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Spheric Universe Experience

Progressive Metal

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Spheric Universe Experience Anima album cover
3.70 | 65 ratings | 8 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sceptic (6:31)
2. Being (2:31)
3. The Inner Quest (5:37)
4. Neptune's Revenge (6:59)
5. Stormy Dome (1:32)
6. World of Madness (7:06)
7. End of Trauma (9:28)
8. Heal My Pain (7:06)
9. Questions (3:49)
10. The Key (10:25)
11. Black Materia (6:38)
12. Waltz Opus 64 No. 2 (Frédéric Chopin cover) (3:41)

Total Time 71:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Vince Benaim / guitars
- John Drai / bass
- Franck Garcia / vocals
- Fred Colombo / keyboards
- Nicolas "Ranko" Muller / drums

Releases information

CD Sensory Records (2007)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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More places to buy SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE music online

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Anima ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Interpreters & Imitators

Let me start straight away with this. If you want to know what this sounds like, the let me quote from the promo press accompanying the CD: ".clearly inspired by bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X and proud of it".

This French band plays a dynamic and high energy Dream Theatre styled metal, very well exectued, technical and focused. Sounds good? Well, I find this to be uninspired, or rather too much inspired by their heroes - DT and Symphony X. It seems we heard it before and while this is not bad (but it is boring at times) it's just not thrilling to me to listen to this. Had they brought in some of their own personalities into it, or just some more originality into it, this would have been more interesting, more captivating. Moreover, I find the vocals to be very irritating; high pitched and more screaming than singing they do a disservice to the music, making the songs less attractive (they remind me somewhat of Nuclear Assault's vocalist John Connelly, only his voice fits the thrash metal they played). The vocals manage to flatten out the sound, that should have been otherwise changing and of high volume. If I were to disregard the similarity to DT, then songs like "The Inner Guest" and "Neptune's Revenge", "Heal My Pain" and parts of "End Of Trauma" would be marked as a highlight, being fast, technical, and complex in the interval they introduce in the middle of it (in the first) and the nice intro (in the second). However, the other songs are not that interesting, though like I said, well executed and with high energy. But they go by and I don't have that "ear catcher" effect with them. There are some more interesting pieces in the album, such as the song "The Key" in which they seem to put in more than what they did with all previous songs and it is more varied than the others as well. While it does have the DT style as well (and even a part in which they imitate the ragtime solo from "The Dance Of Eternity" from "Scenes From A Memory Part II"), it is actually the best track in the album and it does have a little more to it than just their beloved influences, and more of their own. The band joining as backing vocals is a blessed addition (as they mask the main vocals.). The spoken vocals in French were also a good choice, adding a mysterious edge to the music (I am half French, so I know what he's singing). If the album was more like this song, I would have liked it more. This is more of an "ear catcher" than all the rest of the album combined. The album is quite long, and so it sometimes seems to not end, especially when not liking a particular song or just being bored with it. The following track, Black Materia is another example of them playing something which shows more their sound as they interpret their influences, rather than simply imitating their influences. And this is why the album left me in the several first listens a bit baffled. Cause I remembered not like it through most of it and then after the last two tracks I was more sympathetic to it. And those two last tracks are "to blame". If they choose to go in that direction and develop from there, it would definitely bring them to being interpreters and not imitators. There's still work to do, as those two tracks are not that far away from the imitation side, but it's a move in the right direction.

Again, this is not a bad album; I am sure fans of DT and others of their ilk will like this album a lot (I too love several of DT's albums very much), and so I can safely recommend it to them. But then again, if you want DT sounding metal, why not stick to the original? But don't expect to find too many new ideas or a new take on this sort of music, as this is, as the band itself promotes itself, not the intention here. And this is my main problem with this; why not put in more of your own personality inside your music and stick to doing what your revered band is doing? Why not dare more and experiment or try new directions for your music to evolve, to develop and grow? I am not saying go avant-garde, but you don't need to be weird to be good or interesting. Simply develop your own sound, your special and particular type of playing and composing and those can have influences, everyone will have them by now, but the question is to what a degree. And the "influence factor" is too high for me in this one; not to mention that I find it to not be as good as their influencing bands and other flaws that I found here.

As for others who dislike DT and this sort of metal, keep away. As for myself, as my taste is quite varied and I like a wide variety of it, from the most quiet, through the noisiest to the most insane, I can say I do like this sort of metal, but this particular album is simply not interesting, a repetition of things already done and re-done and I have hard time to see where the band members own sound comes in. It has its moments, but nothing that gets my attention for too long, and the vocals are simply turning me off. I will probably not return to this album again.

