Symphony X

Power of Metal, Markthalle, Hamburg - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Symphony X had their work cut out for them, going on after Psychotic Waltz. So far Thaurorod and Mercenary had both played impressive shows, and Psychotic Waltz had knocked the room over, so could a band which I have never heard of except for their name really fill these shoes?

To begin with, I felt that the members of Symphony X were a bunch of experienced and before all good performers. Especially bassist Michael Anthony LePond III and vocalist Russell Allen had a great connection with the crowd throughout the night, at least when LePond didn’t take a step back on the stage and move into his own little world of bass-line grooving.
Allen also tried to breach the gap further by reaching out to shake hands with the audience; something he shouldn’t have done as he momentarily lost his balance and nearly fell into the photopit. He saved it in the last second though, but for the remainder of the show he kept a more respectful distance to the edge of the stage…

The audience loved them though, and the pressure was just as high as it had been during the last band, and a lot of shouts and arms were raised in honour of the American band. The last song before the encore, Set The World On Fire, even saw a loud old sing-along form within the ranks of fans, something that definitely pleased the band to hear.
As a special treat for the Power of Metal audience, and a as a thanks for the support and appreciation, Symphony X had a couple of unreleased tracks from their upcoming album Iconoclast ready for us this night, End Of Innocence and Dehumanized. Both were positively received, but as I’m not a great knower of this particular band, I can’t really say how close to or far away the new songs lay from what they’ve done in the past. They seemed to fit well into the rest of the set, so I my guess is that fans won’t be disappointed.
Not only the immediate fans were given respect, but the band also sent their thoughts and hearts out to the suffering people of Japan, what with all the recent tragedies they’ve encountered (and are still encountering at the time this is written). Quite fittingly, the song chosen for them was Paradise Lost.
Another special treat for the audience came in a real styled encore (i.e. not on the setlist), with the track Eve Of Seduction, also off of the Paradise Lost album.

As I mentioned earlier, I have no greater knowledge of this band, so even though my initial feeling of good performers still stand, there soon appeared a small amount of boredom as well. For my untrained ear, it all seemed to be a bit too much about high velocity guitar wanking, the aforementioned Paradise Lost standing out as the one shining counter-pole where real feeling was felt.
Knowing the material might have given a different outcome, but as things were at this point, this was when the evening began to go down-hill for me, and Symphony X, however competent they may be, couldn’t stand up to the sky-high competition they had in the rest of the line-up.

Setlist:

Of Sins And Shadows
Domination
Serpent’s Kiss
End Of Innocence
Paradise Lost
Inferno (Unleash The Fire)
Smoke And Mirrors
Dehumanized
Set The World On Fire (The Lie Of Lies)
Encore:
Eve Of Seduction

Symphony X

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