While trying to decide what to review for exclaim! this weekend I got the urge to throw on Suspyre's When Time Fades... Then I noticed the release date's listed as September 30, 2008. Not the most contemporary record to send in my comments on in March 2009. So I thought I'd mention it here instead.
In some ways the record is fairly typical prog metal (let's not get into a discussion of the paradoxical nature of typical prog - it's only somewhat less exasperating than debating the 'alternative' label). But I appreciate the underlying musical logic that coheres it all through changes in tempo and texture, rhythm and instrumentation, style and delivery. When Time Fades... has its bombastic moments. It also ventures into a chugging groove, acoustic reflections, and the complex experimentation you'd expect. Across the range, Suspyre handle themselves rather successfully, but that's not really why I like this record. There's an earnest intensity that emerges here and there, anchored in catchy melody rather than intricate complexity, and that's what brings me back, providing a destination that makes sense of all the shifts and transitions the band takes along the way. I doubt this one will stand out by the time the year rolls to a close, but it's providing some enjoyable entertainment in the meantime.