Suspyre - The Silvery Image
Independent Release
Progressive Metal
12 songs (56:36)
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Ian
Surprise of the month
I truly believe that we are living in the Golden Years of the metal era. Not only we get excellent albums from confirmed bands, but also the amount of new bands (and the quality of music they present us) never ceases to amaze me. One of the strongest bands to debut in the arena in 2005 is the New Jersey based Suspyre. Coming out of nowhere, this young band managed to release an independent album that would shame a lot of the highly anticipated releases of 2005.

I have reviewed a lot of goth or power metal bands lately and I really have been missing listening/reviewing a good progressive metal album. Fortunately a few weeks ago this excellent under-the-radar piece of classic progressive metal found its way to my player and hooked me for a long period of time. That was exactly what I needed, new blood for the prog metal scene, a new kick-ass band, young and energetic, full of talent and ambition. So, on to the review.

After the symphonic intro (Sospirare) with its good choirs, we jump into the opener Father Of Hate with its excellent dual guitar riffs, complex and adventurous. A power tune (symphonic and majestic in places), with good arrangements, solid and complex drumming and background wall of keys. Clay Barton is right in the middle of it, allowing the vocal lines to flow smoothly with the main rhythm of the song. Distant Skies has a certain Italian flavor to it, with good guitar supported rhythm and a catchy keyboard line, present throughout the entire song. A typical progressive tune, with excellent solo swaps between the guitars and the keyboards. Waterburns shows the excellent musicianship of the band members, a complex tune, with orchestration elements twin guitar and keys harmonies and inspired vocal performance, especially in the deeply progressive mid-part of the song. Slow emotional rhythm with terrific support from the stellar keyboard, switching into a frenzy of dual guitar solos, with Rich Sibinsky and Greg Rossetti playing neverending inspirational solos. The longest song of the album The Breath Of Gloria (plus 7 minutes) is also the song that I like least, not because it’s the required ballad of the album, but because despite its additional ‘enhancing’ elements – saxophone, flute or the guest vocals of Danielle Kaplowe, the song fails to deliver a gripping hook or an addictive atmosphere. Back in progressive mode with Last Of The Survivors with epic elements thrown in for a perfect balance between the rolling rhythm and the melodic keyboard leads. Good backing vocals supporting the high range powerful delivery of Clay Barton with some of the most inspired guitar playing is deployed in this catchy song. The multi faceted Apex with its 2-minute instrumental intro treats us with some excellent rhythm changes and some harsh vocals while Serpent I Am is more of a synthesized version of a power progressive metal sound, with power double bass drumming and good supporting keys for extensive guitar phrases and gifted solos. The City Under Sands brings us back on common ground with some neo classical elements and an up-tempo beat that rises the song to a guitar led climax. I See, last track of the album delivers again a great vocal performance, supported by complex rhythms and strong melodic keyboard lines.

This album is one of the best debut albums that I have the chance to listen to in the past year. Despite being an independent release, the sound and the almost flawless production make this one of the most interesting products of the progressive year 2005. Unfortunately I discovered this band only after I had my pick for the 2005 debut album; otherwise they would have been for sure No.1 in my book. This is a band with a great future; I can’t wait to see what they have to offer in the years to come. Highly recommended!

Killing Songs :
Distant Skies, Serpent I Am, The City Under Sands
Ian quoted 84 / 100
Ken quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Suspyre that we have reviewed:
Suspyre - When Time Fades... reviewed by Thomas and quoted 90 / 100
Suspyre - A Great Divide reviewed by Ben and quoted 88 / 100
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