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.
Symphony X performing at Hellfest, 2013
|Origin||Middletown, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Labels||Nuclear Blast, Inside Out, Zero Corporation|
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."
Symphony X and The Damnation Game (1994−95)Edit
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 and Twilight In Olympus (1996−98)Edit
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.
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: The New Mythology Suite and The Odyssey (1999−2005)Edit
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 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.
Paradise Lost (2006–10)Edit
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.
Underworld and band hiatus (2015–present)Edit
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.
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.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2014)
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.
Recording studio: The DungeonEdit
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.
- Michael Romeo − guitars, backing vocals (1994–present)
- Michael Pinnella − keyboards, backing vocals (1994–present)
- Russell Allen − lead vocals (1995–present)
- Jason Rullo – drums (1994–1997, 1998–present)
- Michael Lepond − bass guitar, backing vocals (1999–present)
- Thomas Miller − bass guitar (1994−1998)
- Rod Tyler − vocals (1994)
- Thomas Walling − drums (1997−1998)
- Symphony X (1994)
- The Damnation Game (1995)
- The Divine Wings of Tragedy (1997)
- Twilight in Olympus (1998)
- V: The New Mythology Suite (2000)
- The Odyssey (2002)
- Paradise Lost (2007)
- Iconoclast (2011)
- Underworld (2015)
- "Interview with Michael Romeo of Symphony X". theheaviestmatteroftheuniverse.com. April 4, 2008.
- Edwards, Owen (March 4, 2008). "A Perfect Symphony Part One: 1970's to 2000". alloutguitar.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Symphony X". PROG METAL BLOG. blogspot.com. January 9, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Symphony X Band Info: Members: Michael Romeo". symphonyx.com. July 5, 2005. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Official Symphony X FAQ: Why did Rod and Jason, and Tom Walling leave the band? How did you find Russell?". symphonyx.com. September 2003. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- Beaumont, Christopher (August 23, 2006). "DVD Review: Gigantour 2005". Blogcritics Magazine. blogcritics.org. Archived from the original on April 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Gigantour: Various Artists". Amazon.com. September 5, 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- Ritchie, Jason (2007). "10 Questions with Symphony X". getreadytorock.com. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- Jax VH, Symphony X Internet representative (June 27, 2007). "Bonus dvd, tour dates, and sales figures, oh my!". Symphony X MySpace Blog. myspace.com. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Official Paradise Lost Press Release". symphonyx.com. March 26, 2007. Archived from the original on February 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Paradise Lost reaches 1 on Billboard Heatseekers Chart". billboard.com. July 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Paradise Lost Sales". symphonyx.com. July 13, 2007. Archived from the original on February 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Watch Symphony X's 'Serpent's Kiss' Video Online". metalunderground.com. July 28, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Video Premiere: Symphony X's 'Set the World on Fire'". Headbangers Blog. MTV Networks. January 11, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Symphony X Plans North East Shows In Support Of 5.1 Special Edition of "Paradise Lost"". metalunderground.com. November 6, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Symphony X Announces South American Tour Dates". metalunderground.com. August 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Symphony X: More Asian Tour Details Revealed". blabbermouth.net. November 18, 2008. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Symphony X: New Album Title, Lyrical Concept Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. 29 January 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-02-03. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
- "Nuclear Blast".
- "Iconoclast chart position". billboard.com. June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
- "Iconoclast cracks US Top 100 Sales". blabbermouth.net. June 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-30.[permanent dead link]
- "Jason Rullo". SymphonyX.com. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- "Update on Jason and the upcoming shows". SymphonyX.com. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- "New cd, Heavy Montreal, and more." symphonyx.com.
- "Symphony X To Begin Recording New Album This Week". Blabbermouth.net. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "A holiday gift – news on the new cd". symphonyx.com.
- "The new album, titled "Underworld", will be out in July!". Symphony X Official Website. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
- SYMPHONY X - Nevermore (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO). YouTube. 22 May 2015.
- "Symphony X Releases 'Without You' Digital Single; Lyric Video Available - Blabbermouth.net". BLABBERMOUTH.NET.
- "RUSSELL ALLEN: 'There's No Future Plans For SYMPHONY X At This Time'". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
- http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/symphony-x-to-begin-work-on-follow-up-to-underworld/ January 16, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018
- Miller, Austin L. "Truck slams into Adrenaline Mob's RV on I-75". Retrieved 2018-02-14.
- "Enter By the Twelfth Gate: Michael Pinella". Amazon.com. December 22, 2004. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Ascension: Michael Pinella". Amazon.com. December 16, 2014. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
- Turner, Joshua (June 3, 2005). "A Little Bit O' (Atomic) Soul - An Interview With Russell Allen". progressiveworld.net. Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- Sandvall, Anders (November 11, 2005). "Russell Allen of Allen/Lande". metal-rules.com. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- Rockitt, Rob (June 21, 2007). "Allen/Lande - The Revenge (Release Year - 2007)". hardrockhideout.com. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- Druhm, Steel (October 8, 2014). "Allen/Lande - The Great Divide Review". angrymetalguy.com. Retrieved 2014-11-15.
- Sciarretto, Amy (17 June 2011). "Mike Portnoy's Adrenaline Mob to Make Live Debut in New York City". Noisecreep. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Mike Portnoy Says Adrenaline Mob Was 'Not Growing Fast Enough' - Blabbermouth.net". BLABBERMOUTH.NET.
- "Adrenaline Mob To Release 'Dearly Departed' Album In February - Blabbermouth.net". BLABBERMOUTH.NET.
- "Symphony X Bassist MIKE LEPOND To Release 'Silent Assassins' Solo Album In September". Blabbermouth.net. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Begrand, Adrien (September 16, 2005). "Fates Warning: Awaken the Guardian (Expanded Edition) – PopMatters Music Review". PopMatters. PopMatters Media, Inc. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Symphony X History". Symphony X Official Website.
- "Official Symphony X FAQ: Who influenced each of the band members?". symphonyx.com. September 2003. Archived from the original on 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- Hill, Gary. "Symphony X | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Ewing, Jerry (January 12, 2019). "Symphony X announce European tour dates". Prog Magazine. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Maxwell, Jackson (October 4, 2018). "Symphony X Mastermind Michael Romeo Talks New Solo Album, 'War of the Worlds, Pt. 1'". Guitar World. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Irwin, William (2012). Black Sabbath and Philosophy: Mastering Reality. John Wiley & Sons. p. 80. ISBN 9781118397596.
- Mercer, Lauryn (April 12, 2018). "#TBT: Get Classical with the Brilliantly Executed Paradise Lost by SYMPHONY X". Metal Injection. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Sciarretto, Amy (November 17, 2003). CMJ New Music Report. CMJ Network, Inc. p. 27.
- Cateforis, Theo (2019). The Rock History Reader. Routledge. p. 546. ISBN 9781315394800.