Symphony X performing at Hellfest, 2013
|Origin||Middletown, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Labels||Nuclear Blast, Inside Out, Zero Corporation|
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.
They achieved some commercial success with the 2007 album Paradise Lost and the 2011 album Iconoclast , which reached number 76 on the Billboard 200. Romeo explained the band's name in a 2008 interview; "So, you know, the music we were coming up with had the keyboard thing and the guitar, and some classical elements, so the word ‘Symphony’ came up and, so the dramatic thing, you know? So then, somebody said ‘Symphony X’ and we were like, ‘yeah, that’s cool’ it is that kinda thing, and the ‘X’ is the unknown and all the other stuff we do."
In early 1994 Michael Romeo (formerly of the bands Phantom's Opera and Gemini) recorded a studio album titled The Dark Chapter , which featured himself and keyboard player Michael Pinnella.The tape attracted a fair share of attention, particularly in Japan. Romeo then recruited bassist Thomas Miller, drummer Jason Rullo, and vocalist Rod Tyler. Their self-titled debut album was recorded in the same year, and released to a positive reception in Japan by the now-defunct record company Zero Corporation. The band's second studio album, The Damnation Game , followed six months later. Singer Rod Tyler had left the band by then and was replaced by current singer Russell Allen.
The Divine Wings of Tragedy was the album that first gave Symphony X exposure in metal circles. It took a considerable time to record the album, with the recording sessions taking place in 1996, and the album was released late in the year, on November 13th. The positive feedback from the specialized press served to establish Symphony X in Europe; their success in Japan only continued to grow.[ citation needed ]
At the end of 1997 and for part of the next year, Jason Rullo, their drummer, had to stay away from the band in order to solve personal issues. He was temporarily replaced by Thomas Walling. Even with a temporary drummer, the band recorded Twilight in Olympus , released in early 1998. That year also saw the first live performances from the band, which by then had already gathered many fans from around the globe. Their first official show happened in 1998, in Japan. It was soon followed by a world tour. Bassist Thomas Miller left the band and was replaced by Michael Lepond in that year.
A compilation album, Prelude to the Millennium , was released by the end of 1998. As an extra, it featured a second version of the song "Masquerade" from the first album, with Russell Allen on vocals.
Jason Rullo returned to the drums for the band's fifth album, V: The New Mythology Suite , released in 2000. It was the band's first release on major progressive label InsideOut Music. The album was their first concept album, dealing with the myth of Atlantis. The album features classics such as "Communion and the Oracle", "Egypt" and the mini-suite "Rediscovery", and includes pieces of classical music.
The band went on a European and South American tour shortly after its release and recorded their first live album, Live on the Edge of Forever .
In 2002, the band released The Odyssey , an album prominently featuring a 24-minute-long musical interpretation of the Homeric epic, the Odyssey.
In 2005 Symphony X was featured on Gigantour, a summer festival headlined by Megadeth with Dream Theater, Nevermore and Anthrax. Two Symphony X songs from the tour, "Inferno" and "Of Sins and Shadows", are featured on the Gigantour DVD and CD-set, released in September 2006.
The band's album Paradise Lost , a concept album loosely inspired by John Milton's epic poem of the same name, was recorded in Romeo's studio throughout 2006, delayed numerous times and released finally worldwide on June 26, 2007. The band claimed this work had darker themes musically.The album included a special DVD of footage shot by the band throughout their history, available in FYE stores. The release coincided with a 14-month world tour, including a tour through all of Europe with Dream Theater in the fall of 2007. The band also revealed plans to perform in Japan and other Asian countries, as well as appear for the first time ever in Russia, India, and the Middle East.
Paradise Lost debuted at number 123 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the United States, selling 6,300 copies in its first week. The record also debuted at number 1 on the Top Heatseekers Chart.
Symphony X released their first music video for the song "Serpent's Kiss" on July 28, 2007.It was followed by a video for "Set the World on Fire," released on January 11, 2008. The band toured North and South America from October to November 2008, and toured Asia in February 2009.
