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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US band Suspyre is really finding their own way and style on this third album.

Combining elements from many types of music seems to be a specialty of these guys, and although they have a solid foundation in prog metal as a style there's a lot more to this release than just ordinary prog metal.

Highly classical influenced symphonic segments is a key addition to their sounds, most often with a distinct orchestrated sound rather than the standard multilayered synths. Jazzy moments and sax solos are a natural element of the sound on this CD too, even a violin solo unless my ears deceived me. All of this elements in mostly quirky, technical guitar dominated compositions where dissonant and decomposing riff patterns are found just as often as regular prog metal chops. Good vocals further enhance the listening experience.

The general atmosphere of this album is rather grim and dark though - this is not a CD suitable for depressed people - but it's a strong release nonetheless, and one of few prog metal releases I've come across with a unique and distinct sound that can't be mistaken for anyone else. Highly recommended of course.

Report this review (#181841)
Posted Friday, September 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Hmm part II , but not so very nice this time

Suspyre third album to date from 2008 named When time fades. Well this time they didn't manage to come near as great as the predecesor. First ,the main influences 'till now was Dream Theatewr in places and Symphony X, now on this album main influence is Evergrey, same dark and moody atmosphere on every piece, not bad but nothing special , realy. Second, the compositions are no longer so diverse and in the middle of the album I lose intrest. The musicianship is again very good, but the proble is arrangements, nothing realy awesome like on previous album, even the key passages are less dominant, only for atmosphere, only here and there vague are puted in front. We have here aswell some again the saxophone interludes withe the other instruments, but aswell some violin and even madolin passages, not quite bad, but sometimes I have the impression that the disonant sound of sax is a little to much in front and giving un unintristing combination, the violin parts are good and exactlky as is needed. The musicians did a good job, they've tried to bring something new in this genre, but this time they didn't quite succeded. I don't know but to me this album is usual, nothing special, thay now sound like other hundreds bands from prog metal scene. Not a piece in front, not a piece is realy weak but is lacking in somthing catchy. I will give 3 stars, becaus eof the profesinalism of the band, but in rest nothing realy impressive.I don't think this is their best album, I prefer 10 times more the previous one A great divide. If the next album will sound like this When time fades for sure I will lose intrest in their music, it's a shame because they beggining so good to climb in prog metal scene with the secocond album.

Report this review (#242520)
Posted Friday, October 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars I would have thought this was a European band if I didn't know differently. They really try to mix things up incorporating a lot of styles into their Prog-Metal. Charlie from BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS and BLOTTED SCIENCE adds some drum work, while Trisha from AMARAN'S PLIGHT adds some vocals on a couple of tracks.

"Possession / The Negative" opens with guitar followed by a full sound. Rough vocals after a minute. Not a fan of his vocal style at all. It's heavier after 3 minutes. "Evolutions" has an orchestral-like start that continues until around 2 1/2 minutes when the vocals arrive. "Lighted Endrhyme" again opens with orchestral sounds then it kicks into an uptempo melody. The tempo and mood continue to change. More orchestration as well. "Maniac Main Point Check" is a top three track for me. It's just an aggressive 2 minutes that's all. "Siren (One Last Breath)", at least I assume it's "Breath" on my cd it says "Breat". Now if it's "Breast" I could see how that would have apocolyptic implications. It opens with choirs as reserved vocals and pastoral setting come in. Great sound before 4 minutes as it picks up with guitar out in front. Sax 6 minutes in then Trisha on vocals a minute later.

"Reign" is more of a straight up metal tune except for the sax and orchestration. "Fallen Stars" is a mellow ballad-like tune. "A World With No Measures" kicks in right away. Vocals a minute in. Great track. "The Light Of The Fire" opens in a relaxed but dark way. Reserved vocals before a minute. Heavy guitar before 2 minutes then it kicks in. Growly vocals come and go along with his rough vocals. A Power-Metal flavour to this one. "Apparitions" is a top three track as it hits the ground running. Some spoken words in this one. "Let Freedom Ring (The Heart Of It All)" features heavy drums with keys and synths. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up. A calm after 6 minutes before kicking back in.

75 1/2 minutes is too long in my opinion. Lots to like here but also things that rub me the wrong way.

Report this review (#248421)
Posted Friday, November 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Suspyre keeps getting better and better every time i hear them they just seem to so efortlessly take what they will from various genres and transform it into a brand new sound

while appearing to be just another prog metal album by another prog metal band When Time Fades... is a sure classic from suspyre. i have never ever heard nay one combine metal and brass (saxaphone) in such a unique and creative sounding way making for a really great album

Best songs Fallen Stars & Evolution

this album for me was a real stepping stone for me into proggresive music sending me into some lesser known bands. before it was all Tool,Dream Theater,Rush,Yes,King Crimson. Now becuase of bands like Suspyre its more Fall Of Troy,The Dear Hunter,Sirens & Sailors (Not on the site right now), and The Sound Of Animals Fighting

while not an essetial or a great album a solid 3.5/5

Report this review (#336702)
Posted Saturday, November 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Well the most interesting thing about this band is the vocal, so powerful, wild and fits the style in general terms.

