Symphony X - Iconoclast review



Reviewer:
9.0

746 users:
8.44
Band: Symphony X
Album: Iconoclast
Release date: June 2011


Disc I [jewel-case edition]
01. Iconoclast
02. The End Of Innocence
03. Dehumanized
04. Bastards Of The Machine
05. Heretic
06. Children Of A Faceless God
07. Electric Messiah
08. Prometheus (I Am Alive)
09. When All Is Lost

Disc I [special edition Digipak]
01. Iconoclast
02. The End Of Innocence
03. Dehumanized
04. Bastards Of The Machine
05. Heretic
06. Children Of A Faceless God
07. When All Is Lost

Disc II
01. Electric Messiah
02. Prometheus (I Am Alive)
03. Light Up The Night
04. The Lords Of Chaos
05. Reign In Madness


After a run of hugely successful albums, Symphony X have the expectations of the world on them for the release of album number eight, a concept album on man's growing reliance on technology; Iconoclast. A trademark crushing Michael Romeo riff opens up the album bravely with the eleven-minute long title track.

Iconoclast is a culmination of elements from the band's history with a harder edge than before. Everything that made the last Symphony X albums so enjoyable can be found on here somewhere; the progressive dynamics, Romeo's masterful guitar riffs, or the voice of one of our generation's greatest metal singers. Russell Allen's singing is once again one of the most enjoyable aspects of Symphony X, although at various points he does emulate Ronnie Dio's mannerisms a little too closely.

Each song on the album brings a different element to the final piece, but the real magic happens mostly in the second half of the album. The hard-hitting "Heretic" brings the album to life, but the closing trio of "Electric Messiah", the infectious "Prometheus (I Am Alive)" and nine-minute epic "When All Is Lost" make for the most majestic closing a Symphony X album has ever had in absolutely stunning form.

Although the band made a conscious effort to make Iconoclast an accessible album, it is a progressive metal album of the highest quality at the end of the day - and they don't come readily accessible. Once again Symphony X show us how classy and professional they are; it won't be long before they are recognised as one of progressive metal's all-time finest. Unless that time has come right now with the release of Iconoclast.

--

Progressive metal
U.S.A.
Length: 1:02:54
Nuclear Blast


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


 



Written on 12.06.2011 by Member of Staff since 2006.

Guest review by
AndMetalForAll
Rating:
8.4
Symphony X returns after four years of absence. Iconoclast before the release was regarded as one of the most expected albums of the year. The confirmation of the new direction of the band, in my opinion, was one of my true concerns.

The album is divided in two CDs, the first one a more powerful, progressive, and strong style. For me the band is way better and feels more comfortable in this style. Every performance is really great, combining amazing vocal abilities, strong riffs and fast drum parts. The first CD starts with one of the best songs of the album, the homonymous "Iconoclast" with a great Russell Allen showing that he is one of the best metal singers nowadays. The opening song sets the tone for what comes next, probably the most enraged set of straight songs Symphony X had the talent to compose.

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published 24.11.2011 | Comments (13)


Comments page 4 / 4

Comments: 113   Visited by: 796 users
29.07.2011 - 13:00
prog61
I hate to say it, but with this album Symphony X confirm that they have lost their creativity: the symphonic passages in "Divine", "V" and "Odyssey" are completely gone, making way only to purely "power metal" songs, having not too complex structure. The beautiful interweaving with piano, keyboards and guitars of the past are now a distant memory and the keyboardist Pinnella now plays a secondary role in the band. The songs all have the same structure: powerful riffs, screamed vocals and simple melodies: especially in "The end of innocence", "Children of a faceless God", "Electric Messiah", the refrains are really trivial. The best songs are "Iconoclast", for the epic tone, and "When All Is Lost", which have a structure reminiscent of the great songs of the past, but with very few ideas from the compositional point of view. For me, a disappointment. Goodbye, Symphony X.
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29.07.2011 - 19:44
RavenKing
Written by Daniell on 07.07.2011 at 15:22

Written by Bart Simpson on 07.07.2011 at 13:04

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 05.07.2011 at 23:05

Written by Bart Simpson on 05.07.2011 at 16:27

I love it when at least one staff member at MS finally comes to his or her senses and does an honest review.


Yeah, like 100% of the time on this site? >_>


Like rarely since the makeup wearing Eurotards have taken over this site.


My fine-tuned nose is starting to smell a familiar reek...


