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Honestly Unique - 90%

GuntherTheUndying, June 19th, 2010

Experimental music will always have a special place in my heart; next to Marduk, of course. I actually got a promo of this CD over two years ago and haven’t attempted to review it until now (yikes!) because Suspyre strikes me as indescribably unique. Sure, they’re a progressive metal band that appears a lot darker and heavier at times than most of the sub-genre’s counterparts, but the way Suspyre builds structures, tempos, and ideas can seem extraterrestrial. Either way, I always enjoy the warming embrace of “When Time Fades” whenever I feel like a feast of tremendous craftsmanship among the talents of these superb musicians.

The musical attack that gathers throughout “When Time Fades” is anything but your typical Dream Theater clone as one might anticipate. Quasi-speed metal riffs, jazz sections, scores of solos, symphonic keys, atmospheric complexity with some mid-paced material beside a lot of Cynic-ish instrumental divisions are present, but only represent a fraction of what Suspyre’s nearly-indescribable frontier has to offer. “Possession” explores a vibe of technical marksmanship once the music displays a unique plethora of mid-tempo riffs and melodies weaving in and out of each other with really no cohesion, but it paradoxically makes Suspyre seem both genius and insane. I don’t believe it is nevertheless ironic that the whole album also retains a melodic passiveness and catchy overtone, which, although not dominating, promotes addictive ether alongside this evolutionary journey. Its sound reveals countless coils and weaves into territories present and unknown. All in all, Suspyre’s image is remarkably superb.

“When Time Fades” also portrays brilliant thoughts when discussing the idea of experimentation in progressive music, quite beyond what I could have expected. Saxophone solos are shockingly common alongside Suspyre’s vertigo rhythm sector during “Evolutions” and others, but a lot of their arrangements are likewise atypical. For example, nothing causes a surprised reaction like the beginning of “Apparitions” in which surpluses of sporadic keyboards collide and bounce off raw, heavy riffing. Sometimes things go too far into left field: “Reign,” for example, is a very good track, but the band decides to toss in a folk jam with a mandolin section for whatever reason. Relevant? Maybe in another universe, but that small fragment is nothing to get choked up about; everything else is pure experimental gold.

Of course, Suspyre’s illuminated approach creates a wide spectrum of material in which nothing sounds akin. The record finally climaxes after an hour of majestic incantations with “Let Freedom Ring,” a riff-based epic exhibiting Suspyre’s dynamism, mathematical technicality, zesty experimentation, and terrific craftsmanship perfectly, mystifying under this unusual rotunda without fault. The ten-minute piece “Siren” is the only song that puts me in snooze-town, although I do enjoy the female vocals and Clay Barton’s vocal incantations; however, Suspyre’s musical attack is too fluffy and clearly contradicts the album’s maniacal infrastructure. The remaining tracks provide nutrients, and stand alone with any need for neither physics nor time.

Most importantly, if your musical threshold doesn’t surpass fairly-straightforward metal, don’t look into this because “When Time Fades” is as multifaceted as it gets; it’s an album for those that appreciate the development of ideas and talents. Overall, I’d say my individualistic interests find a suitable connection with “When Time Fades” within its many layers of progressive insanity. I’d say there is a link between brilliant metal and randomly ejaculating instruments in a cesspool of scattered cacophony: Suspyre’s “When Time Fades,” which openly represents a strange, compelling release in progressive/avant-garde metal’s ever-growing stream of crazy goodness, and it evidently deserves a spot in your collection, if you can bother to taste the experimental snack, of course.

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