Symphony X + Myrath + Melted Space @ The Robin 2, Bilston – Friday 12th February 2016


Review by Dean Pedley

The Robin played host to a feast of progressive metal as Symphony X launched their European tour in support of Underworld at the venue. French seven piece Melted Space are up first and boast no fewer than three vocalists  – one clean, one growl, one female. Their operatic metal with dark overtones and creeping tension is largely lost against the backdrop of an awful sound that rendered the lyrics inaudible – so much so it is impossible to discern if they are sung in English or their native French.

Tunisia may not be known for its metal scene but Myrath have made a strong impression across several critically acclaimed albums and this marks their first visit to the UK. Their self styled brand of oriental metal is high on melody with the Arabic influences complementing the more traditional prog metal elements. The result is a genuinely innovative band that has succeeded in bringing something fresh and exciting to the table. The whole thing translates seamlessly to the live setting and they deliver a thirty-minute set that goes over extremely well. Myrath are definitely a band that will be welcomed back to the Midlands as and when they get the opportunity to return.

Taking the stage to a huge reception Symphony X can do little wrong. Arguably the finest album of their career to date, Underworld is delivered in its entirety (aside for ‘Legend’ which is saved for the end of the set).  With his huge on-stage presence and voice to match Russell Allen would surely have made a great frontman for the reformed Rainbow had Ritchie Blackmore elected to look in the direction of New Jersey when configuring the new line-up. After blazing through ‘Nevermore’’ and the blistering title track the tempo drops for the exquisite power ballad ‘Without You’ that highlights both Allen’s more melodic side and the guitar wizardry of Michael Romeo. The dramatic ‘Hell and Back’ features Allen alternating between masks of light and shade and the concept reaches its conclusion with the epic ‘Swansong’. After this intensely focused first hour the band appear free to relax a little, digging back in their illustrious back catalogue for the likes of ‘Out Of The Ashes’, ‘Sea of Lies’ and a monstrous sounding ‘Set The World On Fire’. A band that is really at the top of their game this was a showcase of high quality musicianship, song-writing genius and immaculate presentation.

Set List:-

  1. Overture
  2. Nevermore
  3. Underworld
  4. Without You
  5. Kiss Of Fire
  6. Charon
  7. Hell And Back
  8. In My Darkest Hour
  9. Run With The Devil
  10. Swansong
  11. Out Of The Ashes
  12. The Death Of Balance / Lacrymosa
  13. Sea Of Lies
  1. Set The World On Fire
  2. Legend