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.
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.
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.
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, 2002Show all reviews by TommyRatingsTommy: 9.5/10
Members: 9.16/10 - Average of 3 ratings.Member ratings
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