Underworld by Symphony X
Ah yes we are back into prog territory. Symphony X is back here to be mentioned here. Symphony X is a progressive power metal band that have been around since the early 90s with albums like Divine Wings of Tragedy, Dante’s Inferno and their self titled debut in the classic line up. Since albums like The Odyssey and Paradise Lost they have begun to break out much more in the metal community and have been highly respected since then and have become more mainstream with a bit of a heavier touch.
Underworld is a loose concept album that pays homage to alot of their older material(The Odyssey and prior) and still have twinges of their newer albums Paradise Lost and Iconoclast withheld and is the main sound you’ll hear. Also Russell Allens voice is a bit cleaner here then in the previous two. While it may seem a bit simple when compared to, well, their old material, you can probably blame it on his occupation with Adrenaline Mob but that can benefit in some cases and the music is still good.
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From the singles Nevermore and Without You, to the epic gems To Hell and Back and Swansong, this album can be considered golden. It has a certain charm to it that is more or less unique to the other ones, but then again, every album has had a different charm to them so it really shouldn’t be nothing special. But it is, if nothing else, it shows what this band can do and that they can try new things with sound or concept or both. It’s what’s to be expected of them and they still got it even after 20 years, try to name a band that has their old charm consistently in every one of their releases. I thought so, very few can do that, at least from my point of view, and try new things almost everytime. Ok I’m gushing, let’s move on. I mentioned that they have homages in this album, well, they managed to reference The Divine Wings of Tragedy in the Overture I believe, though it’s quite hard to notice and you got to listen closely for these references, including the one I mentioned. This has something for every Symphony X fan, the ones that wanted current Symphony X have the heavyness and semi-simplicity of Paradise Lost and Iconoclast. Those that want old Symphony X have got Russell’s vocals, the small references and easter eggs, if you will, and songs like Without You(one of the singles). I love this album and I would be surprised if it doesn’t end up on my end of year list.
I give this a 9/10. I am the Grim Reaper, signing off.