Suspyre – When Time Fades… (Sensory)

Friday, 15th March 2013
Rating: 6.5/10

The type album that can really make one sour on progressive metal,When Time Fades…, the third offering from New Jersey progsters Suspyre is as vanilla as they come, made all the more tepid by the fact that this is prog metal, which means everything is overblown and overshot.

The sub-genre hasn’t received a shot in the arm since the Symphony X (the band Suspyre apes consistently) broke through earlier this decade. Chalk this up to the preponderance of like-sounding bands and the fact that none of these bands could write themselves out of a wet paper bag. When Time Fades… is frontloaded with idea after idea, none of which seem to stick and when compounded with some hokey moments on “Siren” (cue saxophone solo) and the bland ballad “Fallen Stars,” it’s hard to lock in and get behind this thing.

There are scattered moments of interest, namely the angular crunch of “Maniac Main Point Check” and dazzling keyboard flurry of “Apparitions,” but those moments are few and far between. The vocals of Clay Barton are competent, but don’t have the tenacity of a Russell Allen or charm of a Nils K. Rue (Pagan’s Mind), so that often forces the music (a composite of most Symphony X tunes) to try to pick up the slack and it’s just not working

It’s a tough crowd, this progressive metal throng and Suspyre face an uphill climb in an increasingly smaller space. There was once a time when it seemed this sort of thing could stand on its own two feet, but as usual, the sound-a-likes jumped in and ruined the whole thing, Suspyre included.

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