Rating:
8.4
Symphony X - Iconoclast
17 June 2011


Disc I [jewel-case edition]
01. Iconoclast
02. The End Of Innocence
03. Dehumanized
04. Bastards Of The Machine
05. Heretic
06. Children Of A Faceless God
07. Electric Messiah
08. Prometheus (I Am Alive)
09. When All Is Lost

Disc I [special edition digipak]
01. Iconoclast
02. The End Of Innocence
03. Dehumanized
04. Bastards Of The Machine
05. Heretic
06. Children Of A Faceless God
07. When All Is Lost

Disc II
01. Electric Messiah
02. Prometheus (I Am Alive)
03. Light Up The Night
04. The Lords Of Chaos
05. Reign In Madness


Symphony X returns after four years of absence. Iconoclast before the release was regarded as one of the most expected albums of the year. The confirmation of the new direction of the band, in my opinion, was one of my true concerns.

The album is divided in two CDs, the first one a more powerful, progressive, and strong style. For me the band is way better and feels more comfortable in this style. Every performance is really great, combining amazing vocal abilities, strong riffs and fast drum parts. The first CD starts with one of the best songs of the album, the homonymous "Iconoclast" with a great Russell Allen showing that he is one of the best metal singers nowadays. The opening song sets the tone for what comes next, probably the most enraged set of straight songs Symphony X had the talent to compose.

Both singles that were released before the album came out are real great contenders for any upcoming tour: both songs are very progressive and heavy, the second track the most powerful with a very inspired Michael Romeo, the third track more melodic with more sinister composed lyrics, adds great excitement to live shows. Another feature that really comes up in the first CD of Iconoclast is the amazingly well written songs and fast paced tracks accompanied by fast and "skull-crushing" solos. Although I think this first CD combines the progressive metal rather than the symphonic-power metal, it closes with "When All Is Lost" that relaxes and brings to the table a little bit of what the fans should expect of the second CD.

The second CD is, in my opinion, a more symphonic-power metal style combining amazingly and better than ever without being too "flashy", the melodic choruses with solid instrumental parts by Romeo and Rullo. The main events in this CD are definitely "Electric Messiah" and "Prometheus (I Am Alive)" both songs really well written with solid drumming style and great riffs. In spite of being more melodic, the tracks are really heavy and sometimes melancholic in terms of concept, like the "Reign In Madness" or "The Lord Of Chaos". The second half of the album is more like the last album Paradise Lost; although having great instrumental parts, most of the songs were based more in the talent of Russell Allen.

All in all, Iconoclast is a very good album that sets the bar higher. Symphony X saw that they are better heavy and progressive rather than more symphonic or power metal oriented. The band performance is a 9/10. I really enjoyed Allen's performance solidifying his position as one of the true greats of metal. Symphony X changed their direction, like I said in the beginning of this paragraph. In my opinion it's maybe the best work since V: The New Mythology Suite

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Symphony X
Album: Iconoclast


 


written by AndMetalForAll | 24.11.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Baz Anderson

Rating:
9.0
After a run of hugely successful albums, Symphony X have the expectations of the world on them for the release of album number eight, a concept album on man's growing reliance on technology; Iconoclast. A trademark crushing Michael Romeo riff opens up the album bravely with the eleven-minute long title track.

Iconoclast is a culmination of elements from the band's history with a harder edge than before. Everything that made the last Symphony X albums so enjoyable can be found on here somewhere; the progressive dynamics, Romeo's masterful guitar riffs, or the voice of one of our generation's greatest metal singers. Russell Allen's singing is once again one of the most enjoyable aspects of Symphony X, although at various points he does emulate Ronnie Dio's mannerisms a little too closely.

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published 12.06.2011 | Comments (113)



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Unhealer - 24.11.2011 at 00:17  
Been a long time since I don't listen to the album. I have to give it a spin again.

I liked most songs, but the album didn't keep me stoked for more listens. I felt good with almost 5 listens or so.

