The Dark Chapter

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The Dark Chapter
Michael Romeo - 1994 - The Dark Chapter.jpg
Studio album by Michael Romeo
Released April 1994 (1994-04)[1]
Recorded 1992–1994[2]
Genre Instrumental rock, progressive metal, neoclassical metal
Length 42:49
Label Zero Corporation
Producer Michael Romeo
Michael Romeo chronology
The Dark Chapter
War of the Worlds, Pt. 1
(2018)War of the Worlds, Pt. 12018

The Dark Chapter is the first studio album by Symphony X guitarist Michael Romeo, released in April 1994 through Zero Corporation (Japan) and reissued in 2000 through InsideOut Music (Europe).


Originally recorded in 1992 as a demo tape which Romeo had sent out to various guitar publications, the album that would eventually become The Dark Chapter garnered the attention of a Japanese record label named Zero Corporation, who expressed an interest in further material.[3] Romeo subsequently joined up with keyboardist Michael Pinnella to re-record the album for a CD release through Zero in 1994, after which both musicians went on to form Symphony X.[2] An entirely instrumental album, it bears many similarities to the progressive metal stylings showcased by Symphony X, and could be considered a direct precursor to their self-titled debut album which was released later in 1994.

Several of the track titles are references to works by Edgar Allan Poe, such as "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Premature Burial". Furthermore, the cover art portrays a raven, in reference to Poe's poem "The Raven", and a guitar, with its body resembling the shape of a pendulum, as per Poe's short story "The Pit and the Pendulum". Most of the other track titles bear cryptic meanings: "Sevil Alucard" reads "Dracula Lives" spelled backwards (a possible reference to Dracula Lives!, a short-lived magazine by Marvel Comics); "MJR #13" is an abbreviation of the initials of Romeo's full name, Michael James Romeo; "Noit Al Ever" reads "Revelation" spelled backwards.

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Michael Romeo, except where noted.

2."Cask of Amontillado"5:07
3."Psychotic Episode"4:02
4."Masque of the Red Death"7:01
5."Sevil Alucard"5:10
6."The Premature Burial"6:20
7."MJR #13"7:15
8."Concerto in B Minor" (Niccolò Paganini)2:38
9."Noit Al Ever"3:08
Total length:42:49



  1. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry (2009). "Symphony X". MusicMight. Archived from the original on 2012-05-28. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  2. ^ a b "Band Info". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  3. ^ Edwards, Owen (2008-03-04). "Michael Romeo Interview – A Perfect Symphony Part One: 1970's to 2000.". All Out Guitar. Retrieved 2014-05-22.