SYMPHONY X - Paradise Lost

Symphony X - Paradise Lost

10 songs
61:04 minutes
***** ***


Although Symphony X have been around for more than ten years, I never really listened much to their music, so in my world view, they always had something of a shadow existence next to the much bigger and more popular Dream Theater. It took Symphony X five years to get their seventh release Paradise Lost on the market, and although they don’t reinvent progressive metal, they fare much better than their better known competition recently.

Paradise Lost is a song cycle about John Milton’s epic poem, and things must be really harsh in the lyrics as this album, although sporting trademarks of the progressive movement, emphasises strongly its metal component. It all starts with a monumental two minute intro, with orchestra and bombastic choirs, before Set The World On Fire is the first regular song. The pace of the album is generally very high, the guitars nicely technical with a slight penchant towards speed metal, they keyboards are very versatile and more than just a provider of atmospheres, but rather a full-fledged element of the band sound. Vocalist Russell Allen has a powerful voice that has a more demanding presence than his analogue from Dream Theater.

From the opener to the last track, the epic ten minute long Revelation, Paradise Lost is an excellent excursion into progressive heavy metal with an edge and sometimes quirky baroque moments when the musicians start their solos. The hits are missing, which prevents this CD from becoming the milestone it otherwise could have been, but in the presence of other contemporary prog metal records, Paradise Lost is one of the much better out there right now.

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