Rating:
9.0
Symphony X - Iconoclast
17 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

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Symphony X
Album: Iconoclast


 



Written on 12.06.2011 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››

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.

Read more ››
published 24.11.2011 | Comments (13)



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Daniell - 05.08.2011 at 09:46  
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.
Merchant of Doom - 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...
Merchant of Doom - 05.08.2011 at 12:02  
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...
Marcel Hubregtse - 05.08.2011 at 12:08  
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.
Merchant of Doom - 05.08.2011 at 12:18  
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...
ErnilEnNaur - 11.08.2011 at 14:04  
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.
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.08.2011 at 14:17  
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
Dersu Uzala - 13.08.2011 at 12:45  
Salute to the savers of Progressive Metal.
Valentin B - 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.

@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.
Kuroboshi - 26.04.2012 at 13:26  
For me Symphony X is like masturbating like crazy but failing to get an erection.
LeKiwi - 27.08.2013 at 20:15  
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?
sbuswell - 15.10.2013 at 04:54  
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.
Wes - 03.04.2014 at 15:31  
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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