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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 June 2007
It's been a long four years since the last masterful offering from prog-metal masters Symphony X and I'm pleased to say that it's been well worth the wait! Paradise Lost is a mixture of old and new styles that should keep loyal devotees happy and hopefully will be a powerful introduction to new fans.

This new offering is bristling with power, emotion and enough techno-riffs to last a lifetime. And it's delivered by a band who individually not only have astonishingly become even more proficient but are playing in perfect unity and focus. Guitar virtuoso Michael Romeo delivers the goods, as always, as the master of the power riff and sublimely-technical solos, much of which is played in spine-tingling off-beat timing. Vocalist Russell Allen continues a trend set on The Odyssey and uses his "grunge" voice to magnificent effect on much of the dark, pounding songs on the album. The title track, however features a softer side to the band and follows along from earlier offerings such as The Accolade and The Accolade II, and gives Allen the chance to wax musical and deliver a fine vocal performance, confirming to me that he's the best in the business.

As previously mentioned the band has gone up a notch in terms of technical brilliance; drummer Jason Rullo delivers an outstanding high-octane performance that places him alongside the recognised masters (such as Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater.) Keyboardist Michael Pinnella shines throughout, especially in the racy counter-solos with Michael Romeo, and bassist Michael Lepond is on splendid form. Couple all this with a modern "in yer face" production and the usual dark, thought-provoking lyrics that are the trademark of an intelligent band and you have a truly magnificent album.

At this early stage my favourite songs are "Set the World on Fire" and "Domination" but I always find with Symphony X that the more I listen to their new albums the more I come to appreciate the subtlety and cleverness of the songs throughout.

Is it the album of the decade? It is for me. Play it on an amplifier with a volume control that goes up to number 12! More a case of paradise regained!
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VINE VOICEon 14 July 2007
The previous reviewer hit things spot on and I would just like to add my congratultions to a band that never fails to amaze. "Sir" Russell Allan is a god amongs vocalists and is the true successor to Ronnie James Dio.

For those unititiated imagine an adrenaline charged Rainbow or a metal Rhino at full pelt. Truly shock and Awe.

Buy this album.
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on 6 January 2008
Now this is how music should be!

I bought this album based on the reviews on this site. So my hopes were very high when I first listened to it. On first listen I immediately knew it was good, however, I thought that it was almost too techniquely perfect which might take away the rawness that I always enjoy in rock music. I am pleased to say that I needn't have worried.

I always like an original opener that sets the scene and Oculus Ex Inferni is an orchestral masterpiece, that would grace any epic fantasy movie. This melds perfectly with track 2,Set the World on Fire' which introduces some fantastic and heavy guitar riffing. From there on the album keeps on going. It is fantastic the way that the final track goes back into the start of the album and it certainly feels like you have been on a journey when the album finishes and brings you back full circle.

To me the album contains elements of a wide range of styles and is reminiscent of post Dio-era Rainbow and also 1970's Rush but with a far heavier and more moody edge due to the heavy guitaring. For me the awesome guitaring in Walls of Babylon is extremely Hemisphere-era Rush.

The vocals are simply awesome and give the songs an epic quality. They have to be good to be able to match the diversity and power of this music.

This album is about as fulfiling a listen as you can get.

Is it made by mere mortals? Spine-tingling stuff!
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on 9 August 2007
The other reviews tell you all you might want to know about the music. I'd like to point out that the DVD contains only fan-made videos of the band (taken with amateur cameras at gigs), some of which are really quite poor quality and are really only included for hardcore fans. The DVD was a bit disappointing because of this... I expect I won't watch it more that once as you can find stuff about as good (or better if you look for Gigantour) on YouTube.
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on 26 June 2007
Buying this import from Amazon.co.uk instead of the US Amazon is more prudent. This is being sold for almost twice the amount in the US Amazon.

As for the product itself, this album could prove to be the overall strongest album of Symphony X, and that's saying something considering this is the band that released 'The divine wings of tragedy' and 'V: The new mythology suite.'

My personal favourites are 'Seven' and 'Walls of Babylon.' What adds to the strength of the music is that the lyrics are also very meaningful, something which is not usually considered for bands of a similar genre as Symphony X.

The album deals with Milton's book in its various aspects, primarily the fall of Satan and the temptation of Eve. Not to say that the album relies solely on Milton, the lyrical ideas themselves are more modern.

The DVD is a great addition, with a great song selection. I wouldn't have thought to see 'Dressed to kill' live in an official release, for one thing.

Buy this album.
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There has been a substantial influence of metal based rock on progressive rock in recent years as evidenced by groups like Dream Theater and how Porcupine Tree have changed. The latter have embraced the darker metal elements of Opeth and Meshuggah, seamlessly mixing harder edged rock into their melodically rich songs. But I think this year has been a watershed for progressive metal, with Therion, Rush, Dream Theater, Threshold, Porcupine Tree all releasing significant albums which have all gained popular critical reaction. Add to that Symphony X's new album.

Some five years since their last album, "The Odyssey", this new offering sees them showcasing a darker, harder edged sound. Not as symphonic or classically influenced compared to earlier releases, this is an album by a band that mean business and are very emphatic about that! Some may be disappointed on first listen, but the complexity and subtle nuances of arrangement and song structure are still very much in evidence. It just takes a couple of listens for the power and character of each song to come to the fore. Though the guitars of Michael Romeo are very much to the forefront, keyboardist Michael Pinnella's contribution is of equal importance. Especially his piano and synth playing which are exquisite throughout.

Though the songs are all of a very high calibre, there are some exceptional moments on this album which clearly show how much care and attention this band give to the arrangements. One key example is the intro to "Domination". A wonderful bass solo opening by Michael Lepond before the band kick in. Another is Russell Allen's emotionally powerful vocal performance on "The Sacrifice".

Symphony X have been away for too long. This album should put them in the forefront of the current wave of impressive progressive metal bands. Welcome back indeed!
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on 28 June 2007
It's been a long four years since the last masterful offering from prog-metal masters Symphony X and I'm pleased to say that it's been well worth the wait! Paradise Lost is a mixture of old and new styles that should keep loyal devotees happy and hopefully will be a powerful introduction to new fans.

This new offering is bristling with power, emotion and enough techno-riffs to last a lifetime. And it's delivered by a band who individually not only have astonishingly become even more proficient but are playing in perfect unity and focus. Guitar virtuoso Michael Romeo delivers the goods, as always, as the master of the power riff and sublimely-technical solos, much of which is played in spine-tingling off-beat timing. Vocalist Russell Allen continues a trend set on The Odyssey and uses his "grunge" voice to magnificent effect on much of the dark, pounding songs on the album. The title track, however features a softer side to the band and follows along from earlier offerings such as The Accolade and The Accolade II, and gives Allen the chance to wax musical and deliver a fine vocal performance, confirming to me that he's the best in the business.

As previously mentioned the band has gone up a notch in terms of technical brilliance; drummer Jason Rullo delivers an outstanding high-octane performance that places him alongside the recognised masters (such as Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater.) Keyboardist Michael Pinnella shines throughout, especially in the racy counter-solos with Michael Romeo, and bassist Michael Lepond is on splendid form. Couple all this with a modern "in yer face" production and the usual dark, thought-provoking lyrics that are the trademark of an intelligent band and you have a truly magnificent album.

At this early stage my favourite songs are "Set the World on Fire" and "Domination" but I always find with Symphony X that the more I listen to their new albums the more I come to appreciate the subtlety and cleverness of the songs throughout.

Is it the album of the decade? It is for me. Play it on an amplifier with a volume control that goes up to number 12! More a case of paradise regained!
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on 4 January 2008
I got this CD for Christmas and its been in my player since! There is not one bad track here and the musicianship is outstanding. They really are a bunch of very talented guys who can not only play their instruments, but can pen a good tune!

I discovered Symphony X by accident when I heard a sound bite from the V CD - liked what I heard so snapped that one up. I was lucky enough to see them supporting Dream Theater (my fav band of all time!) at Wembley last year and they were excellent. Symphony X are fast becoming one of my top 10 bands too. All that remains now is for me to get all their other stuff! Good work Symphony X!
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on 5 October 2007
It might be hard for long-serving fans to believe, but Symphony X are still getting better and better. This stunning album shows that far from running out of ideas they continue to move forward.

By far their heaviest album so far, the ferocious edge is softened by the beautiful title track 'Paradise Lost' and 'The Sacrifice' where Russell Allen shows just how gifted he is as a singer.

Unlike some of their previous efforts, this album doesn't have any weak points. Every song is killer, and grows on you with every listen. I must have heard it dozens of times and am still hooked.

This is an absolutely brilliant album. Buy it and put it on!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 27 November 2007
Only reviewingt the CD as the DVD is a bit dodgy and only for the committed. I am not committed as this is the first album I've heard by Symphony X and it won't be my last. I have been a fan of Dream Theater for some time but for some reason have missed this band, but having read the positive reviews on here, I can only say what took me so long? Heavy, melodic and intricate all on one album, and often all at the same time - easily one of the albums of the year. Great singing and musicianship, looks like I'll be getting the other albums now.
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