SYMPHONY X – Iconoclast

Symphony X - IconoclastEven though Symphony X have been around since 1994, they are a pretty new acquaintance for me. I have always been aware of their existence, but for some reason I haven’t been interested enough to check them out, until 2007 when they released their Paradise Lost CD. That album knocked me out completely! The album was full of heavy music with neo classical influences and melodies so catchy you could use them to glue wallpaper on your wall. I was aware of their lead singer, Russell Allen, because of his involvement with the Allen / Lande project so I knew that he was a phenomenal singer. Guitar player Michael Romeo is also a rad slinger, not that different to Yngwie Malmsteen. Although, I find Romeo to be a much more interesting player than the Y, these days. So for the first time in my life I had to look forward to a follow up album by Symphony X and, I might add, my expectations were high after their latest killer.

So would this CD live up to what their last album promised? Well, both yes and no. After one listen, the album felt like an anti climax. It’s much harder and more aggressive than it’s predecessor and the songs didn’t hit me the way the last CD did. On the other hand, it only took one more listen before all the nuances started to show. But still, it took a while for this album to really grow on me.  Like the title track, which is a heavy, big and epic 10 minute song that needs a few listens. It has turned out as a favourite of mine now. ”The End Of Innocence” is super, heavy as hell but still catchy enough to stick after one listen and ”Fear Of A Fearless God” is brilliant, heavy and fast, yet very melodic. In ”When All Is Lost” they have a fantastic ballad, real ballsy with no cheese. Reminds me a bit of the Allen / Lande project, only more progressive. If you buy the digi pack version, which you should, you get a bonus CD full of brilliant music. For me, the second CD is more direct and I can’t think of one reason why they didn’t decided on releasing this as a double CD instead. The music on the second CD is way to good to be forgotten. ”Promotheus (I Am Alive)” is great, really heavy shit there, ”Light Up The Sky” is really fast and Yngwie-like with a killer melody, ”Lord Of Chaos” rocks real hard and is a killer and ”Reign In Madness” is a long epic track, very heavy and has those melodies that really gets to you right away.

I can only state that Symphony X has once again released a killer album and that it is high time for me to start digging up their previous records. I might still prefer Paradise Lost, it really must be hard to top that one, but this album isn’t too far behind. This is an amazing record by an amazing band.

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Track list:

DISC 1:
1. Iconoclast
2. End of Innocence, The
3. Dehumanized
4. Bastards of the Machine
5. Heretic
6. Children of a Faceless God
7. When All Is Lost

DISC 2:
1. Electric Messiah
2. Prometheus (I Am Alive)
3. Light Up the Night
4. Lords of Chaos, The
5. Reign in Madness

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