A Great Divide


I think there is either some kind of magical band fountain in the New England […]
By Ian Kaatz
June 21, 2007
Suspyre - A Great Divide album cover

I think there is either some kind of magical band fountain in the New England area, but there are lot of bands from that area such as UNEARTH, GOD FORBID, SYMPHONY X, ATTACKER, and I know I am leaving out a lot more.  SUSPYRE is from New Jersey and like New Jersey they are in a class their own, but just for different reasons; New Jersey for terrible traffic and overall awfulness while SUSPYRE for well being an excellent Prog Metal band.  They are a band that most opening paragraphs that would not meet the requirements, so onward.....
It started with Gregg and Rich in 2001 and over the next few years all of the other members were in a revolving door.  They even at one point were going to be an instrumental band since they were having such problems with a vocalist.  Then in 2003 they were going to play their first show finally which almost went on without a singer, but they recruited Matt Hebert from CRIMSON ROOTS to help with the show. Then after releasing a Christmas album they decided they were ready to release The Silvery Image with the addition of Clay on vocals.  
The album begins with a rather casual intro that is probably unneeded.  I have always thought that if bands do intros on the first track then it should be something epic and it really leads to something.  The Singer is where stuff really picks up, this track has a very DREAM THEATER sound to my ears plus a little spin and is extremely solid.  There is an extremely bone-crushing riff that continues throughout the song, but is particularly strong on the verse. There is a superb guitar solo at about 3:15 that would make Steve Vai jealous.   I also am quite fond of the keyboard sound towards the end of the song, very nice and haunting.  The third track introduces a very interesting addition to a Metal band being a saxophone.  Clay's voice definitely blends and cascades over the saxophone sound oh so nicely. It is a very peaceful tranquil track that allows a great menagerie of sound to come forward.
Galactic Backward Movements is an instrumental track that is also the longest song on the album.  It begins with a nice epic sound that has a RHAPSODY-esque sound to it.  I thought the MIDI that was in use came out sounding much better than what I would have thought. This particular part of the song could have been cut down by about a minute.  The song eventually picks up quite a bit and has lots of double bass and sweeping guitars.  The sax is back in this song only this time it is a tenor rather than alto, in which case I much prefer the former.
Clay's superior voice returns in Manipulation In Time; which happens to have a very European Power Metal sound at the beginning with a gooey Prog Metal center and mix of the two at the end. April In The Fall has a marvelous guitar line the sounds almost like an OPETH riff, but not as down tuned or something.  This my favorite track on the album since I find it to be the most straightforward and solid track.  The eighth track is in the same vein as the seventh, but I prefer seven.  Although Subliminal Delusions has an extremely wicked guitar solo in it.
The Piano Plays At Last is back to a more Prog Metal style, but that's where they really make their mark so to speak.  SUSPYRE have a sound that isn't duplicated anywhere else at least not that my ears can hear.  There are certain bands that wear their influence on their sleeve and SUSPYRE isn't one of them for sure.  The eleventh track has another great saxophone part in it and the guitar molds to it perfectly.  This track is in the same vein as the tenth with a strong straightforward, but original Prog Metal sound.  The final track combines their Prog elements and their Power elements, which makes it easily my second favorite track on the album.
SUSPYRE are a sensational band and deserve success in the world of Metal.  They successfully combined elements of DREAM THEATER, OPETH, Euro Power, and saxophone for that I congratulate them.  I look forward to any further releases from them and hopefully will see them some day in person.

8 / 10


"A Great Divide" Track-listing:

Forever the Voices
The Singer
The Spirit
Galactic Backward Movements
Manipulation in Time
April in the Fall
Subliminal Delusions
Bending the Violet
The Piano Plays At Last
Alterations of the Ivory
Blood and Passion

Suspyre Lineup:

Gregg Rossetti - Guitars, MIDI sequencing, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Chapman Stick
Rich Skibinsky - Guitars, MIDI sequencing, Keyboards
Sam Paulicelli - Drums, Percussion, PVC pipe
Clay Barton - Lead & Backing Vocals
Noah Martin - Bass

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