Michael Romeo

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Michael Romeo
Romeo performing in Novara, 2007
Background information
Birth nameMichael James Romeo
Born (1968-03-06) March 6, 1968 (age 51)
New York, United States
Genres Progressive metal, power metal, symphonic metal, neoclassical metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, bass, keyboards, clarinet, programming
Years active1994 – present
Associated acts Symphony X, Phantom's Opera, Ayreon, Redemption, Kotipelto, Steve Walsh
Website www.michaelromeomusic.com

Michael James Romeo (born March 6, 1968) is an American guitarist and a founding member of the progressive metal group Symphony X. He is one of two members to appear on every Symphony X release (the other being Michael Pinnella).

Progressive metal is a fusion genre melding heavy metal and progressive rock that combines the loud "aggression" and amplified guitar-driven sound of the former with the more experimental, cerebral or "pseudo-classical" compositions of the latter.

Symphony X American progressive metal band

Symphony X is an American progressive metal band from Middletown, New Jersey. Founded in 1994, the band consists of guitarist Michael Romeo, keyboardist Michael Pinnella, drummer Jason Rullo, lead vocalist Russell Allen and bassist Michael Lepond.

Michael Pinnella American heavy metal keyboardist

Michael Pinnella is a keyboard player, most notably for the band Symphony X. He has released two solo albums, titled Enter By the Twelfth Gate (2004) and Ascension (2014), of mostly instrumental, classical-styled progressive metal. Michael is one of two Symphony X members to appear on all nine of the band's albums.


Romeo was ranked #91 out of 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time by Guitar World. [1]

<i>Guitar World</i> magazine

Guitar World is a monthly music magazine devoted to guitarists, published since July 1980. It contains original interviews, album and gear reviews, and guitar and bass tablature of approximately five songs each month. The magazine is published 13 times per year. Formerly owned by Harris Publications, Future US bought the magazine in 2003. In 2012, NewBay Media bought the Music division of Future US. The latter company also published a spin-off title, Guitar Legends, each issue of which typically combined past articles from Guitar World under a specific theme. The first Guitar Legends was on Eddie Van Halen. In 2018, Future acquired NewBay Media, returning Guitar World to Future US.

Early life

Michael Romeo's introduction to formal music training began with piano lessons when he was 10 years old. [2] He also played clarinet. However, it wasn't until after hearing his first Kiss album that he seriously considered switching to the guitar. He ended up purchasing a cheap acoustic guitar at a garage sale.

Clarinet type of woodwind instrument

The clarinet is a family of woodwind instruments. It has a single-reed mouthpiece, a straight, cylindrical tube with an almost cylindrical bore, and a flared bell. A person who plays a clarinet is called a clarinetist.

Kiss (band) American band

Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons the only remaining original members. The original and best-known lineup consisted of Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, and Criss.

Influenced by Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Rush, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, [2] he became serious about the guitar after listening to the albums Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman by Ozzy Osbourne. He was also heavily influenced by the neoclassical technique and style of Randy Rhoads, [2] Ritchie Blackmore, [3] Yngwie Malmsteen, and Uli Jon Roth and guitar virtuosos like Shawn Lane; along with well-known composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig Van Beethoven and Igor Stravinsky. Romeo's own influence has rubbed off on younger players, including Dragonforce's Herman Li, who listed Romeo among his Top 10 favorite guitarists in 2011. Romeo is a fan of Star Wars , and has recorded an arrangement of themes from John Williams' scores for the series under the title "Star Wars Suite". His favorite Star Wars character is Darth Vader. [4]

Led Zeppelin English rock band

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. Along with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the band's heavy, guitar-driven sound has led them to be cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal. Their style drew from a wide variety of influences, including blues, psychedelia, and folk music.

Rush (band) Canadian rock band

Rush was a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Neil Peart. Formed in 1968, the band went through several configurations until arriving at its longest and most popular line-up when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first tour of the United States.

AC/DC Australian hard rock band formed in Sydney in 1973

AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal. However, the band themselves describe their music as simply "rock and roll".


Caparison Dellinger II – Michael Romeo Custom
Manufacturer Caparison Guitars
Body typeSolid
Neck joint Bolt-on
Body Mahogany
Neck Hard Maple
Fretboard Maple
Bridge Schaller S-FRT (Floyd Rose type)
Pickup(s) 2 Humbuckers
Neck: DiMarzio Tone Zone
Bridge: DiMarzio X2N
Colors available

Since 2005, Romeo has taken advantage of a new custom model, Caparison Dellinger II – Michael Romeo Custom, which he used to record the Symphony X album Paradise Lost . Romeo was introduced to Caparison by Henrik Danhage of Evergrey [5] .Throughout his career, Romeo has also used ESP M-II Deluxe guitars with EMG Active pickups and Fender Stratocasters to perform and record other albums from the band.

