The reason I’m writing this review is because I recognized the name of Mark Bravi, Virtual Symmetry keyboardist, in the press release. As we’ve reviewed three albums of the band: 2016’s Message to Eternity, 2017’s EP “X-Gate,” and the 2019’s live album “XLive Premiere” I have to be real truthful when I say that I loved the band and I wanted to check if the musician could keep the pace and the quality of his original band having in mind that keyboardists are always the guy in the band the most influences of Classical Music and Art Rock. Well, needless to say that I nailed it. “Origins” is more an Art Rock album than a Prog Metal one. Nonetheless, the album is damn good with clear influences of Art Rock giants Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Yes, and Rick Wakeman. In fact, the album is a collage of these three folds. Needless to say that the paino and the keyboards are the stars that shine. And they shine real bright.
“Beyond the Unpredictable” hits the road and shows everything the album is all about. I guess some fans may get confused and think this track is Prog Metal, but, in fact, it’s not. There are some heavy guitars here and there, but the keyboards talk louder and steal the scene in a very progressive way leaving no doubt behind of whom this album belongs. It’s a seven minute trip to the more distant spaces and places of this sad and lonely and miserable little planet. “Phoenix,” the following track makes no mistake about genre. Piano and keyboard are the presence from the beginning in a beautiful and meaninful song. It’s hard not to get emotional while listening to the finesse and kindness of it. Even the more blackhearted Metal fan will burst into tears while the playing of the song. “Strange as Life” keeps the same vibe, however using an acoustic guitar interwoven with the piano which makes it even more beautiful. It’s a track that reminded me a lot Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow’s “Wess Heim,” a track with the same vibe and beauty that uses the same technique of repeating the notes exhaustedly in a crescendo. As the piano is really the star of the album, “VAL” shows all the Emerson, Lake, and Palmer influences Mark Bravi has, and I guess may be a homage to them. Correct if I’m wrong.
“Origins” is really the album for an Art Rock fan. Prog Metal fans as well.
Mark Bravi “Origins” was independently released on January 12th.
- Beyond the Unpredictable
- Strange as Life
- The 10th Dimension
Watch the official album debut teaser here: