band of the month – Symphony X


Metal Militia returns with the band of the month for July, and featured this month are American Progressive Metal Band Symphony X. They are classified as progressive metal; however they include a lot of neo classical elements in their work.

CURRENT LINEUP:
Russell Allen – Vocalist
Michael Romeo – Guitarist
Michael Pinnella – Keyboards
Michael Lepond – Bass Guitar
Jason Rullo – Drums

MUSICAL STYLE AND INFLUENCE:
Symphony X’s music is comparable to Dream Theater, with strong neo-classical elements resembling the works of Randy Rhoads, Yngwie Malmsteen. The band plays in complex timings and odd meters, while the leads include tapped sweep picking and fused arpeggios (notes of a broken guitar chord) and scales (the set of notes from which the song is composed). Many songs have a mythological theme attached to them, have alternating guitar and keyboard solos (they out pace dragonforce, which is saying something), and fuse symphonic metal seamlessly with traditional heavy metal. The end result is a music which is fast paced, melodic but heavy in a progressive metal way, perfectly complemented by vocalist Russel Allen who accentuates the music’s classical influences.

TRIVIA:
Symphony X’s recording studio is called “The Dungeon”, which is located at the home of guitarist Michael Romeo, in New Jersey, which is incidentally also the place where the band was formed.
Their 2007 album, Paradise Lost, peaked at #123 on the Billboard top 200 in the US, selling 6300 copies in the first week.

RECOMMENDED SONGS:
Orion – The Hunter – Twilight in Olympus
Domination – Paradise Lost
The Serpent’s Kiss – Paradise Lost
Inferno – The Odyssey
Of Sins and Shadows – The Divine Wings of Tragedy

HISTORY
1994 – Band formed by guitarist Michael Romeo after the success of his solo album the Dark Chapter. He recruits drummer Jason Rullo, bassist Thomas Miller, vocalist Rod Tyler and keyboardist Michael Pinnella. They release their self titled album.

1995 – Six months after the release of Symphony X, the second studio album The Damnation Game is released. After the release, vocalist Rod Tyler leaves the band, and is replaced by Russell Allen, who becomes a major influence on the style of the band.

1997 – Their third studio album, The Divine Wings of Tragedy, earns them attention on the mainstream metal press, and establishes them firmly in Europe.

1998 – Jason Rullo takes a hiatus from the band owing to personal reasons, and is replaced by drummer Thomas Walling. Inspite of having a temporary drummer, Symphony X records Twilight in Olympus. The album takes relatively little time to record, as compared to their previous release, which took two years to complete. The band begins touring, with a worldwide fan following. At the end of the tour, bassist Thomas Miller leaves the band, and is replaced by Michael Lepond. The band also releases a compilation album at the end of the year, Prelude to the Millenium.

1999– Jason Rullo returns to the band, which proceeds to record V: The New Mythology Suite, which is an album based entirely on the myth of Atlantis, and includes a lot of classical music.

2000- 2002 – The band begins another European tour, during which they record their first live album; Live on the Edge of Forever. In 2002, they release The Odyssey, the title track of which is a musical interpretation of the Greek tale, The Odyssey.

2003- 2007 – The band goes on a break, with the members working on solo albums. They regroup in 2006 to commence work on their latest album, Paradise Lost. The album is inspired by John Milton’s epic poem by the same name. The bands first music videos come from this album.

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