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X Opus: The Epiphany

It wouldn't be unfair to say that there's quite a bit of heat surrounding X Opus and their debut CD The Epiphany and it wouldn't be fair to suggest that much of the hype is somewhat justified. If you like Dream Theater, Queensryche, Symphony X or Pagan's Mind then you're really going to dig The Epiphany.

Led by James Williams who writes, produces and plays most things The Epiphany is a highly cohesive piece even though the band has two lead vocalists in Brian Dixon and David Crocker and I have no idea who sings what. Although undoubtedly a progressive metal band X Opus aren't above throwing in some catchy tunes like "On Top of the World" which is very like Pagan's Mind at their most commercial.

"Pharaohs of Lies" deals with a similar lyrical thread to early Pagan's Mind but vocally sounds like James LaBrie and has some shredding guitar and widdly keyboards all over it what's not to love? It would be easy to write ditto when concerning "I'll Find Heaven" but in truth, there's not a duff track on this record and if you like heavy progressive music with celestial lyrical themes you most certainly won't go wrong if you invest in this one.

Track Listing:
1) Terrified
2) On Top Of The World
3) Pharaohs Of Lies
4) I'll Find The Truth
5) In The Heavens
6) The Epiphany (Opus Benedictus Interlude)
7) I Will Fly
8) Forsaken (Requiem Of The Forsaken)
9) Angels Of War
10) Never Forgotten

Added: June 2nd 2011
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3320
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

X Opus: The Epiphany
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-06-02 18:55:19
My Score:

It's pretty safe to say that symphonic progressive metal act X Opus worship the ground that Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Yngwie Malmsteen walk on. Throughout their debut CD The Epiphany, you can hear these influences quite blatantly at times, which for some might be a complete turn-off, but make no mistake about it, this is one enjoyable slice of prog-metal filled with virtuoso guitar licks, boatloads of keyboards, soaring vocals, and catchy melodies.

For the most part, it's a winning formula. "Terrified" sticks in your head and refuses to let go, thanks to some memorable hooks, Mark Boals-meets-James LaBrie vocal stylings, and some ripping guitar work courtesy of main man James Williams. "On Top of the World" will easily get your fist pumping, and the proggy "Pharaohs of Lies" has plenty of Middle Eastern tinged elements to keep things more than intriguing.

Those Middle Eastern images return again on "I Will Fly", along with a heavy Symphony X feel-in fact, there's a section here that's an obvious rip off from the crushing section of Symphony X's epic song "The Odyssey", so much so that I almost thought that I was listening to that song. Hero worship is fine as far as I'm concerned, but this goes a little too far. Thankfully, the epic "Forsaken" allows the band to drop in some of their own ideas and flavors, including some eye popping guitar & keyboard solos.

Lead singers Brian Dixon & David Crocker have that LaBrie, Russell Allen, Boals, Dio, Tate thing going on, and their styles really fit the music well. Overall, this is a damn good CD, with powerful production values, strong songs, and top notch musicianship. My only advice to the band is they need to inject a little of their own personality in their music, as there's just a tad too much of their influences coming through.

» Reader Comments:

X Opus: The Epiphany
Posted by Mr X on 2011-10-16 01:20:57
My Score:

A word for in sight,Symphony X/Micheal Romeo uses progressions after progressions of Kansas and Yes. In I Will Fly section that refers to The Oddesy,it is not the same notes just similar section of song and is half the length from The Oddesy section.Also I never have bought or listend to Dream Theater as insperation , so I dont write anything like them.Yngwie Malmsteen took all of Uli Roth's solos and never mentioned him.If u take away all of his stolen but inspired scales theirs no Yngwie. Listen to Fire Wind album 1976 or so,or Electric Sun.He took all his scales and said he came up with it on his own.Its good to show your influences in music as John Pettitruci took Gary Moores riffs from Collosium II, also Al DiMeola,as Micheal Romeo did also and plays Yngwie/Uli Roth,Kansas,Yes, and Bach counterpoint. Nothing new can be created all great songs composers listen and play what they have learned from the original Masters.If u take away all guitar players right hand tapping technics,your left with thousands of guitar players who cant copy Eddie Van Halen. food for thought

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