Four long years of wait are over as New Jersey progressive rockers Symphony X have released their new studio album Iconoclast. After a couple of run-throughs it feels like it was worth the wait, Iconoclast delivers the key ingredients of Symphony X’s music at its best: A great hook line that haunts you after two listens and strong guitar riffs that rock’n’roll all over the place.
Dehumanized, Heretic and especially Children of a Faceless God are prime examples for these classical treats although the music on Iconoclast feels more diverse as albums past, you can hear Metallica-like riffs as well as straight forward heavy rock. Electric Messiah has a glorious sing-along-chorus as well, over all the album sounds less dark than its predecessor Paradise Lost, but that may well be due to the theme also. The classic rhythmic cascades a la The Accolade from the 1997 Devine Wings of Tragedy album are not as ‘visible’ as I would have liked, but as far as riffing goes, Iconoclast lives up to the old records, meanwhile sounding fresh and 2011.
So far the only downside if I have to call it that is the 10 minute opening title track iconoclast which isn’t as rounded as most other tracks. Maybe it’ll just take another 2 listens to warm up, maybe not, we’ll see.