On March 1, 2010, an update on the Symphony X official website announced, that the band had recorded most of their next album and that Romeo and Allen were working on lyrics; Romeo was getting ready to start doing tracking for the album.The album's name and lyrical concept were revealed on January 29, 2011 in an interview by DJ JC Green of Metal Messiah Radio's "Heavy Metal Thunder" show with Russell Allen: the follow-up to Paradise Lost will be titled Iconoclast and will have its lyrics centered around "machines taking over everything and all this technology we put our society into pretty much being our demise." On March 25, 2011, it was announced on the Nuclear Blast website and Blabbermouth.net, that the new Symphony X album, Iconoclast, would be released in Europe on June 17 and in North America on June 21, as a Standard Edition as well as a 2-CD Digipack. Iconoclast debuted at number 76 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the United States, selling more than 7,300 copies in its first week. The record also debuted at number 7 on the Top Hard Rock Chart, number 19 on the Top Rock Chart and number 13 on the Top Independent Chart. The album showcases the highest chart position and the most first-week sales in the band's history.
On February 25, 2011, Symphony X played the first show of their 2011 tour in Stuttgart, Germany, where they performed two songs from Iconoclast: "End of Innocence" and "Dehumanized". Some days later, in Antwerp, Belgium, they performed yet another new song, "Heretic". During their show in London, England, the band debuted another new song titled "Prometheus".
On February 27, 2013, it was announced that, during the previous week, drummer Jason Rullo was admitted to hospital for heart failure. Jason spent a week in hospital, and was released after some days. He then started a rehab program that took a minimum of 3–6 months under doctors’ care.John Macaluso joined them on tour for their South American and European dates, until Jason Rullo was able to fully recover.
The band is working on releasing a second fan club CD. Michael Romeo said it will be another collection of demo tunes and other rare material, and may also include a bit of content created just for the release, along the lines of MJR's Star Wars tune on the first fan club CD, Rarities and Demos, which has since sold out of its first pressing. SXW, the band's revamped fan club, has relaunched and is now active.
The band began recording the drum tracks for the new album on September 9, 2014, and planned to release the complete recording by the spring of 2015.Michael Lepond stated they had ten songs written and that the album would contain either nine or all ten of them. He also stated all lyrics and instrumental tracks were composed and ready to be brought together, and that the album would be less heavy than Iconoclast: "If I had to compare, I would say that it's a combination of The Odyssey and Paradise Lost — something in there. It has a lot of classic Symphony X elements in it, which I think a lot of our fans were missing for a few years. So I think our fans will really like this one. It really just focuses on solid songwriting."
As of December 11, 2014, recording of the drums, lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and bass were complete. With the keyboards, guitar solos, background vocals, and some miscellaneous odds and ends being done in the coming weeks.On April 10, 2015 the band announced the mixing and mastering of the new album was complete. On May 18, 2015, the band announced the title of the album would be titled Underworld , and a release date of July 24, 2015. The first single from the album, "Nevermore", premiered on May 22, 2015. The band released the second single, "Without You", on June 19, 2015, and was made available for digital download.
According to singer Russell Allen, the band entered a short hiatus during 2017 in which they did not perform, due in part to his commitment to Adrenaline Mob,although it was announced during a January 2018 interview with Metal Nation that the band had plans to get together in the following months and begin writing a follow up to Underworld. On July 14, 2017, Adrenaline Mob was involved in a serious vehicular accident, which resulted in severe injuries for Allen and the death of the band's bassist and their tour manager. In July 2018, according to Michael Romeo, the band hopes to re-group and make another album, but also said that he was giving Russell Allen some time and space after dealing with the aftermath of the accident, and also his touring commitments with Trans-Siberian Orchestra. In June 2019, Romeo was considering to make their tenth album after they're done touring in August 2019.
