If you saw Evergrey on their recent tour, you will have no doubt been impressed by the two bands who supported the Swedes. The opening act on that package was Swiss/Italian progressive Metallers Virtual Symmetry who won the award for the biggest smiles on stage at a gig in 2022. Now the band will release their third full-length album, and it’s a mesmerising piece of work.
Virtual Symmetry – Virtual Symmetry (Sensory)
Release Date: 25 November 2022
Words: Paul Hutchings
Immediate comparisons are likely to be drawn with Dream Theater. That is hardly surprising when your opening track is one-third of the length of the entire album. Yes, Virtual Symmetry clocks in at 19:59 and is an entire journey on its own. The song ebbs and flows, creating cinematic soundscapes as it develops. The interplay between keyboardist Marco ‘Mark’ Bravi and Founder and guitarist Valerio Æsir Villa with his eight-string fretwork is exceptional, with the whole band working in tandem to create an elaborate, expansive song.
This feel continues throughout, with Virtual Symmetry’s heavy edge balanced by luscious melodies and the rich, smooth vocals of Marco Pastorino, who possesses one of the best singing voices in the world of Metal today. His enunciation is fantastic, his grasp of the lyrics bringing another dimension to the intricate, layered delivery.
Bravi’s keyboards provide a further element to the band’s wide and encompassing sound. At times he moves into jazz, pop, and other genres, but it’s all in keeping with the band’s overall sweeping movements.
It’s an album that oozes quality. Each track sees every muscle and sinew worked, switching effortlessly between fiercely heavy segments and delicate harmonies and lush melodic elements. There’s something joyous in listening to this album, such is the impact it brings. Full of dramatic interplay, each song is different, fluid, and organic in structure and delivery.
The Paradise of Lies and the shorter Butterfly Effect are amongst the standout songs. But the ace up the sleeve is Fantasie De Verità, which is sung in Italian and sees the band soaring majestically with progressive pomp.
It’s beautifully produced, with each instrument given space and the combination something special. If you enjoy the complex drama of Dream Theater, then Virtual Symmetry may well be on your radar already. If not, then they really should be.
Virtual Symmetry is one of the best albums of 2022, with an uplifting, vibrant feel.