Symphony X

The Divine Wings of Tragedy

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Symphony X had already established a devoted following prior to the release of The Divine Wings of Tragedy, but it was this release that propelled them to the forefront of progressive metal bands. While often compared to Dream Theater and Yngwie Malmsteen there is enough creative writing and playing to distinguish them from other imitators. Guitarist Michael Romeo usually garnishes most of the praise for his pyrotechnic displays, but keyboardist Michael Pinnella and bassist Thomas Miller are equally competent on their respective instruments. There are many excellent moments here, but Russell Allen's vocals can be a bit grating, often sounding too much like Ronnie James Dio. The 20-minute-plus "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" is based upon Gustav Holst's "Mars: The Bringer of War," which is a piece that lends itself perfectly to this style of music. While this recording may not be quite the classic that it is often heralded to be, it is a noteworthy addition to the annals of progressive metal.

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