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Symphony X – Iconoclast

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD download
Released: 2011
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 10/ 10


Completing a recent trilogy of music, "Iconoclast" perfectly bookends the jaw-dropping musicianship and songwriting begun on 02’s "The Odyssey", carried on to "Paradise Lost" from 2007. The title track (you’d never know its 10 minutes because its that good)opens "Iconoclast" and sets the stage for insane progressive playing weaved into sweeping verses and bridges on course to the chorus which soars like an eagle. Really, I shit you not, Symphony X are the real deal, and no one can fuck with them when it comes to composing the best riff driven progressive metal!

 

Guitarist Mike Romeo masterfully knows how to wave his magic guitar wand better than Harry Potter, with riffs the focal point for each arrangement, yet, allowing breathing room for Mike Lepond (bass), Jason Rullo (drums), and Mike Pinnella’s (keyboards) complimenting/piggybacking, sometimes dueling contributions. Title track didn’t stop you in your tracks??...well ‘The End Of Innocence’ surely will with charging riffs, Russell Allen’s muscular yet melodic voice, the bouncy rhythm section, but man when it comes to that solo section Romeo creates so many damn cool runs, whammy bar effects, bends, melody lines...its just sick! Could it get better from here? Well I don’t know about better, but as good, sure. ‘Dehumanized’ is a more straight forward arrangement pulling back on the acrobatics and well placed before the flurry of riffs and keyboard leads color ‘Bastards Of The Machine’ and I love the change before the solo section, it would go over well live for crowd participation. ‘Heretic’ (as with ‘Electric Messiah’) is a little darker and one of my favs, again...the solo section is just retarded. And as I go on and on about the music don’t worry I have not forgotten about Russell, he lets it rip during ‘Children Of A Faceless God’ and the classy piano begun ‘When All Is Lost’. Allen is the un(yet to be) discovered Dio.

Just champion stuff.

 
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