Symphony X

1. Iconoclast
2. The End of Innocence
3. Dehumanized
4. Bastards of the Machine
5. Heretic
6. Children of a Faceless God
7. Electric Messiah
8. Prometheus (I am Alive)
9. When All Is Lost

Russell Allen - lead vocals
Michael Romeo - guitar, backing vocals
Michael Pinnella - keyboards, backing vocals
Michael Lepond - bass guitar, backing vocals
Jason Rullo – drums

Symphony X (1994)
The Damnation Game (1995)
The Divine Wings of Tragedy (1997)
Twilight in Olympus (1998)
V: The New Mythology Suite (2000)
The Odyssey (2002)
Paradise Lost (2007)


Produced by Michael Romeo

Released 17/6-2011
Reviewed 11/6-2011

nuclear blast

Back in the day, back in the year 2000 Symphony X released an album that really amazed me in V: The New Mythology Suite. It was the first concept album by the band, it was also the album to feature an atmospheric sound that blew me away. It was also the album that turned the tides for the band, from a constant evolvement into something always better it changed into something more complex. They became one of those progressive bands playing to the “look at me, I’m the greatest”-style with virtuosity that has nothing to do with the songs and just add unnecessary time to the albums. Odyssey was okay but nothing spectacular but then came Paradise Lost which was actually quite bad to be honest. Considering the latest offerings by Symphony X I had more or less given up hope on them doing something I really enjoy again.

Iconoclast is the latest offering by the americans and it is once again a concept album. This time the story is about how the technology take over society as a consequence of our ever growing dependance of technology. It is an album that comes in two versions one in two discs which is laid out as the band wanted it to be but thanks to Nuclear Blast they also had to release a one disc version which has a slightly different order in the songs and of course a few less songs. The two disc is a whopping 83 minutes long but the one disc isn’t that short either with its 63 minutes playing time on nine tracks. It is the one disc we received for review and as you might already have deduced from reading, the songs on the album are quite long in minutes counted. It is the trademarked riffing of Michael Romeo, the voice of Russel Allen and a darker atmosphere than before, maybe the songs are a bit heavier as well and on top of that it is progressive with some symphonic undertones in the metal genre. As expected with Symphony X the production is clean and very well made so no complaints in that department.

Iconoclast opens with the title track that is almost eleven minutes long, it opens in a rather good way but then it goes on forever and never ends. I quite enjoy the track that is called Dehumanized which is a really good track with a great riff but it goes on for way too long. I think this is a problem that goes on through the entire album, it feels too long and the case of this album is a case of a great album being ruined by the band members need to show off their skills.

To be fair though it is a clear improvement upon it predecessor Paradise Lost and also a slight improvement on Odyssey but it is still far and away from what I know this band to be capable of. It is a bit annoying that they decided to ruin such a great album, there are some amazing stuff on the album, the atmosphere is good and dark as well but things take too much time, the songs go on forever and ever and ever. So please Symphony X, there is a really good expression that I think every band should pay attention to and that is “less is more” remember that ‘til next time please.

So they sing of how machines take over and they do it by thinking that more is better which is true if it is cylinders in a car or horsepowers in a car or inches on your movie screen but when it comes to music it is often the other way around, so I say it again, less is more! I think as stated already that Iconoclast is a good album that could have been great but as Symphony X has completely lost the respect for their listeners and also all common sense which ruins an album that could have been completely amazing.

Iconoclast is a potential great album that is ruined by delusions of grandeur but with that said I think Symphony X is on the right path to regaining their lost greatness. Still, LESS IS MORE!


Label - Nuclear Blast
Three similar bands - Ayreon/Star One/Dream Theater
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm