Sound — 9
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.
Lyrics — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.