass

Comment by Martin (Anonymous) - Friday, December 20, 2002
So right!.. This album is the best one in my entire collection.. SO damn perfect.. I would give up all my other records for this one without hesitation.

Comment by RJT (Anonymous) - Saturday, March 1, 2003
This album is almost perfect to a fault. The songs the production quality the guitar tones, all unbelievable. Probably my favorite balance of melody-to-balls. Favorite track: 'Wicked'

Comment by Law (Anonymous) - Tuesday, March 18, 2003
This is a truly awesome album, Inferno & The Odyssey are simply fantastic.
The only thing holding me back from giving it a perfect 10 is that their previous album "V" is even better, but only just!

Rating: 9.5/10

Comment by Pete (Anonymous) - Wednesday, August 6, 2003
What can I say? Symphony X are the MASTERS of Prog-metal.

Comment by FretFire (Anonymous) - Thursday, September 25, 2003
WOW! One of the best albums I've heard - I agree 100%, it's a true masterpiece!!

Comment by Jacques Laffite (Anonymous) - Friday, October 3, 2003
Have you ever figured you could here the theme from "The Avengers" at the beginning of the song "The Odyssey" ???

Or am I dreaming ?

Comment by Gabriel Montenegro (Anonymous) - Wednesday, December 10, 2003
This album is simply P.E.R.F.E.C.T! It surprised me!

Congratulations guyz!

Comment by E. G. (Anonymous) - Monday, December 29, 2003
I 'm very happy that you have rated this album with 10/10, because it's simply perfect! Although I have loved and their previous albums ('V' and 'TDWoT') I think that this is their best work of all time and perhaps the best progressive metal albums, along with 'A Pleasant Shade of Gray' and 'Images and Words'. Thank you guys for your beautiful music!!!

Comment by spanish24 (Anonymous) - Wednesday, April 7, 2004
what an amazing band!! i love all their albums except the first

Comment by nihilist (Anonymous) - Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Symphony X sucks, only their first album is good, after R.Allen came, they are only going down...

Comment by Matt (Anonymous) - Saturday, January 22, 2005
Awesome album, Symphony X is amazing!! I still like V better though. For one thing the Odyssey seems more like just seven songs put together, while Rediscovery always had that theme running through it so it still feels like the same song. Not to mention Communion and Egypt! Both albums rock.

Comment by Vindemiatrix Almuredin (Anonymous) - Friday, March 4, 2005
Simplesmente incrível, todo o álbum é extremamente fantástico ... Faz a gente mergulhar no universo de Homero !!!

Review by Steen (Staff) - Monday, December 2, 2002
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Comments: 518
Yeah, this is a fantastic album. The ending part of The Odyssey is simply divine. I love this whole song. Pure magic.

Rating: 9/10

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Monday, December 2, 2002

Review by Sandra (Member) - Sunday, January 25, 2009
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Comments: 36
Ratings: 25
The Odyssey is my favorite Symphony X album - and what a great theme!
The title song is a masterpiece. There is always something new to explore when I listen to it.
Accolade II is breathtaking. The chorus is so warm and embracing "On the field with sword and shield..." wow! Russell Allen has so much depth and power in his voice, it´s touching.
A genius album from a genius band!

Rating: 9.5/10

Posted by Sandra
Sunday, January 25, 2009

Review by ProfessorShred (Member) - Friday, July 3, 2009
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Comments: 16
Ratings: 45
This album marked a prelude of what was to come from Symphony X,Russel Allen has an exemplary set of pipes but on this release he was growling and much more aggressive than any other album previously in their catalog,without even previewing Paradise Lost,I knew some of the magic was going to be left behind.Please understand that I hold Odyssey in the highest regard,just felt like the band...Allen in particular was heading in the wrong direction,which after listening to Paradise Lost proved to be a correct assumption.
It is my hope now that quite a bit of time has past since Paradises's release,that Allen and the rest of the band realise what aspects made them so great and distinctive to begin with,and return to the songwriting/ performing that made their earlier works so moving.

Rating: 9/10

Posted by ProfessorShred
Friday, July 3, 2009

Review by Tommy

Released by
InsideOut - 2002

1. Inferno (Unleash The Fire)
2. Wicked
3. Incantations Of The Apprentice
4. Accolade II
5. King Of Terrors
6. The Turning
7. Awakenings
8. The Odyssey
Part I - Odysseus' Theme / Overture
Part II - Journey To Ithaca
Part III - The Eye
Part IV - Circe (Daughter of the Sun)
Part V - Sirens
Part VI - Scylla and Charybdis
Part VII - The Fate of the Suitors / Champion of Ithaca

Bonus Track
9. Masquerade

Progressive Power Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Symphony X - Official Website

Other articles
Symphony X - (Tommy)

The Odyssey - (Tajs)

Interview with Mike Pinnella - (Tajs)

The Divine Wings of Tragedy - (Yoni)

The Damnation Game - (Tommy)

Paradise Lost - (Tommy)

Live in Markthalle, Hamburg - February 13th, 2008 - (Tommy)

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