Caparison Guitars Hand made guitar manufacturer

Caparison Guitars is a Japan-based manufacturer of high end, hand made, boutique electric guitars.

<i>Paradise Lost</i> (Symphony X album) 2007 studio album by Symphony X

Paradise Lost is the seventh studio album by progressive metal band Symphony X, released on June 26, 2007 through Inside Out Music. It is a concept album loosely inspired by John Milton's 1667 epic poem Paradise Lost. The album was the band's first to chart on the U.S. Billboard 200, reaching No. 123 and remaining on that chart for a week, as well as reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers and the top 100 in five other countries.

Henrik Danhage Swedish musician

Gösta Henrik Danhage is a heavy metal guitarist from Sweden. He played guitar for the progressive power metal band Evergrey from 2001 until May 2010 when he, along with Jonas Ekdahl and Jari Kainulainen left the band by mutual decision. Danhage and Ekdahl rejoined the band in 2014.

In terms of amplification in the studio, he uses an ENGL Fireball as well as a recently acquired Engl SE E670 that is used strictly for recording purposes. Live, Romeo makes use of both the Engl Fireball and Powerball models as well as various Line 6 (company) models. Recent photographs that have been made available at Symphony X Official Website show him also using other amplifiers from brands such as Marshall and Madison. He has also been known to use a Mesa Boogie Triaxis and Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier for recording.

Line 6 is a manufacturer of digital modeling guitars, amplifiers and related electronic equipment. Their product lines include electric and acoustic guitars, basses, guitar and bass amplifiers, effects processors, USB audio interfaces and guitar/bass wireless systems. The company was founded in 1996. Headquartered in Calabasas, California, the company imports its products primarily from China. Since December 2013, it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation.

Instrument amplifier

An instrument amplifier is an electronic device that converts the often barely audible or purely electronic signal of a musical instrument into a larger electronic signal to feed to a loudspeaker. An instrument amplifier is used with musical instruments such as an electric guitar, an electric bass, electric organ, synthesizers and drum machine to convert the signal from the pickup or other sound source into an electronic signal that has enough power, due to being routed through a power amplifier, capable of driving one or more loudspeaker that can be heard by the performers and audience.

Marshall Amplification Company

Marshall Amplification is an English company that designs and manufactures music amplifiers, speaker cabinets, brands personal headphones and earphones, and, having acquired Natal Drums, drums and bongos. It was founded by drum shop owner and drummer Jim Marshall, and is now based in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

In terms of effects, Romeo pairs his various amplifiers with a TC Electronic G System and a Boss NS2 Noisegate.

Side projects

In 1994, he released a solo album entitled The Dark Chapter .

In 1995, Long Island Records of Germany released the self-titled debut Phantom's Opera album featuring Michael on lead guitar, Colie Brice on vocals, Bob Nelson on drums, Eric Walz on bass, and founding member Jack Young on keyboard and piano. The album was reissued with bonus tracks by Song Haus Music in the USA in 1999.

As a guest musician for Ayreon, Romeo has played guitar solos on the song "Dawn of a Million Souls" (featuring lead vocals by Russell Allen), from Ayreon's 2000 album Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator , and on the song "E=MC²", from Ayreon's 2008 release, 01011001 . Romeo also did the guitar work for Vitalij Kuprij on his "Piano Overture' song in his album Forward and Beyond. Romeo also played a guest solo on the Eidolon album The Parallel Otherworld on the song Arcturus #9. Romeo also did some orchestration work on 3 songs of Steve Walsh's solo album Shadowman. [6] In 2012, Romeo recorded some solos and guitar work for the debut album of progressive rock project Flaud Logic. [7] He also made a guest appearance on the new Pat Gesualdo Iceland album.

In 2018, Romeo announced the release of a new full-length solo album called War of the Worlds, Pt. 1 , also featuring Rick Castellano (vocals), John "JD" DeServio (bass) and John Macaluso (drums) as the backing band. It was released on July 27 via Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group. [8]


Studio albums

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<i>Symphony X</i> (album) 1994 studio album by Symphony X

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  1. "Guitar World's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time". Blabbermouth.net . Roadrunner Records. January 23, 2004. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 Symphony X website "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link), Michael Romeo tells the story of his influences and musical career.
  3. Owen Edwards (April 3, 2008). "Michael Romeo Interview – A Perfect Symphony Part One: 1970's to 2000". alloutguitar.com.
  4. "DragonForce Shredder Herman Li Lists His Ten Favorite Guitarists". Roadrunner Records. July 12, 2011. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOLzQcQnV3A&t=1300s
  6. "Review: "Walsh, Steve: Shadowman" – Sea of Tranquility – The Web Destination for Progressive Music!". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  7. "News". Flaud Logic. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
  8. "SYMPHONY X Guitarist MICHAEL ROMEO To Release 'War Of The Worlds / Pt. 1' Solo Album In July". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2018-05-31.