Those of you with a love for neoclassical progressive metal are strongly advised to seek out "A Great Divide" from New Jersey's SUSPYRE. The group's sophomore release is a 70-minute epic of virtuoso playing, enchanting melodies, and wild prog metal jams that'll have your head spinning for hours on end.
Divided into two multi-part sections, "Opus II: Alignment of Galaxies" and "Opus III: The Origin of a Curse", the album is truly an adventure that takes the listener through a plethora of moods and emotions. The balancing of wind and string instruments with traditionally heavy prog/power metal sections is exceedingly well done. More than just a talent showcase, "A Great Divide" offers the listener a little bit of everything, including wonderful melodies on songs like "The Singer". Guitarists (and multi-instrumentalists) Gregg Rossetti and Rich Skibinsky are axe gods of the highest order, flying all over the frets and playing off one another with grace and ease. Quite honestly, the musicianship and arrangement skill is off the scale on the disc.
The stunning jazz and orchestral/classical segments are many. A break for vintage jazz keyboards (think mid-period MILES DAVIS recordings) on "The Singer" is fantastic, as are alluring saxophone parts on "The Spirit" and "Alterations of the Ivory". In fact, horns are heard throughout and are awe inspiring every single time they appear, a case in point being the 10-minute "Galactic Backward Movements", a prog, jam to die for. When the act launches into one of several full-on, up-tempo prog/power tracks, the result is nothing short of ass kicking. "April in the Fall" is one such catchy tune with groove, power, and finesse all wrapped into one, the bits of organ particularly attention-grabbing. The same can be said for the double bass driven "Subliminal Delusions" and fiery closer "Blood and Passion", the former offering an especially tough riff to boot. The orchestral sections on any number of tunes are expertly arranged and never out of place or reeking of excess.
"A Great Divide" is an honest to goodness prog metal juggernaut. You will be amazed at how a bunch of youngsters can play like this and write songs so thoroughly captivating. It is scary to think what the future may hold for SUSPYRE. I would not be surprised to see a label like InsideOut or Sensory snatch up these talented folks.