Released in late 2001, Live on the Edge of Forever chronicles Symphony X's tours of Europe in October 2000 and June 2001. Both featured what has become their most stable lineup: singer Russel Allen, keyboardist Michael Pinnella, drummer Jason Rullo, bassist Michael LePond, and guitarist and leader Michael Romeo. Disc one of this two-CD set contains a run-through of the first two-thirds of the group's then-current studio effort, V: The New Mythology Suite. From the excerpt of Verdi's "Dies Irae" that constitutes the "Prelude" up to "The Death of Balance," the prog metallers storm through some of their most melodic material. Romeo stretches a few solos, but otherwise the music remains pretty close to the album. "The Eyes of Medusa" from the classic The Divine Wings of Tragedy brings the disc to a close, after 47 minutes. Disc two begins with a half-hour of material from Twilight in Olympus ("Smoke and Mirrors," "Church of the Machine," and "Through the Looking Glass"). The last 30 minutes comes once again from The Divine Wings of Tragedy, including the 20-minute title track. All the music has evolved very little from the studio versions. The group is in top shape, shredding the complex time signatures, tempos, and changes in atmospheres, with Allen delivering a flawless, if not somewhat cliché-heavy metal vocal performance. But apart from hearing the guys pull it off live, this album adds nothing to what was already available.
AllMusic Review by François Couture
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2