It screams "ponderer" in capital letters, indeed.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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30.07.2011 - 07:00
Introspekrieg
Totemic Lust
Written by prog61 on 29.07.2011 at 13:00

I hate to say it, but with this album Symphony X confirm that they have lost their creativity: the symphonic passages in "Divine", "V" and "Odyssey" are completely gone, making way only to purely "power metal" songs, having not too complex structure. The beautiful interweaving with piano, keyboards and guitars of the past are now a distant memory and the keyboardist Pinnella now plays a secondary role in the band. The songs all have the same structure: powerful riffs, screamed vocals and simple melodies: especially in "The end of innocence", "Children of a faceless God", "Electric Messiah", the refrains are really trivial. The best songs are "Iconoclast", for the epic tone, and "When All Is Lost", which have a structure reminiscent of the great songs of the past, but with very few ideas from the compositional point of view. For me, a disappointment. Goodbye, Symphony X.


Hey, I've seen this before somewhere...

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31.07.2011 - 22:38
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Very impressive stuff indeed. It's amazing how these guys continue to release albums which are consistently good.

"Heretic", "Children Of A Faceless God" and "Prometheus (I Am Alive)" are probably my favourite songs on this one.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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04.08.2011 - 15:20
Merchant of Doom
Written by evoola on 20.06.2011 at 01:57

This shit makes Enslaved look like gay Muppets at recess. American metal dominates once again.


Enslaved?
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04.08.2011 - 15:43
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.08.2011 at 15:20

Written by evoola on 20.06.2011 at 01:57

This shit makes Enslaved look like gay Muppets at recess. American metal dominates once again.


Enslaved?

evoola = ponderer

That should explain your confusion.
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04.08.2011 - 16:35
Merchant of Doom
Written by Guest on 04.08.2011 at 15:43

Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.08.2011 at 15:20

Written by evoola on 20.06.2011 at 01:57

This shit makes Enslaved look like gay Muppets at recess. American metal dominates once again.


Enslaved?

evoola = ponderer

That should explain your confusion.


nope, still clear as mud... but it doesn't really matter... BTW, I always found Symphony X an average band with a Bruce Dickinson wanna-be as a singer... but that's just my humble opinion...
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04.08.2011 - 22:57
Fat & Sassy!
Nomcat
Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.08.2011 at 16:35

BTW, I always found Symphony X an average band with a Bruce Dickinson wanna-be as a singer...


First time I've heard that comparison. I've always thought he comes off as a little bit too DIO-ish sometimes. Either way, I think he's an excellent singer, mostly because he typically sings like he means it. Has that special "oomph" in his voice.
----
"Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST..." ____Frank Zappa
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05.08.2011 - 00:05
BitterCOld
Gringo
Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.08.2011 at 16:35


nope, still clear as mud... but it doesn't really matter... BTW, I always found Symphony X an average band with a Bruce Dickinson wanna-be as a singer... but that's just my humble opinion...


ponderer was some American ex-pat living in South America that has unpleasant (and sometimes racist) things to say about anyone whose opinion differs with his. he got mad that a staffer who digs Enslaved's latest, dared call some mediocre album by some mediocre band he digs a 6 (average) in a review... so, without ever having listened to the new Enslaved (apparently), he wrote a 'review' rife with factual inaccuracies - not the subjective "how it makes me feel" shit, but band lyrical themes, corpse paint use (uh, they don't), etc... for whatever reason someone was drunk/stoned/asleep at the wheel and published the abomination (perhaps as a lesson for how not to write a review).

he got banned for his stupidity, racism, and repeatedly telling users and staffs how to best fornicate themselves.

he keeps showing up on 'new' accounts, but spouts the same bullshit rhetoric so he's instantly recognizable, and banned shortly thereafter.

so if you read incredibly ridiculous remarks that are so stupid just glancing at them kills brain cells and shaves points off your IQ (in comparison to normal levels of banter), there's a good chance it is simply ZombiePonderer resurfacing, unable to deal with the fact people have different opinions.


so back to the review remarks.
----
get the fuck off my lawn.
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05.08.2011 - 00:40
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Btw I agree with Merchanr Of Doom on this band. And tbh I have seen them live now four times and every timr they are merely average at best.

And tbh the vocalist who is a dickinson and at times dio wannabe is their weakst link by far.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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05.08.2011 - 09:46
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by BitterCOld on 05.08.2011 at 00:05

ponderer was some American ex-pat living in South America


Or, to be exact, he started claiming to be a native American living in Brazil. Which happened after I pointed out gaps in his English grammar. Before that moment his profile said "country: Brazil". I know, because I checked before talking to him.

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.08.2011 at 00:40

Btw I agree with Merchanr Of Doom on this band. And tbh I have seen them live now four times and every timr they are merely average at best.

And tbh the vocalist who is a dickinson and at times dio wannabe is their weakst link by far.


