[Review] Nospūn – Opus

Nospūn are a Progressive Metal band from Charlotte, North Carolina whose sound is solid and technical. The debut album “Opus” was released on May 19, 2023 and contains 11 tracks, some of them long, including an epic over 15 minutes long. The opener “The House at the End” is a 1:53 minute intro with a sweet vocal and guitar arepggi. A keyboard intro opens “Implosion Overture,” then develops into solid, elaborate Progressive Metal textures with a fresh, modern imprint. The tempo changes enrich the song, as do the virtuoso inserts, alternating solos and phrasing between the instruments of absolute value. In a musical crescendo, the entirely instrumental track enhances the band’s compositional and performing technique. “The Death of Simpson” keeps the intensity very high, with the song building on fine guitar and keyboard interlacing and a granitic, elaborate rhythm section. With the entry of the warm and expressive vocals, the band shows its softer side. The track evolves into a musical crescendo that alternates between sung parts and instrumental sections incorporating elements of Progressive Rock and Metal, with continuous tempo changes, accelerations and beautifully crafted interlacing. An energetic interplay of keyboards and gritty guitar riffs characterises “Dance With Me!” A passage shorter in duration and with positive melodies, with a melodic vocal, making for an engaging track. Very interesting is the combination of Prog Rock and Metal, with technical solo inserts with a fresh and modern imprint. An atmospheric keyboard intro opens the short “Tougher Love,” which incorporates a deep vocal in the second half. A melancholic track that accompanies us to the following “Earwyrm,” which returns to the more energetic sounds that characterise the band. A rush of guitar riffs and keyboards over an elaborate and solid rhythm section in constant evolution. The vocals are energetic and very incisive, while the song is distinctly metal, with virtuoso passages, continuous tempo changes and accelerations. The band skilfully brings classic Prog Metal sounds into a modern and markedly personal context, enhancing technique and composition. The band’s more Prog Rock facet characterises “…And Then There Was One.” A song full of pathos, with intense songwriting and warm vocals. The intensity increases as the song progresses, which is a crescendo of emotions culminating in the final choral part. Heavy guitar riffs intertwining with keyboards open “4D Printing,” returning to intricately textured prog metal sounds. Virtuosic passages characterise the structure of the song, with all the instruments showcasing the technique of all the artists involved. the rhythm section, full of tempo changes and technical fills, allows a very technical sound to develop. Keyboards and guitar intertwine in the solo inserts, recalling the style of bands such as Sons Of Apollo and Symphony X. Entirely instrumental, this track offers us 6:42 minutes of pure Progressive Metal at the highest level. We come to the over 15-minute epic suite “Within the Realm of Possibility.” Dreamy arpeggios open the track, which develops alternating between more atmospheric and more heavy passages, always in the name of high-quality progressive. The track’s long duration is exploited in its entirety to enhance the band’s compositional and performing technique. We find within it all the elements that characterise the band’s sound, skilful in maintaining intensity and quality. An added value for the album and an excellent test-bed for the band that confirms and reinforces the good things heard so far. “Back, Yet Forward” is a gritty, rhythmic, technical and engaging piece of progressive metal. A killer bassline characterises the elaborate rhythm section, complemented by technical and powerful drumming. The vocals are dynamic with melodic refrains and more energetic passages, alternating with instrumental parts enriched by virtuoso inserts. The tracklist ends with “The House at the Beginning” with a heavy sound but a more melodic touch. A passionate track, perfect to end the album, leaving us wanting to listen to this excellent work many more times in the future. It is not often that you come across a band that puts out a debut album of such a high standard and Nospūn really impressed me in this respect. Their sound is granitic, elaborate and full of technical passages interwoven with more melodic ones, in a succession of emotions throughout the tracklist. Songs of pure Prog Metal, others more Prog Rock, virtuosity and symphonic openings between tempo changes and a precise alternation of vocal and instrumental parts. I am sure this band will be much talked about both for this album and in the future. An album that ranks among the best record releases of 2023 in the Progressive Rock/Metal genre, a real must for lovers of the genre.


01. The House at the End (01:53)
02. Implosion Overture (05:14)
03. The Death of Simpson (09:10)
04. Dance With Me! (03:48)
05. Tougher Love (02:56)
06. Earwyrm (05:21)
07. …And Then There Was One (07:16)
08. 4D Printing (06:42)
09. Within the Realm of Possibility (15:23)
10. Back, Yet Forward (09:18)
11. The House at the Beginning (03:57)


Phillip Rich / Vocals
James Nelson / Guitars
Cole Millward / Bass
Paul Wood / Drums

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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