Monday, April 29, 2013

Symphony X - "Iconoclast"

Symphony X - Iconoclast
2011, Nuclear Blast

Disc One:
1. Iconoclast
2. The End of Innocence
3. Dehumanized
4. Bastards of the Machine
5. Heretic
6. Children of a Faceless God
7. When All Is Lost

Disc Two:
1. Electric Messiah
2. Prometheus (I Am Alive)
3. Light Up the Night
4. Lords of Chaos
5. Reign in Madness

Symphony X's Iconoclast is proof that, as I've said before, sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. See I was at Best Buy getting some CDs while on vacation when I saw this. I thought to myself, "Oh, I listened to Paradise Lost and didn't like it that much." But the twelve-year old in the back of my brain went, "BUT LOOK AT THAT COVER ART IT'S FREAKING AWESOME WE MUST GET IT!" Since I was on vacation I decided to take a chance and what would you know - it is freaking awesome. Freaking. Awesome. Metal. The kind of metal I haven't heard in quite a while. The kind that makes you throw your fist in the air and yell "EFFING METAL MAN! RRRRAAAAOOOOORRRRRRR!!!. *ahem* Sorry. Anyway, I bought the one disc edition and liked it so much that I immediately purchased the special edition when I heard it was the band's preferred version (the standard edition left off three tracks).

The music itself is a mash of progressive metal, power metal, and maybe some thrash. Russell Allen's vocals are gruff and growly but he's equally adept at melody as is the case with the single "slow" tune ("When All Is Lost"). The riffs are fast and furious with a nice crunch distortion tone. The mastering is just about perfect - no loudness wars bull-crap here. Each song has a great hook and it's just progressive enough to make the songs really interesting without resorting to technical wankery. Though honestly, I've grown to like technical wankery, but that's neither here nor there. My only complaint is that the booklet is an enormous fold out poster. It's hard to follow along with the lyrics when I have to spread out the welcome-mat-sized liner notes. I much prefer booklets - small, compact, and easy to manage.

Useless Fact: The album's concept deals with machines taking over the earth. Supposedly it was an exploration of how electronics and what not have become so pervasive in our society.

No comments:

Post a Comment