Suspyre - A Great Divide

Year of Release: 2007
Label: Nightmare Records
Catalog Number: NMR-292
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:26:00

With such a haunting name and album cover, one might expect perpetual darkness where vampires have the ability to roam the world without the hindrance of the nagging sun. Instead its opera meets metal in the vein of Nightwish, and that's only track one. After that, April Sese's keyboards are similar to that of Dream Theater's Kevin Moore, whereas the stalwart voice of Clay Barton and cold-blooded electric axes of Gregg Rossetti, Rich Skibinsky and Andrew Distabile, are strictly Symphony X.

What's best about this mix is that it's melodic and driven. Right away, its victims are cut by many licks. There's bound to be a charming passage here or there to turn you onto them early on. Keeping with the varied buffet of platelets, eerie power ballads are made less scary by Rossetti's consoling saxophones. He trades off between alto and tenor when he's not shredding chords.

Beyond metal, you'll be treated to instrumental overtures: Some are blatantly heavy while others are more classical in nature. In a couple instances, it's even avant-garde. There is a lot to sink your teeth into; especially at times when hunger pangs are at their worst because Suspyre literally touches upon every aspect of progressive metal. So unless you're a parched Mogwai looking for watered-down bug juice or you'd rather choose to spend all your time devouring more sinewy cuts in the wee hours of the night, there should be a song or two for you to feed on here.

Picking unnecessarily at the scab, other comparisons include Kamelot, Magnitude 9, Poverty's No Crime, and Pagan's Mind. Hence, in instances where they're derivative, they're harboring the souls of bands that count. And if it were necessary to exhume the album's best songs, they would certainly be "The Singer" and "Alterations Of The Ivories" due to unconstrained time-signatures and unaided flight atypical to music machines and human beings.

With so many cookie-cutter monsters to choose from these days, A Great Divide is worthy of repeated listens whether it be something you take day-walking with headphones wrapped around your neck or along on a coffin ride in your pimped-out sarcophagus.

Forever The Voices (1:12) / The Singer (9:00) / The Spirit (3:19) / Galactic Backward Movements (9:50) / Manipulation In Time (8:44) / Resolution (2:39) / April In The Fall (5:20) / Subliminal Delusions (6:37) / Bending The Violet (2:31) / The Piano Plays At Last (6:02) / Alterations Of The Ivory (7:42) / Blood And Passion (7:30)

Greg Rossetti - guitars, orchestration, programming, tenor saxophone, alt saxophone, Chapman stick
Rich Skibinski - guitars, orchestration, programming, keyboards
Andrew Distabile - bass
Sam Paulicelli - drums, percussion, PVC pipe
Clay Barton - vocals

The Silvery Image (2005)
A Great Divide (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: February 2nd 2009
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website:
Hits: 1478
Language: english


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