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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A very nice release from a band that really works hard at being if not groundbreaking then at least a destroyer of musical boundaries.

With a main basis in prog metal, they combine that music with classical, jazz/fusion and adds some elements of thrash to the mix as well; creating long songs with seamless movements in style, pace and sound - and fleshing out this release with some brilliant shorter mood pieces.

Influences from others can be heard, but the band is not derivative; more like original - or at least truly imaginative.

And they make their somewhat unique style of music accessible as well. Clearly worthwhile checking out this one!

Report this review (#159274)
Posted Saturday, January 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's a bloody shame that with all the metal fans on this forum this album has only one (1) review upto now! (This is #2) This is a great, innovative (as much as that is possible) metal album but within the classical confinement of the genre. Anybody loving Symphony X of the period Divine Wings of Tragedy, or Dream Theater of their Scenes period, and loves the use of lots of symphonic themes within the context of metal, should give this a try. I cannot spot any weak parts on this album, although The Singer, the incredible instrumental Galactic Backward Movements and Manipulation in Time (not by accident the longest tracks...since for me they could make any track 10 minutes without boring me) are my favorites.
Report this review (#169623)
Posted Friday, May 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Score 91/100

To say it short and sweet this album is a fine balance between Progressive metal, classic rock and orchestral bombast. I even dare to say that this album is almost as good as "Queensr˙che - Operation mindcrime" If i have to name influences i would say Dream Theater, Helloween and a touch of Nighwish. But don't worry these guys have enough balls to show us all they are far more then just copycats of the mentioned bands. For these guys it doesn't matter if they write short or long tracks. Both concepts are understood and well done!

The album is divided in two different opuses:

Opus II: The alignment of galaxies which lasts for 34:16 minutes


Opus III: The origin of a curse which lasts for 36:05 minutes

Both of them are of course made up by several tracks. It's certainly not easy listening music. You better sit down and listen and i would advice to do it with headphones since the beauty of the album can than be heard in full strength.

1. Forever the voices

Sounds like an orchestra warming up and slowly fades into an orchestra playing with choral voices on top of it.

2. The singer

Influences of Dream Theater and Nighwish. Let's say it is a mix between power and progressive metal woven into eachother. Nice twin guitar work and around the 6th minute the bass guitar get's it's space out in the open.

3. The spirit

Starts with accoustic guitar combined with orchestral elements. The vocals remind me of James LaBrie. Mixed into this all is the voice of Ceara Crandal-Johnson who is a guest on the album.

4. Galactic backward movements

A long instrumental track. The track travels between peacefull symphonic music and metal bombast and around the 6th minute a saxophone shows up. And to show even more diversity at the end the eastern music influences show up which fades into French music influences which i could picture myself again walking at the banks of the Seine with my wife which we did about 10 years ago. For me it's the best track on the album.

5. Manipulation in time

A piece influenced by Dream Theater, Helloween and Ayreon. From the opening of the track until the last notes you are being captured by the beauty of the track. Symphonic bombast with classical influences, a guitar solo which could have been done by Gary Moore (think of parisiene walkways) and the power of Helloween with great twin guitar work and not to forget the poundering bass and drum work.

6. Resolution

Orchestral start in which i recognize a bit of Bach changing into acoustic work with in the background rain falling down. I can also hear a bit of Floyd in the track

7. April in the fall

This one and the next are a bit of a miss on the album and the main reason this album gets 91/100 instead of close to the max.from me. It isn't a bad song but after being blasted with briljant stuff before this tracks it falls on the wayside for me. Symphonic power metal in case you wonder with nice keyboard work.

8. Subliminal delussions

As mentioned at track 7 another track which doesn't make it for me although i have to admit i do like the guitar solo's on this track.

9. Bending the violet

Orchestral bombast with a bit of a horror-movie music woven into it. Weird track but it fits in perfectly with the rest of the songs.

10. The piano plays at last

Easy starting progressive metal track influenced by Helloween (Kiske period) with symphonic influences.

11. Alteration of the ivory

Metal with a saxophone. Not always liked by metal lovers but Suspyre knows exactly where to put the instrument and above all where not! Influenced by Ayreon and Helloween the track travels from a small streaming creek into a fast flowing pountain river.

12. Blood and Passion

Hearing a needle being placed on vinyl when the song starts makes me miss the vinyl-period of music carriers. It changes quiickly in a power metal track with near the end a spark of Beethoven's fifth moven into it. A great way to end this album.

To conclude: this album is a fine balance between Progressive metal, classic rock and orchestral bombast. And yes i said that in the first paragraph too. If you have the time and the money grab this album, you won't be sorry if you do. If you don't have the money start saving up because it belongs in every progressive metal lover's collection.

Report this review (#189589)
Posted Monday, November 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hmm, very nice

Suspyre is a american prog metal band beggining their carer early this decade. I was quire surprised to see how less reviews this band has and specialy this album. Very impressive second album named A great divide released in summer of 2007. Suspyre are clearly influenced by bands like Symphony X, for the bombastic and symphonic arrangements and by Dream Theater for metal incorporated in their progressive aproach, the result in quite outstanding. I was very impressed by this album, because I also like very much this style of music, this one was a real treat. The musicianship on A great divide is brilliant, top notch arrangements that flows very well from one to another, each piece is a real treat for prog metal listners. On every track I can trace those influenced from bands above, but are so well composed and incorporeted in their sound, that in the end they sound very intristing and quite groundbreaking in their own way. Besides prog metal , here we can hear some jazz-fusion elemets added melting with prog metal arrangements hand in hand. The album has more than an hour of sheer brilancy, from mellow aproach to rougher ones Suspyre never stop amaze me, some unusual instruments for a prog metal band are here aswell like saxophone or pipe, combined with the rest of the instruments the result is original and intristing. Now about musicians, who are very crafted, the drumer Sam Paulicelli is super (no less), the twin guitars did an excellent job, just listen to The Singer (an awesome prog metal piece, that for sure make envious every other well known prog metal band worlwide), brilliant piece, maybe the best from here. The album has everything from mellow and almost acustic tracks like The Spirit , who slow down a little bit the up tempo of the album and change the mood aswell, instrumental ones like the outstanding Galactic Backward Movements (here Suspyre shows their true talent, no weakness here, only top notch musicianship), and the rest are also very ok, fast and furios sometimes with nice shifting moods and change of tempo all the time. The voice fits like a glove here and did a great job, pointing when needed with the clear and powerfull voice of Clay Barton. What to add, Suspyre is an example of true profesionalism these days in prog metal zone, with all that quite unpopular here in PA and elsewhere, and for sure they need to be discovered by a wider auditorium because A great divide worth every second. I will give 4 stars easy, while they are close in sound with Symphony X or Myrath, they are far behind in poularity then these two bands, it's a shame realy, they desearve much more. Recommended, among the top prog metal bands from today. Looking forward to listen to their last album to date from 2008 - When time fades, from what I heared is even better, can't wait.

Report this review (#242233)
Posted Thursday, October 1, 2009 | Review Permalink

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