In order to listen to this new stuff from Messr. Romeo, you need to enter your listening experience with an open mind. There won’t always be what you expect lying around each musical corner, so to speak. What awaits you are gorgeous piano solos (quite a few of them), some seriously heavy riffing, skyward vocals, and the occasional lead guitar solo. You will also hear Indian raga, dub step and classical violin! Also, from what I’ve read thus far, Part 2 is already pretty well finished. Those of you who are into music but don’t mind a bit of eclecticism in your tunes should be elated!
If you are strictly a Symphony X fan, and that is all you want to hear from their guitarist, then you may be slightly disappointed. Call it provocative, call it daring – call it what you want, but this is damn good music. Technically, this is NOT Michael’s first solo work. Way back in 1994, he released The Dark Chapter in several countries. This War of the Worlds Part 1 is his first worldwide solo release. Let’s take a look at the tunes, shall we?
Introduction sets up the general ambience of the coming tunes. It may surprise you in the end. Fear the Unknown includes some seriously fleet-fingered guitar work and busy drums. The vocals are urgent and in your face. I believe the track Black is the centerpiece. It is about as heavy as 300 crazy warriors bent on kicking in your face and mind. Fucking Robots should get five cool points just for the title. Djinn features some sounds you may not normally hear… Believe features the skyward bound vocals of Mr. Castellano. Difference features some heavy double-bass drum work. War Machine features some gorgeous classical violin work. Oblivion and Constellations also feature some beautifully intricate soloing and in your grill pounding, pounding what’s left of your mind into ultimate submission.
Long story short, if you are a metal fan with an open mind, you just might dig this new recording from Symphony X‘s main shredder. If you aren’t, then you won’t!
2. Fear the Unknown
4. Fucking Robots
8. War Machine
Playing Time: 53 minutes
John "JD" DeServio - bass
John Macaluso - drums
Rick Castellano - vocals
Michael Romeo - guitars, keys