SUSPYRE – A Great Divide

SUSPYRE - A Great Divide
  • 8/10
    SUSPYRE - A Great Divide - 8/10


Nightmare Records
Release date: March 20, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Suspyre is a Progressive Metal act that hails from the swamp-lands of New Jersey, USA. A Great Divide is their newest disc; it was originally going to be released in November of 2006, but was delayed until early 2007. The album is broken into two parts: “Act I: The Alignment Of Galaxies,” and “Act II: The Origin Of A Curse.” All told there are a dozen songs here split evenly between both Acts, and the album has a playing time of about 70 minutes.

Like many (most?) other Progressive Metal bands, Suspyre doesn’t believe in doing things small; everything has to be big, important, elaborate, and complicated. A Great Divide is no different, so expect to hear orchestral arrangements, florid keyboards, choral passages, and things like saxophone solos crammed in-between the fleet-fingered riffs, fluid guitar solos, and complicated drum work. Luckily, Suspyre refrains from going overboard, preferring to let the songs do the talking; listeners are spared such “treats” as endless drum solos and bass soliloquies that other Progressive acts like to foist upon their fans.

That’s not to say that Suspyre doesn’t dabble in excess… most songs here are rather long (five of them each run more than seven minutes) and somewhat florid. But, Suspyre is hardly the first – or last – Progressive Metal band to be guilty of this transgression.

So A Great Divide is a long album that meanders a little, but that’s hardly the end of the world. Suspyre has come up with a disc that’s very listenable and full of strong arrangements and very skillful playing. Guitar fans will really enjoy the work of Gregg Rossetti and Rich Skibinsky; they’ve come up with lots of forceful riffs, blazing fast solos, and very melodic guitar lines that make the album enjoyable. Rossetti also plays the sax on a few songs, and is quite good at it. Sam Paulicelli is a force on drums, and he and bassist Noah Martin combine to create a very strong bottom end. Clay Barton handles vocals, and while he may not be as smooth as some of his contemporaries, his strong, rough-edged voice adds some life and grit to the album. Suspyre is a finely-tuned musical machine with no real weaknesses.

While Progressive Metal fans will probably get a bit more out of A Great Divide than others, the album doesn’t shut out the regular listener: the riffs are heavy, the solos blister, the arrangements are big and complex, the drums rattle your speakers, and the album is hard-hitting and fast-moving, barely slowing down for a breath, although there are a couple of slower songs here and there. The album is long, but never boring. You don’t have to have a PhD in Musical Appreciation to like what Suspyre has done here.

Suspyre has spun out a solid disc with A Great Divide. Check it out.


  • Gary McLean

    Gary was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the small Ontario, Canada town of Sault Ste. Marie, right on the border of Michigan, USA. When it comes to Metal and Hard Rock, Gary likes quite a few different bands, from stalwarts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, to newer, hard-hitting groups such as Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Paragon. Other favorites include the likes of Nightwish, Running Wild, Therion, Accept, Stratovarius, Dream Evil, Helloween, Rammstein, Dirty Looks, Crimson Glory, Tristania, and Gamma Ray. He thinks AC/DC deserves a paragraph all their own though.

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