SYMPHONY X – The Odyssey


Release Date: November 5, 2002

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Hell yeah, Russell, Jason and the Mikes from New Jersey are back with their long awaited sixth studio release, The Odyssey. Not being particularly a neo-prog freak myself, though I like their previous efforts too, I am happy to see the band put out their heaviest release to date. I will call it their best, but then again, I don’t feel I am the one to decide so. Anyway, you may rank it your way, I choose to call this their best album so far, as I really take my hat off and bow for “Sir” Russell Allen, who now indeed has the diversity and expression I seek from a singer. We all now Russ was high up on the former Helloweenies’ list for Masterplan, but schedules or whatever didn’t allow him to grab the chance. Jorn Lande got the job, as he doesn’t know the meaning of the word “no”, and on The Odyssey I think Russ shows he has a lot in common with Lande. Allen can also sound like an evil Dio or a Coverdale with balls, but also without losing a bit of identity.
Then there’s the guitar playing, which is as aggressive as neo-classical progressive metal can get. Mr Romeo shows he’s on top of his genre, and possibly on top creative-wise. And the rest of the guys? Do I have to tell you? This is quality from the first chord, beat, pump, whatever – from a band that has the potential to bring progressive metal out to the masses without being labeled as a sell-out.

“Inferno (Unleash The Fire)” opens what sure is an inferno, and it’s followed by the riffy “Wicked”, another one that lives up to its name in terms of complexity and quality. The title track is a 24-minutes epic masterpiece full of orchestration and beautiful melodies, especially the ending makes the goosebumps convince you to push play again. When Savatage chickened out and cancelled last year’s European tour with Symphony X because of 9/11, the Jerseys made the right move when they chose to focus on and make this album instead of messing up the schedule three months later. Now you will have the chance to see the band with Stratovarius in Europe in March (and US with Blind Guardian even before that), and I strongly recommend a visit. Why someone want Symphony X to open for them – I really have no idea. It must be because they simply want to learn how to play better and sing like a God. It could very well be that the major acts who bring these guys out will sing their swan song…


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