The band announced on December 16, 2019, that they would embarking on a 25th anniversary tour next year in North America with support from Primal Fear and Firewind. The tour was set to begin on May 14 and conclude on June 17, 2020.However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the band had postponed the tour to next year.
During bassist LePond's interview with Metal Nation when asked about plans for him and the band, he had confirmed that the band was ready to start writing the tenth studio album, a follow-up to their 2015 album, Underworld . He stated:
Well, what we decided is as soon as the virus thing kind of slows down a little bit, we're gonna get together and write a new record. We've told [our record label] Nuclear Blast that we're ready to start writing, so they know. So the wheels are gonna start, I would say, within about a month or so.
Keyboardist Michael Pinnella released a solo album, entitled Enter by the Twelfth Gate , on October 12, 2004.Another solo album, "Ascension," was released in 2014.
Vocalist Russell Allen's solo debut, entitled Atomic Soul , was released in the summer of 2005. With this album, Allen took a different musical direction from that seen in his work with Symphony X. It was considered by many—including Allen himself—to be a hard rock album.Also in 2005, he recorded an album called The Battle with former Masterplan vocalist Jørn Lande under the moniker "Allen/Lande". The two would later record follow-up albums entitled The Revenge , released May 11, 2007; The Showdown , released November 5, 2010; and The Great Divide , released October 21, 2014.
In early 2011 Russell Allen co-founded heavy metal supergroup, Adrenaline Mob with guitarist Mike Orlando and drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), who has since left the group.They have released three studio albums, Omertá (2012), Men of Honor (2014) and We The People (2017). Bassist Michael LePond released his first solo album, Mike LePond's Silent Assassins on September 26, 2014. It features guest performances from guitarist Mike Chlasciak (Halford, Testament), lead guitarist, drum producer and Symphony X bandmate Michael Romeo, and vocalist Alan Tecchio (Hades, Watchtower). LePond himself played bass and rhythm guitar.
Michael Romeo's second solo album, War of the Worlds, Pt. 1 , was released on July 27, 2018. The album features Rick Castellano on vocals, John DeServio on bass, and John Macaluso on drums.It was Romeo's first solo album since The Dark Chapter , which was released in 1994.
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Symphony X is often compared to other progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Shadow Gallery.Their music includes complex timings and odd meters while incorporating elements of heavy metal and progressive rock. It also contains strong neo-classical elements reminiscent of Yngwie Malmsteen, Cacophony, Randy Rhoads, and other bands. The band have been categorized as progressive metal, power metal, and neoclassical metal.
The Dungeon is the studio located at the home of Symphony X's guitarist and composer Michael Romeo. The albums The Divine Wings of Tragedy and V – The New Mythology Suite were partly recorded in The Dungeon, while The Odyssey , Paradise Lost , Iconoclast and Underworld were fully recorded there and produced by Romeo himself.
Labyrinth is an Italian power metal band formed in 1991 in Massa, Italy. The band underwent a change in style and themes after the departure of Olaf Thorsen in 2002.
Jason Rullo is an American drummer, who is one of the founding members of progressive metal band Symphony X.
Heaven Shall Burn are a German extreme metal band from Saalfeld, formed in 1996. The band consists of vocalist Marcus Bischoff, guitarists Maik Weichert and Alexander Dietz, bassist Eric Bischoff and drummer Christian Bass. They are currently signed to Century Media. They have released eight studio albums, as well as a number of other records. One of their album, Veto, entered the German Album Charts at #2 in 2013., with their latest, Of Truth and Sacrifice reaching number 1.
Symphony X is the first studio album by progressive metal band Symphony X, originally released in 1994 through Zero Corporation in Japan, and reissued in 1996 through Inside Out Music in Europe; a remastered edition was reissued on January 13, 2004 through Inside Out Music. The album's release came about as a result of band guitarist Michael Romeo's 1994 solo album, The Dark Chapter, achieving success in Japan. It is the only Symphony X album to feature singer Rod Tyler, who would be replaced by Russell Allen on all subsequent works.
