Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Symphony X History

Symphony X hail from New Jersey, USA and were founded there in April 1994. Guitarist Michael Romeo had already been receiving a lot of praise and attention for his self produced solo-tape "The Dark Chapter", which eventually led to the birth of Symphony X. Joining Michael at first was bass player Thomas Miller, who had played with Michael on numerous occasions in the past. Soon after that, vocalist Rod Tyler and drummer Jason Rullo were recruited and finally with the arrival of Michael Pinnella, the Symphony X line up was complete and ready to record their first album. Their first self titled offering was recorded in Autumn 1994 and was subsequently released in Japan in December of the same year. The album immediately made a big impression on fans of the progressive metal scene all over the world and achieved excellent reviews in Japan.

Only eight months after the release of their debut album, Symphony X recorded and released their second album "The Damnation Game". The beginning of 1995 saw the band part ways with vocalist Rod Tyler and Russell Allen was soon chosen as his replacement. With their majestic vocal harmonies and classical overtones, the band pushed the boundaries of Progressive Music and spearheaded a new direction in the genre. The reactions of both fans and press alike to the album was very enthusiastic and the band were beginning to generate a world-wide positive awareness.

Towards the end of 1996 Symphony X began work on their magnum opus "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy". While the previous album had still shown a lot of obvious influences, "Divine Wings..." really showed that the band had come into their own at last. The album also made a huge impression on the European press with tracks like 'The Accolade' and the 20 minute title track poised to become classics of their genre. In readers polls of all the major rock magazines Symphony X scored high with the album and the press showered the band with praise. 'Divine Wings...' was soon regarded as one of the best albums of its genre for 1997. The band had by now eclipsed many of the other acts on the scene achieving sales in excess of 100,000 in Japan alone!

Not content to sit back and rest on their laurels, the band set off to write and record a follow up that was completed in early 1998. Shortly before entering the studio, Jason Rullo left the band for personal reasons, and was replaced by Thomas Walling. Entitled 'Twilight In Olympus', the album soon proved to be yet another milestone in the band's ever evolving career. Sales were incredibly strong, along with the usual excellent reviews in the rock press and calls for a European tour. However, Thomas Walling and Thomas Miller were unable to tour with the band, and Jason Rullo decided to return to the band. Andy DeLuca was brought in to handle the bass work for the tour. Symphony X crossed the Atlantic for a three week jaunt across Europe with English band Mindfeed as the supporting act. The tour proved to be quite a success, with sold-out performances in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Italy and France, further strengthening the band's already growing fanbase. After the tour, it was mutually agreed by Thomas Miller and the band that his departure from the band would become permanent, and after many auditions, they found his replacement in Mike LePond. In the fall of 1999, dividing up their recording time between Michael Romeo's in-home studio, 'The Dungeon' and Trax-East in New Jersey, the band was back in the studio busily writing and recording what was sure to be another Symphony X masterpiece - V: The New Mythology Suite.


The Dark Chapter, Symphony X and The Damnation Game (1994−1995)

In early 1994 Michael Romeo (ex-Phantom's Opera, ex-Gemini) recorded a demo tape entitled The Dark Chapter, which featured himself and keyboard player Michael Pinnella. The tape attracted a fair share of attention, particularly in Japan. He then recruited bassist Thomas Miller, drummer Jason Rullo, vocalist Rod Tyler, and finally keyboard player Michael Pinnella.self-titled debut album was recorded in the same year, and released to a positive reception in Japan by the now-extinct record company Zero Corporation Label.
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 and Twilight in Olympus (1996−1998)

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 beginning in 1996 and concluding in 1997. The positive feedback from the specialized press served to establish Symphony X in Europe; their success in Japan only continued to grow. 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.

V: New Mythology Suite and The Odyssey (1999−2002)

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 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.

Solo albums (2003−2006)

Keyboardist Michael Pinnella released a solo album, entitled Enter By the Twelfth Gate, on October 12, 2004. 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 a follow-up album entitled The Revenge, released May 11, 2007. In 2005 Symphony X was featured on Gigantour, a summer festival headlined by Megadeth with Dream Theater 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.

Paradise Lost (2007-Present)

The band's album Paradise Lost, a concept album inspired by John Milton's epic poem of the same name, was recorded in Romeo's studio and released 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.[ 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 are touring Asia in February 2009. The band are also currently in the process of gathering material for a Live DVD.

Paradise Lost (5.1 Special Edition)

On Nov. 4, 2008 , Symphony X had released a special 5.1 Edition of their critically acclaimed release Paradise Lost. The double disc package gad included a DVD 5.1 mix by Jens Bogren of the entire album as well as two enhanced HD videos for Set the World on Fire and Serpent's Kiss. The album can be pre-ordered on amazon.com using the link below. Also newbury comics will have an exclusive signed booklet edition, that features an autographed booklet signed by the entire band. These are limited to 500 so pre-order now.


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