This is the third studio album of the Swiss/Italian prog metal band Virtual Symmetry and again it is a must have album for fans of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Seventh Wonder, Haken and even Kamelot. Virtual Symmetry's new album is 100% pure prog metal and Marco Pastorino (vocals), Valerio Villa (guitars), Alessandro Poppale (bass guitar), Mark Bravi (keys) and Alfonso Mocerino (drums) give a top-notch performance on all eight tracks indeed!
Opening track, being the title track opens this album in the best conceivable way, as it is a true epic, mammoth, prog metal monster of twenty minutes in which the band goes really wild! The musical intro is amazing; a piano intro, followed by howling keys, heavy riffs and lots of light symphonic/orchestral passages, and this leads after almost five minutes into the first vocal part of the song. The entire song is a huge, complex prog metal gem, filled with tempo changes, exquisite melodies, impressive guitar solos (guitar picker Valerio Villa is the star of this album) and enthusiastic vocals by Pastorino (Temperance, Fallen Sanctaury). Can it get any better than this? Probably not, as this amazing opener is the best Virtual Symmetry song to this date, so the rest of the songs on this album unfortunately do not reach that high musical level... Fortunately however, there are lots of songs to enjoy on here, take e.g. The Paradise Of Lies, an upbeat song, reminding me of good old Dream Theatre days, featuring a more than excellent diverse instrumental second part, or the first pre-release single Come Alive, which is also a more than excellent power metal influenced track. Butterfly Effect, the second single, is a so-called traditional ballad with a beautiful soaring guitar solo and emotional vocal by Pastorino; the latter actually shines, again, in Fantasie Di Verita, a melodic prog song with howling keys and an addictive, melodic chorus with Pastorino singing in Italian, being his native language of course! Rising is an example of heavy based progressive power metal with a “haunting” keyboard solo, Mark Bravi is a true monster on his instrument indeed! Virtual Symmetry ends with Insomnia, a rather quiet song, filled with piano sounds, orchestral passages, and some vocal parts; a beautiful serene, atmospheric end of this utterly amazing album. Overall, the title song is the perfect Virtual Symmetry track ever, but I really enjoyed every track here, as this is extremely well played prog metal indeed.
A glorious album which every fan of classic prog metal should not only check out but buy as well; Dream Theater eat your heart out!!
****+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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