If I were to guess one person who will not like Symphony X, I'd pick you without hesitation Marcel
You have every right not to like them, and I respect that, but calling them "average"
Also, he doesn't sound like Dickinson at all. Dio references are perfectly justified though.
----
Now loving:
Naglfar - I Am Vengeance
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Depeche Mode - Going Backwards
Flotsam & Jetsam - Forbidden Territories
Immolation - When the Jackals Come
Suffocation - Your Last Breaths
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05.08.2011 - 11:59
Merchant of Doom
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.08.2011 at 00:40

Btw I agree with Merchanr Of Doom on this band. And tbh I have seen them live now four times and every timr they are merely average at best.

And tbh the vocalist who is a dickinson and at times dio wannabe is their weakst link by far.


thanks for that... I'm afraid I don't follow the site as intensively as I obviously should , but my time is mostly taken by a competing site, although much smaller and much more, erm, kvlt...
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05.08.2011 - 12:02
Merchant of Doom
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 04.08.2011 at 22:57

Written by Merchant of Doom on 04.08.2011 at 16:35

BTW, I always found Symphony X an average band with a Bruce Dickinson wanna-be as a singer...


First time I've heard that comparison. I've always thought he comes off as a little bit too DIO-ish sometimes. Either way, I think he's an excellent singer, mostly because he typically sings like he means it. Has that special "oomph" in his voice.


ok, maybe Dio-ish... but I still hear some Brucey wailing here and there...
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05.08.2011 - 12:08
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Merchant of Doom on 05.08.2011 at 11:59

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.08.2011 at 00:40

Btw I agree with Merchanr Of Doom on this band. And tbh I have seen them live now four times and every timr they are merely average at best.

And tbh the vocalist who is a dickinson and at times dio wannabe is their weakst link by far.


thanks for that... I'm afraid I don't follow the site as intensively as I obviously should , but my time is mostly taken by a competing site, although much smaller and much more, erm, kvlt...


Not really much going on in the forums there, unfortunately
although I visit it every two days or so.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
05.08.2011 - 12:18
Merchant of Doom
No, it's quite dead (well, it's a doomed world... ) at the moment, to put it bluntly, but there are still reviews and interviews to write and to edit and the running of the main website... I don't know, I don't think people are as much into doom as they used to these days...
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11.08.2011 - 14:04
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.08.2011 at 00:40

Btw I agree with Merchanr Of Doom on this band. And tbh I have seen them live now four times and every timr they are merely average at best.

And tbh the vocalist who is a dickinson and at times dio wannabe is their weakst link by far.


Have you seen the Star One dvd "Live On Earth"? I highly recommend it (I know you dislike Arjen, but still) and Russell is fantastic on that one. I cannot say that he sucks in live. As for this album, I actually agree with you that they have become (I don't agree that they have always been) mediocre, at least when compared to how they used to be. I am not impressed by the epic soundscape, because epic for the sake of epic is pretty dull and the songwriting sounds uninspired to me. Maybe repeat listens will change that, but right now I find myself disappointed with Iconoclast.
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11.08.2011 - 14:17
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Guest on 11.08.2011 at 14:04

(I know you dislike Arjen, but still) and Russell is fantastic on that one.


I don't dislike Arjen, I dislike the music he made (and is still making) after he left Vengeance
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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13.08.2011 - 12:45
Dersu Uzala
Salute to the savers of Progressive Metal.
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06.01.2012 - 13:08
Valentin B
Iconoclast
I agree with Marcel that Allen is the "least good" part of Symphony X. Still, imo he is way above average at the least.

@Baz I remember you rated Overkill's last album with 9.0 too and it ended up being in my top albums of 2010 (second only maybe to Accept's album), so I decided this is worthy to be checked out too, and it's become my favorite album of all last year. The first disc of the special edition is absolutely amazing, and not overly long by any stretch of the imagination.

I remember first time I listened to this album, I was waiting for that "trademark crushing Michael Romeo riff" in the beginning.. I got just some free jazz, then I was wondering if this album is actually gonna start soon and, oh wait, here it comes... holy goddamned shit.
----
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
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26.04.2012 - 13:26
Kuroboshi
For me Symphony X is like masturbating like crazy but failing to get an erection.
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27.08.2013 - 20:15
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
Written by Valentin B on 06.01.2012 at 13:08

I agree with Marcel that Allen is the "least good" part of Symphony X. Still, imo he is way above average at the least.

Are you kidding? He is unrivaled at what he does vocally. He has insane range and power...You sure you're listening to Symphony X?
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15.10.2013 - 04:54
IH8Hipsters
This album is phenomenal IMO. The song Electric Messiah is one of my favorites my any bands in any genre. Michael Romeo= greatest guitarist of all time in my book. Russell Allen delivers as usual. Damn this album rocks.
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03.04.2014 - 15:31
Wes
I agree that Allen is not so great here. Ever since he got "aggressive", he just lost his magic.
Listening to him on side projects like Star One he still has the sweet and melodic style from before, so he is definitely capable of it.

Oh well!
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