|Review: Symphony X - Paradise Lost|
Label: Inside Out Music
Year released: 2007
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: July 11, 2007
Reviewed by: Sirliftsalot48
Before getting to the actual music of the album, first the packaging must be addressed. If there was an award for the stupidest digipack design ever made, Symphony X would have won it with this design. The package doesn't open like a normal digipack, instead it opens into an elaborate "+". The parts that open horizontally also involve interlocking finger like projections that you will certainly bend within the first couple of openings. The album name is only written on the top and bottom parts of the case. This means that you have to place the album vertically on your shelf to read the album name. This wouldn't be that big of a deal, except that albums are not perfect squares. The album will then not line up with your other standard, not idiotic cases. Maybe it's the O.C.D. in me, but I was so frustrated with the casing that I took a paper cutter and managed to slice and dice the digipack to fit nicely into a standard CD case with all the proper labels showing nicely and looking fairly professionally done I might add. End of rant, onto the music of the album.
If you are a fan of Symphony X, like me, you probably have already purchased this album and have listened to it dozens of times. The music on this album is definitely what you would expect to hear from Symphony X, nice keyboards, fast drumming, excellent guitar playing, and great vocals from Russell Allen. Like all of Symphony X's albums they know how to keep the metal in the forefront of the music rather than getting over the top with odd tempo changes and ludicrously long drum or guitar solos.
The songs on Paradise Lost are more aggressive than their previous efforts. I think that the aggressive tone sounds great on songs like Set the World on Fire, which is one of the speedier songs. However the more aggressive tone doesn't fit as nicely with the more mid paced songs, which is what much of this album is. The mid paced tempo and more aggressive tone can make some of the songs sound a little bit like groove metal, and that's not Symphony X. A refreshing change is the title track, a nice ballad that Symphony X is known for and Russell Allen's vocals can truly shine on.
This is a good album, although not quite as amazing as their previous effort, The Odyssey. The main problem with this album (besides the packaging) is that the pacing of the album often clashes with the more aggressive tone. Make the songs a little faster and you would have made an amazing album. The opening track after the intro, Set the World on Fire, shows how great a song can sound with the right pace and tone. Five years after the Odyssey, Symphony X are back with an album that isn't perfect, but will still delight fans of the band and maybe win over some new fans with the more aggressive tone.
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