Virtual Symmetry – Exoverse

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label URL: N/A
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://www.virtualsymmetry.com/

Band Website: 

Website
Facebook
Instagram
YouTube
Twitter

Band line-up including special guests:

Marco Pastorino – Vocals (Virtual Symmetry)
Valerio Æsir Villa – Guitars (Virtual Symmetry)
Marco ‘Mark’ Bravi – Keyboards (Virtual Symmetry)
Alessandro Poppale – Bass guitars (Virtual Symmetry)
Alfonso Mocerino – Drums (Virtual Symmetry)

Thomas Lang – drums
Jordan Rudess – keyboards (tracks 1, 8 and “secret track”)
Tom S. Englund – Vocals (track 5)
Simone Campete – Orchestra (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8)
Sinfonietta Consonus – Symphonic Orchestra (tracks 3, 6, 8)
Ruben Paganelli – Sax (track 6)
Jennifer Vargas – Soprano (track 6)
The Nuvoices Project – Gospel chorus (track 8)

Tracklisting:

01 – Entropia
02 – XI
03 – Odyssey
04 – Vortex
05 – Exodus
06 – Remember
07 – Safe
08 – Exoverse suite

Review:

Swiss-Italian progressive metal masters VIRTUAL SYMMETRY will release their sophomore full-length album “Exoverse” on June 30th, 2020.

“Exoverse” is their first concept album, telling the story about a hero traveling to a new dimension beyond the known universe to discover himself.

The opus was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath, UK and it features many special guests, such as legendary drummer Thomas LangDREAM THEATER’s keyboardist Jordan Rudess, saxophonist Ruben Paganelli, and the symphonic orchestra Sinfonietta ConsonusEVERGREY’s Tom S. Englund, singer Jennifer Vargas and the gospel choir NuVoices Project.

The album opens with a combination of rainfall, electronic bubbling and pulsating sounds that lead into a gentle piano sound. This helps sets the scene for the rest of the album as well as putting the listener into a state of suspense, not knowing what could happen in the song. The introduction of metal elements comes in around 2:22 which is where Rudess’s keys come to life, producing reminiscence of Dream Theater. This song begins and finishes as an instrumental but lays the foundation for the hero in this story.

Songs XI through to Safe take the listener through the hero’s journey through loud and beautiful orchestral sounds that provide engagement with the story and seeing each of the special guests demonstrating their talent.

One song that caught my attention was the song Remember as this featured Paganelli’s saxophone section supplemented by Varga’s soprano. The combination of these two musicians alongside the prominent orchestra and Virtual Symmetry’s metal elements serves as a powerful reminder that this is one album to not be ignored.

Although the sounds feature in a lot of progressive metal, Campete’s orchestra and Consonus’s symphonic orchestra adds those extra-musical layers that give the songs more power and overall strength. This shines when both orchestras feature in the same song such as the final track Exoverse.

Exoverse, the longest and title track of the album, is an interesting one as it felt like a culmination of multiple songs rather than one single song. Coming in at around 23 minutes, this all-star lineup comes together along with the NuVoices Project providing a Gospel Chorus to create an epic conclusion to the hero of the story’s journey as they venture to this new dimension.

This album is deserving of 4/5 due to the work and effort going into making this a unique and engaging experience. If Exoverse were to be played live with the full lineup, I’d be inclined to raise my rating higher as that would fully encapsulate this already enjoyable experience.

Review by Rossy Maguire

 

Share