- Purchase any product from the Music Store sold by Amazon.co.uk and receive £1 to use on any music download in our MP3 Store. UK customers only. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
|1. The Damnation Game|
|2. Dressed to Kill|
|3. The Edge Of Forever|
|4. Savage Curtain|
|6. The Haunting|
|8. A Winter's Dream - Prelude (Part 1)|
|9. A Winter's Dream - The Ascension (Part 2)|
|10. Enhanced Element (Screensaver & Band Interview Part 2)|
Though not as strong an album as later efforts, this is still an essential addition to the collection of any Symphony X fan, and will not disappoint. If you're new to the band, it's probably better to start with 1997's "Divine Wings of Tragedy," or 2000's "V: The New Mythology Suite," but if you enjoy those, pick this one up right away.
The Damnation Game, SyX's second album, brings god-like metal vocalist Russell Allen into the ranks. Although his ability never really shines through in this production, one can immediately see the promise in this man's pipes. Sounding like a younger, more vicious Ronnie James Dio, Allen fits SyX's aggressive music direction much better than the hopelessly bad Rod Tyler (from the debut).
In the song department, the band has their frantic songwriting more under control, with tighter arrangements and more intensity. The neoclassical element is still strongly evident, although the band is now exploring more interesting avenues. "The Edge of Forever" is a beautiful song with fast and slow passages, lamenting poetry, and inventive melodic progressions. It really sets the tone for the band's later brand of progressive/neoclassical metal found on Twilight In Olympus and V. Michael Romeo, one of the reigning champs of metal soloing, has his neoclassical leads coming fast and furious, with technique that might cause our good friend Yngwie to take notice. Romeo's partner in devastating soloing is the lightning-fast Michael Pinnella, whose blistering keyboard leads smoke through the song and arrest one's attention as much as any guitar solo. Songs feature trademark SyX features... majestic harmonies, symphonic textures, and killer leads, but the band has yet to explode. On the next several albums, they certainly erupt with all the ambition and quality hinted at here.
You've probably discovered SyX with either The Divine Wings of Tragedy or V. If that's the case, be sure to add The Damnation Game to your collection. It is flawed, but it's great moments give it the "must-have" status. And if you're new to Symphony X, start with one of the aforementioned albums.