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Virtual Symmetry - Exoverse Award winner

Virtual Symmetry
Exoverse
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 04 July 2020, 4:43 AM

VIRTUAL SYMMETRY is a Swiss-Italian Progressive Metal band founded in 2009 as a solo project of guitarist Valerio Æsir Villa, while the first ideas for the debut album “Message from Eternity” began taking shape. After several line-up changes, the band now consists of vocalist Marco Pastorino, guitarist Valerio Æsir Villa, keyboardist Marco “Mark” Bravi, bassist Alessandro Poppale and drummer Alfonso Mocerino. “Exoverse” is the band’s fourth album and contains eight tracks.

“Entropia” leads off the album. It has a slow build, with mostly keys. When the guitars come in, it immediately turns into a heavy affair. It’s an instrumental, that explores many different paths along the six-minute ride. “XI” opens with bass guitar notes, and an air of mystery. Guitar, keys and drums soon join in, and we get our first listen to the vocalist. He has an incredible range in his raspy approach, and the music keeps up nicely. It slows a bit with an instrumental passage, showcasing the band’s talent as a quartet. Charming piano notes then come into play with some vocal “oohs.” This ten-minute beast takes you on a journey.

“Odyssey” opens with clean guitars and alluring keys…this one starts out really pretty. The vocals are also very poignant. They really push this as an emotional piece, and It hits you hard. I segues into “Vortex,” which opens with heavy tones. This track has a heaviness, and some symphonic elements as well. Sometimes the chord progressions are a bit out of character, but I stay with the melody line fairly easily. “Exodus” is close to nine-minutes in length. It opens slowly with ambient keys and some atmosphere. This song has a well-structured melody line, and it’s obvious that Pastorino was the right choice as vocalist…he really has a fantastic range. It builds to a smashing crescendo towards the end.

“Remember” opens with a slow, melodic guitar solo, and an ominous statement when the vocal harmonies come in, over a bed of charming piano notes. The harmonies propel this song well into the skies above. The female vocals are a nice addition here, as well as the reed instrument which I can’t quite place. “Safe” is close to ten-minutes in length. That lead-guitar led melody is really strong. At one point, the bass guitar carries the melody, which is soon echoed with guitar, drums and piano. The piano solo sure caps Bravi as a masterful performer.

“Exoverse” closes the album, at over 23 minutes in length. The song opens with clean guitars and more of that powerful, magnetic feeling. The guitars drop a heavy sound and the lead-in is both long and ominous. The vocal performance early on is just jaw-dropping. They remind me here of Prog giants SEVENTH WONDER. About eight minutes in, it picks up in pace with some nice symphonic elements in the background. As the bliss rolls on, I really find myself wondering why the hell a record label hasn’t signed this band. This song explores more territory than Lewis and Clarke. How they hang on to the melody line is beyond me, but a testament to their songwriting skills for sure. The keyboard solo is fantastic to boot.

On “Exoverse,” VIRTUAL SYMMETRY has clearly established themselves as a super-force to be reckoned with in the Prog Metal world. They are every bit as good as the giants in the genre, and like to take their songwriting to new heights, and are not afraid of exploration. Their music is also fairly straightforward considering the genre…easy on the ears…and man are they talented! Again, someone needs to sign this band right away, as they deserve much success in the music world.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Entropia
2. XI
3. Odyssey
4. Vortex
5. Exodus
6. Remember
7. Safe
8. Exoverse
Lineup:
Marco Pastorino – Vocals
Valerio Æsir Villa – Guitars
Mark Bravi – Keyboards
Alessandro Poppale – Bass
Davide Perpignano – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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