The Odyssey Review

artist: Symphony X date: 05/25/2004 category: compact discs
Symphony X: The Odyssey
Released: Nov 5, 2002
Genre: Progressive Metal, Power Metal
Label: Inside Out
Number Of Tracks: 8
"The Odyssey" is the sixth studio album by progressive metal band Symphony X
 Sound: 9.4
 Lyrics: 9.1
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) 10 comments vote for this album:
The Odyssey Reviewed by: RatiugLink, on may 25, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Michael Romeo's brilliant orchestration and blazing guitar solos are the key elements in this album. I love the way this band always has a hint of classical music in their songs. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics may seem subliminal to some, but if you know beforehand what they are about, you will understand the lyrics better. The album title, The Odyssey, as well as the album art, suggest a mythological theme. Many of the songs, including the title song, which is in fact a 24 minute, seven part suite, are based on Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey. Allen's vocal abilities are amazing. His growls can make Pantera sound like Good Charlotte. His melodic singing could put any American Idol contestant into a state of insanity. Cross his growling with his melodic singing, and you have something that sounds like Iron Maiden on steroids. // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of the top progressive metal bands. Recommended to fans of Dream Theater and Yngwie Malmsteen. I would highly recommend buying this album, and would definately buy it again, were it stolen. // 10

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overall: 9.3
The Odyssey Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 09, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Symphony X is definitely one of my favorite Progressive Metal bands to date. This release, "The Odyssey", is much heavier than their previous ones. I feel most bands that start very technical, often lose some of that feel when they try to get heavier, but Symphony X still maintains the standards which have made them well known in the Progressive Music world. This may be a great album well worth the $15 or so, but I feel the earlier works are a bit better in a couple areas like drumming and uniqueness in songs. The drums are bit flimsy on this record, and a few of the songs sound very much alike, but still great. They have an excellent mix of members and styles as well. The guitar and keyboard provide a great neo-symphonic/classical feel. The singer has an excellent voice reminiscent of Ronnie James Dio, and the bassist shreds! // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are in the area typical of Prog Metal. This doesn't stop them from writing above the standards, though. "Forces they're oppressing me, Lords of mediocrity, an iron will shall break the still, some will rise and some will fall" Track 1, "Inferno". The usage of metaphors gives me goose bumps every time I hear them. I think there's no singer that has yet met the greatness lyrically of Russell Allen, since Ozzy. // 10

Overall Impression: This album, for me, overshadowed the "Train of Thought" Dream Theater release. Like I've stated earlier, some bands lose their feel when getting heavier, and I think Dream Theater has, and Symphony X hasn't. My favorite song on "Odyssey" is "The Accolade II", and to be honest, I don't really dislike anything about this album. If this CD was stolen, I'd be mad and go out to get another one, but at the same time I'd be happy that more people are finally taking interest in this great band! // 10

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overall: 8
The Odyssey Reviewed by: bballbrett5, on july 03, 2004
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is jam-packed with excellent riffs and superb soloing. Though nothing is truly new or completely original about the sound, there is no question that each song on the album has music and musical performances that are never boring. // 10

Lyrics: My one problem with the album is the lyrics, which is a big deal considering there are no instrumental songs. I cringe and writhe at some of the extremely cheesy lyrics here. I only give it lyrics a 3 because the lyrics are still written fairly well, and they do a nice job of portraying Homer's epic "The Odyssey" in the title track as well as Edgar Allen Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" in the track called "King of Terrors". However, other tracks all share some cheesy story about how he journeyed to some mountain and stopped at some ancient ruin. Hearing "I will fight! Will you?" in "Accolade II" is far more annoying than anything. As a listener, cheesy lyrics like these have me sort of left out from what is supposed to be happening and above all un-interested. // 6

Overall Impression: Though I am not fond of the lyrics, I can get past them (and enjoy them on a few occassions) when the skills of the bands are presented in the manner that they are on this album. The music is highly enjoyable whether or not the lyrics are bothersome. I would recommend this album to someone who already has a large collection of music otherwise, especially Dream Theater. After hearing the song "A Change of Seasons" by Dream Theater, you will realize that "The Odyssey" on this CD does not even come close to ACOS's genius. // 8

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overall: 9.3
The Odyssey Reviewed by: BrofUJu, on july 08, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I gave the sound a 4. Overall Symphony X has a tight sound. Blazing solos (both guitar and keyboard!), tight drums, and excellent vocals (which create most of the hooks). The only problem is that their sound may be a bit too tight, because some parts of the songs end up sound like parts of other songs, on this same album, which is not a good thing. Really that is the only flaw (though a big one), and everything else is excellent, especially the addition of orchestration on the title track and Accolade II. There always is a hint of classical music, especially because of the keyboards, which is a bonus. Speed can also range, from the slower melodic rock Accolade, to the speed metal The Turning, the shortest song done in a quick 4:44 (believe me, thats quick for this album). // 8

Lyrics: Lyrics are excellent. If you are not a fan of fantasy metal, you will disagree, because all of the lyrics are based on fantasy thing, such as the first four lines of Wicked "Alone I traveled through the mountains/led by a star fading west/when I came upon and acient ruin of a church/and it was there I stopped to rest" Also, the epic 24 minute title track is based on Homers great poem, the Odyssey, of Ulyseeus. Excellent mix of metaphors, and straight to the point lyrics make sure you know whats going on, but still you will have to figure some of them out on your own. The singing is wonderful, and the fact that most of the time sing Russell Allen actually does sing is excellent. And when he isn't, he has a strange growl, only used in heavy parts, which works very well also. Because the lyrics are fantasy based, the singing is actual well sung, and the music has a hint of classical music, they blend amazingly well together. This is a main key to making the album enjoyable. // 10

