SYMPHONY X - "LIVE ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER" (INSIDE OUT)
I don't think Symphony X have released any bad albums, ever. I discovered them with "Twilight in Olympus" (it was playing in a record store when I walked in, I was intrigued) and last year they released "V", which was every bit as impressive if arguably less accessible. I saw them play last summer and was blown away by their showmanship and excellent choice of material.
Their live double album, "Live on the Edge of Forever", reflects very much the way that show was. It's an ideal souvenir, worthily produced, impeccably played, and generally a must-have.
The album doesn't actually have any lesser tracks. Even the more laid back cuts capture you and take you on a sonic journey to Prog-ville. Symphony X is definitely the contender to the prog metal throne, featuring excellent musicians and a superb vocalist/frontman in the shape of the sympathetic Russell Allen. "The Death of Balance/Candlelight Fantasia" is every bit as gob-smacking on the CD as it was live, with the odd time signatures and all. "Church of the Machine" contains some genuine spine-chilling moments where they audience goes "hey, hey, hey" where the studio version did. "The Divine Wings of Tragedy", almost 20 minutes that kick off with Gustav Holst's "Mars, bringer of War", also manages to leave only a good impression of the band, the show, the album.
The year 2001 has been a particularly fine one when it comes to live albums. This is definitely one you should have!
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Written December 2001
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