Paradise LostFeatured review by: UG Team, on june 27, 2007 4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: 5 years after the excellent The Odyssey, Michael Romeo & Co return with a new album. They've set the bar high with their last string of releases, and in some places they do reach those highs again.
One thing to note right off the bat: Russell is even angrier and more aggressive than he was on The Odyssey. He sings more in a lower register, and the guitars are even more up front which gives for a pretty heavy assault. The overall production and sound of the album is solid, there's very little complain about. If I had to pick one thing, it's that Romeo's guitar sound isn't as tight and clear as it has been. It's a bit hairy and sounds somewhat undefined (more contour, less gain) to me. But that's really a minor complaint in the grand whole of things.
It's also somewhat heavier than their previous albums, it packs more punch and is more of a full on metal album. However, this also means we have fewer soft/progressive sections. To me, Symphony X are at their best when they mix soft and heavy, but this album is leaning a lot more towards heavy, which is a shame. In turn we lose having another piece in the vein of The Odyssey or Divine Wings of Tragedy. However, the softer sections in the title track and The Sacrifice and definitely droolworthy, the title track being coupled with a great guitar solo by Romeo. // 8
Lyrics and Singing: In terms of lyrics, they are based on topics found in John Milton's Paradise Lost, those being the classic good-and-evil/heaven-and-hell topics. Russell has stated that the lyrics are very general and can relate to virtually anyone in the world. Thus the band opted for having a futuristic angel on the cover, rather than choosing something that would cement the lyrics and themes in a specific age. If I had to choose a Most Valuable Player for this album, it'd definitely be Russell and his vocals, because he sings his ass off. // 7
Impression: Overall, it's a potent and solid release. It's not up to the standard of, say, V: The New Mythology Suite but it's still a good, solid release. Symphony X work best with grand themes and storylines in mind, and this album lacks that (no, taking your lyrical ideas and topics from the book "Paradise Lost" is not a grand theme).
The progressive element is a bit lost, which is a shame, but the riffs, leads and melodies are great. Romeo is as solid as ever, he really delivers in his department and continues to make his case for being one of the best guitarists in metal right now. This album probably will gain them more fans than they will lose, and it's a pretty damn good one, even if it's a slight step down from their previous two albums. // 7
SvnStringMaster, on june 27, 2007 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound of this album screams Symphony X. Michael Romeo keeps his guitar tone, that I would call a signature guitar tone. The keyboards do their usual thing and lets out great leads, and of course do the chords that give them their symphonic sound. Michael Lepond stands out more on this album than in their past, with added bass solos. Russell Allen is at the top of his game right now. Nailing high notes as well as growls from the bowels. The CD starts off with a great instrumental put together by Romeo. Lets say this: All of the songs are fast, heavy, intense, metal, brutal, except the title track which slows things down for a nice calming break. Another break follows a few tracks later on "The Sacrifice." Overall melodic, symphonic, metal. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Evil. The lyrics are totally evil, and tell great stories. Allen does an excellent job at delevering the lyrics. One of the best metal voices, dare I say of all time. Like I commented on earlier, he is at the top of his game, and only going to climb. // 10
Impression: Okay people, this CD package is by far the coolest CD package I ever owned. I was just in awe when I took it out of the factory plastic and opened it. I knew right then and there this would be a great CD. don't judge a book by it's cover? Well the packaging emphasizes the awesomeness of this album. I love everything about this album, including they listed the total runtime as 60:66, rather than 61:06, that's just brutal. I can't think of a thing I don't like about this. Paradise Lost is a must own for every fan of any sort of metal. // 10
JeremyKing, on june 01, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Symphony X is a prime example of melodic power metal at it's best. Taking somevery early neoclassical influences such as Yngwie Malmsteen and the like and mixing it with a more rhythmic feel, Michael Romeo (guitarist) creates a style that is truly all his own.
Michael Pinnela can keep up with suprising dexterity on the keyboard. Michael Lepond is always at Romeo's right hand, keeping the odd time signature rhythm going, or laying down an incredible bass solo.
