Let me say right off the bat, When Time Fades, the third release from US band Suspyre, is sure to be one of the most unique progressive metal listening experiences you will hear this year. Kudos to Ken Golden and The Lasers Edge/Sensory for signing these guys and bringing this outstanding release into the hands of a potentially larger audience. While you'll hear elements of Dream Theater, Queensryche, Symphony X, and Savatage on this thrilling CD, for the most part this is one hell of a fresh sounding prog metal experience, as the band mixes symphonic, almost classical tinged elements, with jazz and straight ahead prog as well as metal, for a ride that is well worth taking and going on for the long haul.
Opening cut "Possession / The Negative" is a complex metal treat, the intricate guitars & keyboards weaving all sorts of wonders around each other, riffs jagged and adventurous, while the strong vocals of Clay Barton soaring over the top. The futuristic "Evolutions" is another strong number, symphonic keys and crunchy riffs banging home the point to great effect, while "Lighted Endrhyme" is just a prog lovers dream, the twin guitars of Gregg Rossetti & Rich Skibinsky shredding with reckless abandon, yet the whole piece is very melodic and catchy, with plenty of dramatic atmosphere. The heavy instrumental "Maniac Main Point Check" leads into the epic "Siren (One Last Breath)", a real proggy piece with lots of extended instrumental breaks, loads of atmosphere, jazzy sax (sounding almost like something from a long lost Soft Machine album!), gorgeous keyboards, and emotional vocals. The aggressive "Reign" leads into the poignant "Fallen Stars" a lush acoustic number that features some great vocals from Barton. The band returns with crunchy prog-metal on "A World With No Measures", and even dip into some atmospheric & progressive death metal of sorts on "The Light of the Fire", featuring some brief vocals that are almost in the growl zone. "Apparitions" is a complete ripper, jackhammer drum work from Charlie Zeleny complementing the intricate riffing (fans of Zero Hour will love this one), and the closing 11-minute "Let Freedom Ring (The Heart of It All)" is an amazing symphonic prog-metal journey that takes the listener through many twists and turns, and one of the CD's best tracks.
From start to finish, When Time Fades is a complete winner, a breath of fresh air that shows that progressive metal still has plenty of life left in it. Along with the latest Zero Hour, Sensory has another monster here with this new one from Suspyre, and a CD that is sure to wind up on many 'best of' lists here at the tail end of 2008.
1. Possession / The Negative (5:33)
2. Evolutions (6:10)
3. Lighted Endrhyme (7:39)
4. Maniac Main Point Check (1:51)
5. Siren (One Last Breath) (10:14)
6. Reign (7:45)
7. Fallen Stars (3:41)
8. A World With No Measures (6:16)
9. The Light of the Fire (8:55)
10. Apparitions (6:09)
11. Let Freedom Ring (The Heart of It All) (11:09)