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SYMPHONY X ‘The Odyssey’ (Inside Out 2002)

Symphonic/power metal band with their seventh release. The line-up consists of Russell Allen (vocals), Michael Romeo (guitar), Michael Pinnella (keys), Jason Rullo (drums) and Michael Lepond (bass). This band are the heavier end of the power metal genre with a powerhouse vocalist in Russell Allen. ‘Inferno’ starts the album off at a gallop with crashing guitar riffs and the ultra heavy vocals of Russell Allen, who still manages to maintain melody in his vocals. ‘Wicked’ is another power anthem with guitars to the fore. Other highlights include ‘King of Terrors’, based on a Edgar Allan Poe tale with its hook filled chorus and driving keyboards, coupled with some severe guitar riffs. The Helloween/Metal Church like ‘The Turning’ has light and heavy music combining nicely to produce another fine track.

The title track, ‘The Odyssey’ is of course based on Homer’s (the Greek poet not Simpson!) tale of the same title. Broken down into seven parts the movie style pomp of ‘Odyssey: Theme/Overture’ gets this epic underway and is followed by the mellow intro to ‘Journey to Ithaca’, which soon turns into a power metal epic! The whole track has so much going on classical passages, guitar solos, symphonic keyboards, double-time drumming and more. It all come together in a fitting finale of guitars, keyboards and the fine vocals of Russell Allen - simply put this is superb.

Not an instant album by any means but one that reveals more with each play. As with many power metal bands melody is the main driving factor backed-up by top draw musicianship. Worth your time and money without a doubt, especially if you are a power metal fan.


Review by Jason Ritchie

Buy this CD

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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