The album itself is roughly based off John Milton's poem with the same name. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: Most power metal fans may find the lyrics of Paradise Lost a bit surprising. Instead of rehashing the same vocals about conquering the world and riding around on dragons after time has ended, the lyrics for ParadiseLost actually have meaning. It may take a bit of listening to in order to determine what message the vocals are trying to relay, but the job of getting the message to fans was done quite well. Russel Allen's vocal style ranges anywhere from melodic and soulful to determinedly gruff and violent, making it easier to listen to by fans who enjoy particular vocals. // 9
Impression: All in all, this album was great. The general songwriting was excellent, the talents of the band members still surprises me and I've been listening to the CD since 3 weeks after its release. Oculus ex Inferni (Eye of the Infero)is an excellent orchestral piece written by Romeo, and it leads directly into the next heavier song, Set the World on Fire. There isn't a thing I don't like about this album. If something were to happen to it, I would certainly get it again. // 10
Naturalchampion, on april 05, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Paradise Lost is a pretty solid album through and through. However, the music seems to have lost a bit of it's "Symphony X feel". It is a very heavy album that flows together well. If you are looking for very fast, strong, and in your face metal this is the best it gets. It even includes a few ballads that do give you a taste of the more melodic Symphony X your are used to. My only complaint would be that this album seems to focus much more on guitar than other instruments. // 8
Lyrics and Singing: Amazing. If you are at all fimiliar with Milton's epic poem by the same name you will probably find the lyrics to all that much more amazing. The words paint an incredibly vivid picture that tells you the message it means to convey without having to listen twice. The harder heavier tracks have a much darker theme that fits very well, and the softer lyrics sound beautifully while harmonizing with the sensational music scores. With Russell Allen behind the mic you can't expect anything less than a masterpiece as far as lyrics and vocal ability goes... And as always, he delivers. // 10
Impression: Don't get me wrong Paradise lost is an amazing album with much to offer. However, it seems that it has wandered off abit from the sound of older albums. Still, it's an amazing album with much to offer. The title track is a very powerful ballad that you should check out even if you have no plans to buy this album, hardcore fans and classical fans alike are sure to love it and again, Allens vocals do not dissapoint.I would also strongly suggest to listen to The Eve of Seduction, another very strong track. I very much enjoyed how far Allen has been coming along with his vocals. This album shows his diversity and power to an extreme. However, I am quite disapointed in the lack of keyboard solos and groovy bass riffs, though they are still hidden in here. All in all it is an amazing album that belongs on the shelf of any fan of progressive metal, if not any metal fan. Highly recomended. // 9
unregistered, on december 04, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: When I first heard of Symphony X, I immediately knew I was going to like their music. Truth be told, I heard them first on this album. I heard the song "Eve of Seduction" in a video and I wanted to check the album out. I bought it very soon, and I was impressed quickly just by the packaging of the album and the artwork, but that's not the point right now. Symphony X is a band that sounds unlike any other. Sure there are other progressive metal bands, but Symphony X not only does bring in a symphonic quality to their work, but all the band members use the utmost of their skill in each and every song. I am reminded of a sort of fusion between the instrumental work of Dream Theater and other progressive bands and the vocals and guitarwork of thrash metal's greatest like Metallica and Megadeth. However, make no mistake that Symphony X has both a unique sound and a sound you will love. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Symphony X doesn't have the greatest lyrics of all time, but the vocalist has a powerful voice perfect for the band's music, and the choruses if nothing else of the songs are always catchy. I am especially reminded of the songs "Set the World on Fire", "Paradise Lost", and "Serpent's Kiss" in the field of songs with great choruses.
Impression: Paradise Lost is a great album by a great band. I've heard a little of their other work, and I must say that the songs on this CD are still amongst the greatest of what I've heard. I only hesitate at the threshold of ignorance to say that this is the greatest album ever issued by Symphony X. If the album were stolen from me or lost, I believe I would buy another copy of it, though I have the album on my mp3 player. It's truly a cool album just to own. The packaging is unique and is full of great art, so it's definitely a good idea to physically own. I think what I love most about this album, though, is that in a time of mainly generic and pointless mainstream music (in the honest opinion of this reviewer), Symphony X, though under the radar, is producing amazing music. // 9