|Symphony X: The Odyssey|
|2002, Inside out Music, SPV 085-65342 CD|
The Odyssey is a progressive metal effort from extreme guitarist Michael Romeo's Symphony X. Romeo's lead guitar work integrates creative tonality with blazing speed that is set to metal rhythms mixed with aggressive riffs. Russell Allen steps up to the mike for the vocals with his capable voice that is tailor made for metal music. The format of the tracks is centered primarily around the vocals in a conventional metal radio format that is built upon some creative arrangements, progressions, and riffs, though the distinguishing factor in the music is clearly Romeo's extreme lead guitar work. Romeo plays with clear vision, driving fury, blinding speed, and frightening, calculated precision amidst his furious shredding. Romeo has some good ideas in his lead work, as well as excellent technique and proficiency. But, for the mostpart the lead work is sparser than what would satisfy most fans of instrumental music, though this is due largely in part to the progressive metal format that approaches the musical form from the radio metal format. But, then again, Romeo's creative tonality and blazing outside runs may be enough to attract the interest of progressive instrumental fans, provided they can bear to wait through the rest of the vocal sections. Some tracks, such as "The Turning" have a more liberal portion of Romeo's stunning guitar work.
Though the majority of the tracks are of the progressive metal song format variety, the final seven part composition, "The Odyssey" is closer compositionally to a progressive / neoclassical format that fans of instrumentally and compositionally intensive music may find more agreeable. This twenty four minute composition showcases Romeo's compositional skills and instrumental guitar wizardry. The piece is a classically structured epic composition with thematic development of original, tangible themes accompanied with some vocals and followed up with intensive development sections featuring Romeo's blazing fretwork. Even with the vocal sections, this composition should be palatable by fans of progressive instrumental music and serves as a good medium to showcase Romeo's guitar work.
Symphony X has an established legacy of progressive metal albums that are in the vein of the format deployed on this album. Fans of this style of music will not be disappointed with the quality of the songs and the fantastic guitar work of Michael Romeo on this album.
|1. Inferno (Unleash The Fire)
3. Incantations Of The Apprentice
4. Accolade II
5. King Of Terrors
6. The Turning
8. The Odyssey
- Pt.1 Odysseus' Theme / Overture
- Pt.2 Journey To Ithaca
- Pt.3 The Eye
- Pt.4 Circe
- Pt.5 Sirens
- Pt.6 Scylla and Charybdis
- Pt.7 The Fate Of Suitors / Champion Of Ithaca
~ Christopher Ruel~ www.ChrisRuel.com ~ Chris@ChrisRuel.com ~ November 2003
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