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Not for the faint of heart! - 95%

Suspyre, September 19th, 2004

Note: This review was based on the one I wrote for epinions.com. I am not ripping someone off.

Despite the spelling error in this album's title, this is the quintessential album for fans of the heavier side of progressive metal. The odd times never cease; I don't think 4/4 is ever used at all by this band. All members of the band are excellent musicians, with the bassist being the driving member that goes beyond just simply playing a foundation but instead creates this band's sound. There are no real shredding guitar solos, but rather jazzier ones with feeling. Electronic and keyboard effects give this a semi-industrial flavor at times. There are no real "melodies" per se, so the vocalist's part is more of another instrument that is used to allow the intelligent, thinking man lyrics to be part of the music. The music is also atonal, sort of like if Arnold Schoenberg started a metal band. The songs don't really vary much in style; they are all just different interpretations on how to write crazy progressive metal.

The first track, "Spinning" is appropriately titled. It does exactly what spinning suggests, going around in circles and never seeming to stop. Most parts of this album have this kind of groove: the guitarists are constantly playing different things while the bassist complements everything in his own matter. The drummer tastefully adds fills in odd times.

The use of the clean guitars in the beginning of "Excessit" very closely resemble the one-time band, Cynic. In fact, this band highly resembles Cynic with a clean vocalist, and Cynic's bassist, Sean Malone is featured in the track, "Occam's Razor" playing one of my favorite instruments, the Chapman Stick.

The fifth track, "Insect" is the first one I heard from this band and is the most diverse piece on the album. It starts with an interesting keyboard ostinato with electronic clicks, sort of like industrial music, then the guitars take over. This song actually has lots of contrast in it; the electronic keyboard, a more driving heavy verse, and even sections with clean/acoustic guitars. A lot of this piece reminds me of Dream Theater when they do their instrumental breakdown in tracks like "Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper" and the instrumental genius, "The Dance of Eternity."

On the downside, this album gets to be a little overdone at times. Constant odd times and crazy atonal guitar and bass runs can make people get lost. It definitely builds on you though; once you start to understand what they are doing it all comes together. It is musician's music. I don't really think anyone with no musical training will appreciate this; they will just hear a jumble of notes and not "get it." To me, that makes it all the better.

I recommend this for fans of Cynic, Dream Theater, Watchtower, Death, and even Symphony X.