Portugal's Forgotten Suns are back with their first album since 2004's Snooze, and there's been plenty of changes since then. Innergy, their latest for ProgRock Records, sees a revamped line-up featuring new singer Nio, who joins guitarist Ricardo Falcao, keyboard player Miguel Valadares, drummer J.C. Samora, and bassist Nuno Coreia, plus a heavier, progressive metal styled direction. While past efforts saw the band travelling along a similar path to such acts as Marillion, Pink Floyd, Satellite, and Rush, Innergy shows a band that has studied their Dream Theater, Vanden Plas, and Threshold records well, and the results are much more rewarding.
There's 8 tracks on the CD, most are fairly lengthy and allow for plenty of room for extended solos and unison acrobatics. A tune like "News" or the melodic opener "Flashback" contain some catchy melodies and lots of jaw dropping keyboard and guitar exchanges, reminding of Dream Theater's earlier works. New singer Nio has a strong voice, especially when he's staying in a more mid-range tone (sounding a bit like Andy Kuntz from Vanden Plas at times), though he does strain a little when going for higher notes in certain spots. The band drops in some crunchy riffs and spooky keys on the headbanger "Doppelganger", and "An Outer Body Experience" is a solid slice of symphonic prog-metal, featuring a ripping guitar solo from Falcao. Three epics take up the back end of the CD, ""Outside In", "Nanoworld", and "Mind Over Matter", each one containing plenty of musical fireworks, though it seems that the band is still working on longer form songwriting, as there are some passages that tend to meander a little and could have used a little editing. If you don't mind that, the musical capabilities on display here is quite impressive.
Overall, Innergy is a very solid progressive metal album, and if this is any indication, Forgotten Suns are going to be a player on the scene for years to come.
02. Racing the Hours
03. The News
05. An Outer Body Experience
06. Outside In
08. Mind Over Matter