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SUSPIRE is a band based in New Jersey, USA, and "A Great Divide" is their second release. From what I understand, their 2005 self-released debut album caused quite a buzz; which led the band to be signed by Nightmare records. Musically Suspire is, if not truly original, at least very imaginative. They have taken the big book about how to make music, experimenting with song structures, styles, melodies and instruments – mostly anything. Still, this is not some atonal, weird, far-out musical experiment. The songs contain melodies, verses, choruses, identifiable sounds and are generally highly listenable – this isn't an album that takes months and years to decipher before yielding musical pleasure for the listeners. These guys combine prog metal with classical music, spicing the result with some jazz-fusion as well as techno thrash influences. The above results in many songs that move from one to the other and back again in the abovementioned styles, as well as combining two or more of them in sections; either directly mixing them together or inserting elements of some of the abovementioned styles into others. Most of the time, prog metal is a basic style, with songs seamlessly changing theme, pace and sound a multitude of times from start to finish, fleshed out with some shorter atmospheric pieces. As for musical influences, there are probably too many for anyone outside the band to find them all. Personally I hear elements that may have been inspired by artists such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Faith No More and John Williams, but mostly this band doesn't really sound like anyone else. As well as being technically highly skilled, these guys are excellent songwriters. There are a couple of songs on this release that for me sound like fillers, but mostly the songs here are extremely well written and performed, with an abundance of catchy and captivating songs throughout. For me listening to this was a very enjoyable experience. I have a liking for good experimental music, and if this band continues making music as great as this, they may well end up becoming one of my big personal favorites in the field of artists disregarding musical boundaries – alongside Robin Taylor and Celtic Frost.
OMB: Septemb 7, 2008
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