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Romeo performing in Novara, 2007
|Birth name||Michael James Romeo|
|Born||March 6, 1968|
New York, United States
|Genres||Progressive metal, power metal, symphonic metal, neoclassical metal|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass, keyboards, clarinet, programming|
|Years active||1994 – present|
|Associated acts||Symphony X, Phantom's Opera, Ayreon, Redemption, Kotipelto, Steve Walsh|
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).
Romeo was ranked #91 out of 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time by Guitar World.
Michael Romeo's introduction to formal music training began with piano lessons when he was 10 years old.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.
Influenced by Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Rush, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer,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, Ritchie Blackmore, 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.
|Caparison Dellinger II – Michael Romeo Custom|
|Bridge||Schaller S-FRT (Floyd Rose type)|
|Pickup(s)||2 Humbuckers |
Neck: DiMarzio Tone Zone
Bridge: DiMarzio X2N
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.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.
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.
In terms of effects, Romeo pairs his various amplifiers with a TC Electronic G System and a Boss NS2 Noisegate.
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 US 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.In 2012, Romeo recorded some solos and guitar work for the debut album of progressive rock project Flaud Logic. 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.
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.
Ayreon is a musical project by Dutch songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist musician and record producer Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Ayreon's music is described as progressive rock, progressive metal and power metal sometimes combined with genres such as folk, electronica, experimental and classical music. The majority of Ayreon's albums are dubbed "rock operas" because the albums contain complex storylines featuring a host of characters, usually with each one being represented by a unique vocalist.
Anna Maria van Giersbergen, known artistically as Anneke van Giersbergen, is a Dutch singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist who became known worldwide as the lead singer and songwriter for the Dutch band The Gathering, between 1994 and 2007. She also has a solo career. The project was originally called Agua de Annique, but now goes by her own name.
Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator is the fifth album from Ayreon, a progressive metal/rock opera project by Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen, released in 2000.
Floor Jansen is a Dutch singer, songwriter, and vocal coach. She is currently the lead vocalist of Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish.
Arjen Anthony Lucassen is a Dutch singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist musician and record producer best known for his long-running progressive metal/rock opera project Ayreon. Lucassen started his career in 1980 as the guitarist and backing vocalist of Dutch band Bodine as Iron Anthony, before joining Vengeance in 1984. After eight years he left the band, wanting to go into a more progressive direction, and released two years later an unsuccessful solo album entitled Pools of Sorrow, Waves of Joy under the nickname Anthony.
Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer is a progressive rock album released in 2000 by Dutch multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Arjen Lucassen, and is the fourth album of his Ayreon project.
Jørn Lande, is a Norwegian hard rock and heavy metal singer and songwriter. He is known for his work with the bands Ark, Beyond Twilight, Millenium, Vagabond, The Snakes, and most notably with power metal band Masterplan. He is also the most recurrent guest singer of the international supergroup Avantasia, and has worked as lead and guest singer in several projects. Currently, he is focusing his activities on his solo project Jorn. In 2014, Jørn was hired by Riot Games to be the voice of the character Karthus, of the fictional heavy metal band Pentakill, on their debut album Smite and Ignite, recording vocals for the songs "Lightbringer" and "Thornmail". He was also hired to sing most of the songs for their 2017 album Grasp of the Undying.
Russell Allen is an American singer and lyricist best known as the vocalist of American progressive metal band Symphony X. He has also worked with supergroups Star One, Allen-Lande, Level 10, and as one of fourteen vocalists in the progressive symphonic metal band Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Since 2011, he has also served as the frontman of the heavy metal band Adrenaline Mob.
Michael Anthony LePond III is an American musician, best known as the bass guitarist of the progressive metal band Symphony X. He is also the bass guitarist of the New York-based metal, band Dead on Arrival. The group issued an album,Alive and Kickin, on the independent Polo label in 1996. He can be heard on all Symphony X releases since the 2000 album V: The New Mythology Suite. He was formerly a member of the New Jersey band Rattlebone, which opened for many national acts and released a six-song album in 1997.
Christopher Amott is a Swedish guitarist and vocalist, younger brother of Michael Amott and founding member of the Swedish metal bands Arch Enemy and Armageddon. He is currently the guitarist for Dark Tranquillity.
Edward R. Warby was born and raised in Rotterdam and is best known as the drummer for Gorefest and Ayreon.
Tom S. Englund is a Swedish musician best known for being the vocalist and guitarist of Evergrey, of which he is also a founding member, as well as the vocalist of Redemption. He is married to Carina Englund, who does backing vocals in most of Evergrey's albums.
Lori Von Linstruth is an American guitarist, lyricist and manager. She currently resides in the Netherlands where she lives with her partner and musical collaborator Arjen Anthony Lucassen. She is also his manager.
01011001 is the seventh studio album by Arjen Anthony Lucassen's long-running Ayreon project. "01011001" is the binary representation of the ASCII value of the letter Y.
Elected is the first EP by progressive metal project Ayreon, owned by Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen. It was released on 25 April 2008 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and on 28 April in the rest of Europe. It features the guest performance of German singer Tobias Sammet, from Avantasia and Edguy.
Timeline is the second compilation album by Dutch progressive metal project Ayreon. It was released in November 2008 in Europe. It was also released in North America in early 2009. The album features three CDs containing selected songs from all Ayreon albums, and a DVD featuring live performances, video clips and behind-the-scenes.
Lost in the New Real is the second solo studio album by Dutch songwriter, producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen, released on 23 April 2012. It is Lucassen's first solo album since 1993's Pools of Sorrow, Waves of Joy, released 18 years earlier under the name Anthony, before he reached fame with his progressive metal/rock opera project Ayreon. Lucassen wrote all the songs, sings lead vocals and performs most instruments himself, including all guitars, bass and keyboards.
The Source is the ninth studio album from Ayreon, a progressive metal/rock opera project by Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen, released on April 28, 2017. It is Lucassen's first album under his new label, Mascot Label Group.
War of the Worlds, Pt. 1 is the second solo album by Symphony X guitarist Michael Romeo, released on 27 July 2018. It is his first solo album in over two decades and his first release since 2015's Underworld with Symphony X.
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