For PA rating purposes: This is a near 3 star rating for me (2.6-2.9). For DT fans, I'd say between 3 and 4 stars. For people who dislike DT and their ilk - 1-2 stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another excellent progressive metal album!

How do you like progressive metal? If you do not like it, just skip this write-up because this album is definitely about progressive metal album as I mention above. As far as the band, Spheric Universe Experience has never got into my ears before and this second album is basically representing my first experience with the band. As is the case when I heard Platitude at the first time, this band's music blew me away at first spin. For those of you who do not favor any metal component in a music, you might get bored with heavy and many riffs this album gives. But for me personally, metal riffs demonstrate energy and drive and they stimulate my adrenalin to explode, stir my emotion deeply. Well, music is emotion .. that has been my philosophy thus far.

What impressed me at first spin, really?

The melody. Yeah, I felt that the melody this album delivers is excellent because, despite heavy riffs in most of the songs but the ballad one, flows wonderfully and naturally. It is the melody as well that unifies all arrangements, solos, interlude and chorus into one cohesive whole that makes the listening experience is so pleasant. This happens even from the first opening track onwards.

The Harmonies. When I say about harmonies here is really how the design of notes and chords among instruments and vocals involved in the music bind together tightly and make the pleasure of enjoying the music. Take a good example of fourth track "Neptune's Revenge". Oh man, I can not imagine how human being has ever created great song like this which combines individual musician's virtuosity, song melody, sound mixing, heavy riffs and chorus are all united into great sound. I mean it man .. this is one of great tracks this album has.

The structural integrity. What I mean here is how the music outline is composed by the band so that all melodies, chorus, interlude, solos would revolve around the song structure which is quite strong. The movement from one segment to another is performed smoothly that makes the song having strong structural integrity. It's too scientific hah? Well, I am an Industrial Engineer by background and Strategy Consultant by profession - so sometimes I make bombastic statement. But I mean it man . really. Most songs this band offers are really strong in structure. This is also true for song with varied styles like "Black Materia" which has jazz components abruptly during the stream of the music. It's wonderful!

So, why do I give only four stars instead of five? Simple, . it's because of this kind of music is no longer original and it has fragmented wildly lately and you may count hundred of bands in the progressive metal or power metal vein. I do not intend to demean the band, but four stars is a great rating, isn't it? By the way, Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Latest members reviews

4 stars In a sea of Dream Theater clones, I was more than pleasantly refreshed when I first listened to Spheric Universe Experience's Anima. Unlike most bands trying to fill this niche, Spheric Universe Experience avoids nearly all of the common pitfalls. Their songwriting is actually engaging and intriguin ... (read more)

Report this review (#276373) | Posted by msphelps | Monday, April 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is jaw-dropping to me that a DT-influenced band puts out albums better than DT!!! That is not always the case, and much of the reason I stepped away from prog metal (for almost 5 years) was due to my getting sick of DT. Seems like every prog metal band seeks to glean from the same influen ... (read more)

Report this review (#194280) | Posted by dmudd | Thursday, December 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Anima really is quite the album, Spheric Universe Experience, almost made a flawless masterpiece here. I have spun this album 8 times, and I have realized what small thing holds this album back. At some points the music comes off a little cheesy and video game like, its almost like Final Fantasy ... (read more)

Report this review (#162750) | Posted by MaSuAnime | Tuesday, February 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Best progressive metal album of 2007 There are many many prog metal bands out there sounding the same. This avalanche of newcomers inspired on Dream Theater and Symphony X is quite annoying at times because when a good band appears it's difficult to give them a try due to this overflow of clone ... (read more)

Report this review (#132736) | Posted by painofdamnation | Saturday, August 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I dislike this kind of bands that seems to be good in the prog metal vein but their true intention to be one is missing: It appears the band was formed to be a good prog metal band.Mental Torments is quite good ,but at that time showed a tendency to a commercial vein. In this album what i ... (read more)

Report this review (#125767) | Posted by robbob | Thursday, June 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I followed a link about this band from after they received some positive reviews. I liked the sample tracks I heard and forwarded them to my housemate downstairs, who to my surprise quickly bought the album! I am currently revising for finals and it's always great to hear somet ... (read more)

Report this review (#122258) | Posted by RahRahRah | Tuesday, May 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink


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