Though I loved their previous works more, still you can find in this album some good moments scattered here and there, but the most common feeling I came up while listening to any suspyre's album that I got board and distracted, maybe due to the harsh and uneven musical changes within the song.

The musicians are all good, they challenge the audience with some complex songs structure, but for me It is not what I'm enjoying in progressive.

Finally, if you are a fan of collecting "best of" from time to time I think you will surly choose one of suspyre songs to be included in.

Report this review (#655301)
Posted Monday, March 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Suspyre is a symphonic metal band from New Jersey whose career has spanned fourteen years and four albums. I came across their 2012 album on iTunes a couple of years ago and decided to check them out. As the latest album at the time, the self-titled fourth release, was only available as a download, I bought the previous album "When Time Fades..." from 2008.

In the beginning, I couldn't really warm up to the music. It is highly complex with a strong blend of symphonic metal and progressive metal, lots of quick changes in tempo and time signature, and a fairly strong presence of either string symphony or at times keyboards that emulate the string symphony sound. The vocals were the most difficult part for me, not because they are in any way bad but they just didn't completely appeal to me. Other reviewers have described Clay Barton's pipes as powerful and given them approval and praise, so it is just a case of personal preference here. I prefer the sound of James LaBrie or Russell Allen myself. Still, listening to the album two times over again recently, I found myself getting into the songs more and accepting the Barton's timbre.

If you are unfamiliar with Suspyre, then the best comparison I can make based on my limited experience with symphonic metal is that their music on this album is closest to Symphony X's "V: The New Mythology Suite". As I expect this band is less familiar to a lot of people, I'll give a quick rundown of the songs.

"Possession / The Negative". It opens with a repetition of ascending and descending arpeggios and heavy guitars soon join in. It's a symphonic metal track with abrupt meter changes. There's organ and an instrument that might be a vibraphone or xylophone can be heard at one time.

"Evolutions". More of the symphonic approach with some thrashier parts and blast beats, there's a robotic voice near the beginning and at the end, where it announces "Let the destruction begin".

"Lighted Endrhyme". One of the first songs I picked out when I first got the album, there's a symphony that begins the track and later either the symphony or a keyboard sound like one can be heard. There's a beautiful cathedral choir at the end.

"Maniac Main Point Check". This is a short instrumental with a really cool guitar riff. It stands out because much of the guitar work on this album is too complex for simple heavy riffs. It sounds great here!

"Siren (one last breath)". This song is longer and has a slower beginning and ending with some clean guitar and the vocals attempting more passionate singing. I don't feel the effect is captured quite well enough. Of course the music progresses into heavier territory. There's a saxophone solo and a bass solo, and at one point I'm inspired to imagine a symphonic King Crimson. There are female vocals here as well as on one other track.

"Reign". According to my notes that I wrote while listening to the album, this song also features a symphony and as well some cool bass guitar, a violin solo and a saxophone solo, some great guitar solos, a piano solo, some acoustic guitar and mandolin in the middle and it ends with a funky drum beat solo. Lots of solos here!

"Fallen Stars" is a short acoustic song. It doesn't thrill me but it it's good enough and still fits in with the album.

"A World with no Measures" I have noted as a good symphonic metal piece but the song ends without any sense of conclusion. Just, that's it. The song wraps up.

"The Light of the Fire" features a bit of flute with clean guitar and drums, as well as strings. It's a slower song which includes a Sabbath-like riff, going slow and heavy before breaking into a galloping pace. This track also has death growl vocals which makes me suspect there was a guest for this. I find Barton really stretching his voice here when he sings, "lose control".

"Apparitions" and "Let Freedom Ring (the heart of it all)" are the last two tracks and both of them have some electronica-like keyboard sounds, which is great to hear but I can't help wondering why these sounds are introduced at the end of the album. The final track also includes another acoustic guitar part.

As far as the music is concerned, I think they've pretty much nailed it on this album. I don't doubt that there are people out there who think that this is a perfect album with incredible musicianship and there are others who think it's too all over the place. I really admire the skills of the musicians to compose and perform this kind of complex metal. I think I had to be in the right music enjoyment mode in order to truly appreciate the brilliance of this album. It has become a joy to listen to, though once I stop having it handy in my phone to play, I might just leave it alone for a while. Which would be a pity because it is really striking me now as a stunning piece of work

For people who prefer complexity without sacrificing melody and who like great passages of guitar-led music with symphonic support, this album should be something you'd like to hear. Recommended to fans of symphonic and progressive metal.

Report this review (#1493193)
Posted Friday, November 27, 2015 | Review Permalink

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