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Review: Symphony X - Underworld
Symphony X

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 1:03:56
Tracks: 11
Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: September 28, 2015
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (41 Votes)

This is an album I was festering to hear. I thought Paradise Lost was a pinnacle of this band's career, and Iconoclast came close to matching it. Any Symphony X album is worth getting excited about, but this one falls short of the recent marks.

This is an album of tight, well-written and well-played Progressive Metal. You get polyrhythmic, intense guitar playing, textured drum work, and Russel Allen's first-rate singing. Allen has moved away from the harder edge of more recent albums to a smoother style, and this is welcome, I just wish he had better stuff to work with this time. Overall the album is professional and well produced, it just does not conjure up the excitement I hoped for. The riffs are good, the playing is top-notch, but the songs are just too safe and standard for this band. If you are familiar with Symphony X, then this album will not provide anything you have not heard before - in fact some of it will sound really familiar.

I suppose it is silly for me to ding a Symphony X album for sounding too much like a Symphony X album. But this one sounds more like a rehash of moments off their last three albums. In addition, the choruses are weaker than usual, and there is just nothing here to touch the high points off past works. There is nothing here that measures up to "The Accolade", "Set The World On Fire", or "Communion and The Oracle" - the songwriting just is not on the same level. So while this is a good album, it is a step down from greatness.

Other related information on the site
Review: Iconoclast (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Paradise Lost (reviewed by Risser)
Review: Paradise Lost (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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Review: The Divine Wings of Tragedy (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Odyssey (reviewed by Iwarrior)
Review: Twilight in Olympus (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Underworld (reviewed by MetalMike)
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