CD/ALBUMSymphony X Iconoclast review

The working man’s prog band? The thinking man’s metal band? However you want to label them, Symphony X occupy a pretty interesting corner of heavy music, and their new album, Iconoclast, is as good a place to discover their charms as any.

Drummer Jason Rullo has his work cut out for him in SX. Tempos are inevitably at a brisk trot, the rhythmic landscape is constantly shifting, and the drums are front and center in the mix, so there’s no place for blurry articulation. At the Best Buy Theater in Times Square last weekend, Rullo proved that his command of this material is full; every tune seemed to feature both relentlessly morphing arrangements and big choruses, and Jason is as adept at slamming the straight sections home with half-opened hi-hats as he is at catching the endless time and section changes with accuracy and nimble full-kit moves. And Rullo’s delectably varied hand-foot combos keep you coming back for repeated listens. You’ll dig it all.

Adam Budofsky