The Damnation Game is the second studio album by progressive metal band Symphony X, released in 1995 through Zero Corporation (Japan) and Inside Out Music (Europe); a remastered edition was reissued on September 13, 2004 through Inside Out. The album is the band's first to feature current singer Russell Allen, who replaced Rod Tyler after the release of their 1994 self-titled debut album.
The Divine Wings of Tragedy is the third studio album by progressive metal band Symphony X, released in 1997 through Zero Corporation (Japan) and Inside Out Music (Europe); a remastered edition was reissued on September 13, 2004 through Inside Out, and again in September 17, 2012 as part of a double-LP vinyl release.
Twilight in Olympus is the fourth studio album by progressive metal band Symphony X, released in 1998 through Zero Corporation (Japan) and Inside Out Music (Europe); a remastered special edition was reissued on January 13, 2004 through Inside Out. The album features drums played by Thomas Walling, who filled in for regular drummer Jason Rullo after he temporarily left the band for personal reasons. It is also the last Symphony X album with longtime bassist Thomas Miller, who left the band during the album's tour.
V: The New Mythology Suite is the fifth studio album by progressive metal band Symphony X, released on October 10, 2000 through Inside Out Music. It is a concept album dealing with the story of Atlantis, ancient Egyptian mythology, and astrology. The album is the band's first to feature its current and longest lineup, following the arrival of bassist Michael Lepond and the return of drummer Jason Rullo.
Live on the Edge of Forever is the first live album by progressive metal band Symphony X, which was recorded on their European tour in 2000 and 2001. The album starts like their previous studio effort V – The New Mythology Suite, but whereas "The Death of Balance" normally segues into "Lacrymosa," it now segues into "Candlelight Fantasia" from The Divine Wings of Tragedy album. Many classics are eventually played, including the neoclassical "Smoke and Mirrors" and the epic "The Divine Wings of Tragedy." No tracks from the first two albums are performed, even though the album's title references a track from The Damnation Game.
The Odyssey is the sixth studio album by progressive metal band Symphony X, released on November 5, 2002 through Inside Out Music. The album is the band's first to be recorded entirely at guitarist Michael Romeo's home studio, The Dungeon. "Accolade II" is a sequel to "The Accolade" from The Divine Wings of Tragedy (1997). The title track is the album's grand finale: a 24-minute musical interpretation of Homer's Odyssey, an epic poem about the journey of ancient Greek hero Odysseus.
Prelude to the Millennium: Essentials of Symphony is a compilation album by progressive metal band Symphony X, released in 1999. It features selections from their first four studio albums, although no original versions from their debut album Symphony X are included. Instead, the album starts with a fully re-recorded version of "Masquerade" that features Russell Allen on vocals.
Michael James Romeo 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.
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.
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.
Anette Ingegerd Olsson, known by the stage name Anette Olzon, is a Swedish singer, best known as the former lead vocalist of Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish from 2007 to 2012. She is also the vocalist of Swedish classic rock band Alyson Avenue, and of the Finnish heavy metal band The Dark Element.
Iconoclast is the eighth studio album by the progressive metal band Symphony X, released in June 2011.
Adrenaline Mob is a Heavy Metal supergroup formed in early 2011 by singer Russell Allen, guitarist Mike Orlando and drummer Mike Portnoy. The band's current lineup consists of Allen, Orlando, and drummer Jordan Cannata.
Underworld is the ninth studio album by American progressive metal band Symphony X. It was released on July 24, 2015 through Nuclear Blast, and released in Japan on August 24. The album's first single, "Nevermore", premiered on May 22, 2015, followed by "Without You" on June 19. They were both officially released on July 22, 2015. The band's guitarist, founder and main songwriter, Michael Romeo, said he was against releasing separated tracks of the album, since it was written to be "a whole".
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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