During a brand new interview with DJ JC Green of Metal Messiah Radio's "Heavy Metal Thunder" show, vocalist Russell Allen of New Jersey's progressive metal masters SYMPHONY X revealed that the band has set "Iconoclast" as the title of its eighth album, due later this year via Nuclear Blast Records.
When asked what stage of the recording/mixing process the new CD is in, Allen replied, "We are in post-production, so the album is pretty much almost done. At this point, mixes are being wrapped up and finalized and it's off to mastering and should be ready for release in a few months — definitely first quarter of 2011. We've got the artworks all done, we're taking pictures next week... all that good stuff. So everything's on track for release pretty soon."
Regarding the sound of "Iconoclast" and how it compares to that of 2007's "Paradise Lost", Russell said, "Sonically, it's in the realm of that one in a way, in terms of the sound of things; the guitar sound is a little different. Basically, the album is pretty intense — probably the most intense record we've ever done; it's chock-full of riffs — tons of great riffs. It's heavy, the music, but the singing is very melodic in terms of its... the choruses are real strong, the verses are real strong, but I'm singing aggressively — a lot of that going on — 'cause the topic is, again, very dark; you know, that's what we do. So the album's very powerful. And, of course, we do have one song that's like a little mini-epic, so to speak, and it's the lightest — a light, light, light song. So there is a contrast on the record of that one song that has that sort of 'Paradise Lost' feel to it; it's a ballad, I guess, if you wanna call it that."
He continued, "This album will contain a good body of work that harkens back to a lot of early metal — some early metal — and a lot of SYMPHONY X standards that you guys know already, and a little bit of a newer sound, too, here and there — just a newer direction. Some of the singing parts, I tried some more rhythmic things that I was hearing that sounded pretty cool, and some different things that I'm doing with my voice now that are a little more looking to the future of what we hear the music going. It's just the next progression for us, where we are as writers and stuff, but it's pretty intense — it's way more intense than 'Paradise Lost', if you can believe that."
When asked about the "Iconoclast" lyrical concept, Russell said, "It is basically just the idea of machines taking over everything and all this technology we put our society into pretty much being our demise. It's a story we were all familiar with, but we put our own spin on it. It's not a linear story in terms of... This is just the theme of the record, so all the songs are in that theme, but they're not connected in any sort of story way — there's no characters of any of that stuff — it's just a theme. Like [PINK FLOYD's] 'The Dark Side Of The Moon', it's really just a theme of the dark side of the moon — one song deals with death, the other one deals with time... You know what I mean?! So it's the same kind of thing. I'm not comparing the two albums by any means — don't misunderstand me — but in terms of the idea of a concept, so to speak, the concept is there, but it's not a story record — not like [2002's] 'The Odyssey', where the song 'The Odyssey' is that story."
The entire interview will air on "Heavy Metal Thunder" in the next couple of weeks.
SYMPHONY X will embark on a North American headlining tour in April/May. Support on the trek will come from Seattle's NEVERMORE, Sweden's SOILWORK, Boston's POWERGLOVE and Montreal's BLACKGUARD. The trek will launch on April 21 in Philadelphia and wrap on May 22 in West Springfield, Virginia.
SYMPHONY X's last album, 2007's "Paradise Lost", has sold over 60,000 copies in North America.
Formed in 1994 in New Jersey, SYMPHONY X has seven studio albums and one live album to its credit.