Overall Impression: My first album bought by Symphony X, and I'm sure first of many to come. Strong songs include Wicked, Accolade II, Awakenings, and the epic previously mentioned title track, The Odyssey. This is also another plus. Starting out with and strange winds/orchestral part, it also includes a distorted guitar, and builds up with eventual addition of drums, then into a strange sort of love story feeling, where the orchestra and winds leave with a soaring A5 chord. Then unexpectedly a lone acoustic guitar comes in, which with it, so do the vocals. This is merly a short 4 or so minutes in. And after the acoustic part, the song takes off, soaring into dark metal parts, keyboard and guitar solos, to its eventual soft ending. A true masterpiece, that completly blew me away, and made the whole album worth, also considering this single track is almost as long as your average punk record. Though a few boring moments, and same sounding things, there are many memorable moments, which make this album well worth it. // 10

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overall: 10
The Odyssey Reviewed by: CemetaryGates41, on april 07, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of this album over all is Phenomonal, could not be better. The guitar playing is a solid 10 Michael Romeo with his classical infused guitar playing is incredible with heavy pounding thrash riffs, with amazing guitar solos and just plain rediculous riffs, if you like Yngwie Malmsteen, Dream Theater, bands of that nature, you'll love Symphony X. Vocals are amazing, so is the drumming and bass lines, overall this CD is a must have for any proggressive metal fan, or metal fan at all. // 10

Lyrics: First of all I would just like to state that Russell Allen is an incredible vocalist, he has the range of the likes of, Freddy Murcury, Phil anselmo, Bruce Dickison, and beyond. The lyrics are very well written and fit with the music very well, it all just flows. The lyrics for the most part have to do with greek mythology, and stuff of that nature, the song The Odyssey (a 24 minute epic) is actually based on a book about greek mythology. It's just great all together. // 10

Overall Impression: It is one of the greatest metal albums EVER, it compares to almost anything, from great Pantera albums, like Cowboys From Hell, to more recent Train Of Thought By Dream Theater. If you like any of the other Symphony X albums then you are sure to like this one. I love all of it, and hate none of it, and The Odyssey is by far the most impressive song on the album, being 24 minutes long and spread out into 7 section, it's a pure magical adventure from start to finish with each listen. Great orchestration and guitar work by Michael Romeo, and this album again is just great, if it were lost or stolen, I would slaughter the Infidel who stole it, take it back and buy another copy for kicks. // 10

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overall: 10
The Odyssey Reviewed by: Shreddin 4 Life, on july 17, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Wow, I had heard some Symphony X songs prior to hearing this album, but damn this one is truly a rare kind of album to find. Symphony X seems to be one of the few bands where all of the members are extremely talented and perform flawlessly. The guitars & keyboards have always been my favourite part of this band, but the bass & drums are quite interesting as well. And of course, the singer has a very powerful voice too! Never before has a neo-classical progressive metal album sounded so full to me. Every song (of which there are 8) is awesome. Furthermore, the title track is a 24-minute opus that's actually very easy to listen to all the way through (on account of its progressive nature). Overall, the sound of this album is very characteristic of Symphony X, except super-charged! This is very easily their best effort yet. // 10

Lyrics: Russel Allen is an extremely talented singer. His climax in "Wicked" is totally mind-blowing. Lots of range, style and feeling in his voice and timbre are really the best words to describe him. He really seems to get better and better and The Odyssey makes it really evident. I'm having a hard time trying to come up with a more talented singer within not only the progressive genre, but the metal genre as well. His chemistry with Symphony X is definitely a part of their sound that's as crucial as Michael Romeo's guitar or Michael Pinnella's keyboard sections in my opinion. // 10

Overall Impression: The Odyssey is my personal favourite Symphony X album to date. Furthermore, I believe that Symphony X is the leading band in the progressive genre (alongside Adagio who also worth checking out). My personal favourites off of this album are the 24-minute epic title track, "Wicked", "King Of Terrors" & "Inferno (Unleash The Fire)". But the rest of the tunes are far from filler songs. Especially other anthems like "Awakenings" or "Incantations Of The Apprentice." Honestly, there is nothing to dislike from this album, and if it were ever stolen, I'd definitely get it again (or kick some ass to get it back). // 10

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overall: 9
The Odyssey Reviewed by: larry jones, on september 25, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Michael Romeo and crew deliver an impressive progressive metal album to boot with over an hour of music (with the "The Oddysey" alone totalling an astonishing 24 minutes"). The drumming and keyboards are excellent, but nothing special for Symphony X. However, Romeo lays down some ridiculous riffs and intricate guitar solos on songs like "Inferno", "Accolade II", "The Turning", and "Wicked". Romeo may easily be one of the most underrated guitarists of the '90s-'00s, and he displays his insane musical talents on this album, as does everyone else. // 10

Lyrics: Russell Allen sings very well on this album, adding to the group's distinct progressive metal sound. Allen matches Romeo's guitar beautifully on songs like "Inferno", "Accolade II", and "Wicked". He also growls out some of his vocals in songs like "King of Terrors" and "The Turning". Each song- most obviously the title track- is about the legends and tales relating to ancient Greek and Latin fiction. // 8

Overall Impression: By now, Symphony X has distinguished themselves as the often ignored powerhouse of the progressive metal scene. This album easily ranks with "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" and "Twilight In Olympus" as one of their best works. You can't ignore this band's immense level of talent and musicianship, and this album is a perfect reference to some of their finest moments of all time. // 9

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