BTW, I agree the new direction suits them much better, even thou "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" is one of my fav songs ever.
Milena - 24.11.2011 at 10:23  
I read through some of my posts from six months ago yesterday, and I saw saying that 'although DT is my favorite prog band, they probably won't be able to top this'... boy, now I feel like putting a curse to them. I expected the new DT album to be decent (and it failed to meet even the 'average' standard), and the new SyX to be one of those boring lengthy albums - and it totally kills, I gave it a 10. It's among their top three albums for sure.
Troy Killjoy - 24.11.2011 at 10:25  
Written by Milena on 24.11.2011 at 10:23
I read through some of my posts from six months ago yesterday...

It's amazing how much can change in so little time. At the beginning of the year I was thinking Mitochondrion's Parasignosis would be the album of the year for me, and now it's barely sitting inside my top 25.
Milena - 24.11.2011 at 11:09  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.11.2011 at 10:25

It's amazing how much can change in so little time.

Yeah, and also amazing how low my predicting skills are at the moment.
Mohamads7 - 24.11.2011 at 14:30  
Why are you Discussing? Go and listen to it over and over until you're dead!
AndMetalForAll - 24.11.2011 at 14:37  
Lol...it's definitely a excellent album. Glad to see that you all agree with me...

greets,
AndMetalForAll
-Mayhem- - 24.11.2011 at 15:05  
Quote:
with a great Russell Allen


Quote:
a very inspired Michael Romeo


AndMetalForAll - 24.11.2011 at 15:35  
Written by -Mayhem- on 24.11.2011 at 15:05

Quote:
with a great Russell Allen


Quote:
a very inspired Michael Romeo





Don't you agree?
Xtopher - 25.11.2011 at 18:02  
Partly agree with Mayhem.

great Russell Allen, always. His voice is perfect although he is using way too much its tougher side.
Inspired MJR? i would say inspired for 2 or 3 songs tops.

Great album though, not their best by any means.
NLthrasher - 26.11.2011 at 07:19  
This album really rocks, it easily beats dream theater's new album in my opinion.
All bandmembers did a great job on this one, but I would prefer the keyboards had a little bit less impact. They are to present if you ask me.
Russell Allen shines as always, man he is a great singer!

I agree with your rating, 8+ seems very appropriate for this album
Hollberr - 26.11.2011 at 17:56  
I completely agree with the review's score. Symphony X returned with some crazy songs, all very well performed. If you listen to each song separately, they'll blow you away. I just feel that as a whole, it lacks intergrity. Put aside Iconoclast and When All is Lost (2 of my favorite songs EVER) every song sounds a bit like the same.

I just miss the days of V, where there was a purpose for every song, and they were all linked together by great orchestral arrangements. I thought I'd never say this, but I miss their ballads... for me Symphony X is the band that creates the most beautiful ballads of the entire scene of metal. They've got one of the best voice in Allen and one of the best guitarist in Romeo. Songs like Awakenings, Accolade 1 & 2, Paradise Lost, Communion and the Oracle... they're jewels to me.
And When All is Lost let me hungry for more..
Demonic Tutor - 28.11.2011 at 05:00  
Written by Hollberr on 26.11.2011 at 17:56

I completely agree with the review's score. Symphony X returned with some crazy songs, all very well performed. If you listen to each song separately, they'll blow you away. I just feel that as a whole, it lacks intergrity. Put aside Iconoclast and When All is Lost (2 of my favorite songs EVER) every song sounds a bit like the same.

I just miss the days of V, where there was a purpose for every song, and they were all linked together by great orchestral arrangements. I thought I'd never say this, but I miss their ballads... for me Symphony X is the band that creates the most beautiful ballads of the entire scene of metal. They've got one of the best voice in Allen and one of the best guitarist in Romeo. Songs like Awakenings, Accolade 1 & 2, Paradise Lost, Communion and the Oracle... they're jewels to me.
And When All is Lost let me hungry for more..


Amen
-Mayhem- - 29.11.2011 at 16:41  
Well my point was perfectly grammatical.
It seems weird the text says that they have A good Russell Allen as if they had another Russell Allen singing on the other records and this one is better. The same with Romeo.
I just thought the idea of dozens of Romeo clones each performing on a different album was a bit hilarious.

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