Into Eternity, Epica, and Symphony X - April 11th/2008 at the Opera House


12 Abr 2008, 19:45

Fri 11 Apr – Symphony X, Epica, Into Eternity

I had seen Symphony X once before at the Opera House last July, and I was expecting them to still be amazing this time, but nothing too new. Well, I was really wrong. I'll come back to them in a few minutes though.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? Into Eternity came onstage and started playing almost immediately after getting there. I was ashamed with myself for not being able to recognize the first song they played, but I later found at that I had no need to be. It turns out that the song they opened with was entitled Diagnosis Terminal, a song from their soon to be released album "The Incurable Tragedy". This song was phenomenal, which is precisely why I was taken aback when I couldn't figure out what it was.

Into Eternity's set list was sort of small. That disappointed me a little bit, but I suppose it was necessary in order to leave more room for the bigger acts to play. They went on to perform Severe Emotional Distress, Unholy (Fields Of The Dead), Splintered Visions, Surrounded By Night, and Timeless Winter. They didn't just play these songs, they replicated them FLAWLESSLY. Every band member performed perfectly and had an incredible sound. My only complaint is that the bass drums were largely inaudible, especially during the chaotic high tempo rushes during parts of some songs, such as Severe Emotional Distress and Surrounded By Night.

However, seeing Stu Block perform in his ridiculously high falsetto range alone would have been worth my $35. Timeless Winter was by far the best supplier of his ear piercing shrieks. Whenever he hit the "closer" and "winter" in the beginning of the chorus, I (along with everyone else it seemed) applauded him tremendously for making us all just a little closer to being deaf. This man is simply one of the greatest vocalists on the planet, flawlessly going in between low pitched death growls, higher pitched black metal vocals, moving clean vocals, and his tremolo-ridden falsetto, which can be called nothing short of mind blowing.

Next up was the Dutch group, Epica. Epica's singer, Simone Simons, was sick with some kind of infection and unable to come on this tour with the rest of the band. Because of this, I was expecting the band's performance to be subpar. As soon as the replacement singer came out and began her singing for their first song, The Obsessive Devotion, I knew that I was completely wrong. This replacement sounded EXACTLY like Simone, so the crowd really didn't lose anything except Simone's eye candy value. (If heavier blonde girls are your thing though, I suppose you would have been satisfied with everything.)

I was very pleased with Epica's set list, they played all of my favorite songs by them except for Death of a Dream and Facade Of Reality. Their best performances had to be Cry for the Moon and their closing song (not to mention my all time favorite Epica track), Consign to Oblivion. The band played very well together and seemed to really be enjoying themselves, especially keyboardist Coen Janssen, who was windmilling at every chance he had, including the slower parts of songs such as Quietus (which was dedicated to all the people in the audience with long hair) and Chasing the Dragon. Chronologically, Epica's set list consisted of Indigo (Prologue), The Obsessive Devotion, Sensorium, Chasing the Dragon, Quietus, Cry for the Moon, and Consign to Oblivion. A very solid performance.

After Epica came the 45 minute wait for Symphony X, immediately followed by the introductory track Occulus ex Inferni and singer Russell Allen coming out on to stage wearing a trench coat and using said coat's mystical powers to execute a perfect vocal performance of Set The World On Fire (The Lie of Lies). The crowd packed together tightly and sang along with the chorus (and every other part) of the song.

This applied to not just the opening song, but almost every song that was performed by Symphony X that night. The set list consisted of (excuse me if this isn't in proper chronological order) Oculus ex Inferni, Set the World on Fire (The Lie of Lies), Domination, The Serpent's Kiss, Masquerade, Paradise Lost,, Smoke And Mirrors, Through The Looking Glass, Inferno (unleash The Fire), The Accolade, The Walls Of Babylon, Revelation (divus Pennae Ex Tragoedia), and the encore performances of Eve Of Seduction and Sea Of Lies.

Again, this was my second time seeing Symphony X live in the last year. I was expecting the performance to be somewhat the same due to them still being on tour for their latest album, Paradise Lost, but it seems that they have greatly changed their set list since their last tour. Their set seemed significantly longer this time around, even though they performed The Odyssey in its entirety as an encore on their last stop here in Toronto. They added a few more songs from Paradise Lost to their set this time around, such as Eve of Seduction and Revelation. Allen also performed incredibly well as usual, despite his claims that he had a cold and all of our weed was aggravating it. He also showed how supportive of his fans he is by taking an audience member on stage and hugging her, all to several cries of "hug her!" and "hugging is fucking metal!" He even encorporated a lot of elements of audience participation by letting all of us sing the chorus of Paradise Lost, eventually joining in himself to create the overlaying higher pitched yells in the latter portion of it and leaving us all to create a choral effect, much like in the actual track. The performance of other members of the band, such as guitarist Michael Romeo was great as well. My only complaint about Romeo's performance is that, as usual, his guitar isn't loud enough. The bass typically dominates when the group performs live, which means that Romeo's incredible soloing goes mostly unheard, pushed away behind all of the bass.

Regardless, I still greatly enjoyed the performance, and I think everybody else did too. I would definitely go to see Symphony X live for a third time, and the lineup of Into Eternity and Epica that accompanied them this time only made the show even better. This band is a must see act for any metal fan.


  • headbanger94

    Damn, I wish Allen hugged me >_>

    13 Abr 2008, 9:04
  • Akumuness

    [quote]Allen also performed incredibly well as usual, despite his claims that he had a cold and all of our weed was aggravating it. He also showed how supportive of his fans he is by taking an audience member on stage and hugging her, all to several cries of hug her! and hugging is fucking metal![/quote] That is SO MUCH win right there. He's quickly becoming one of my Favorite People Ever.

    14 Abr 2008, 21:01
  • Metalliaxe

    Ugh, there was a 45 minute wait for Symphony X? I don't think I'll be able to watch them then, I'll only be able to see Epica and Into Eternity. I'm going to the show in San Francisco tonight but I found out I only have time to stay for the first two hours or so. :(

    18 Abr 2008, 10:34
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