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SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE

Progressive Metal • France


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Spheric Universe Experience biography
In 1999 guitarist Vince Benaim and his friends bassist John Drai and a drummer simply known as Sam decided to form a progressive metal band.They gigged around southern France using the name GATES OF DELERIUM,but knew they were being limited because they weren't incorporating keyboards or vocals so keyboardist Fred Columbo was brought onboard in 2001 along with vocalist Alex.Now using the moniker AMNESYA,they played some live shows and recorded one demo.
The band then split in 2002,leaving Vince,John and Fred alone to continue under the name SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE.
After 8 months of writing the band had enough material for a full album and a demo was home-recorded using session vocalist Frank Garcia,who was brought in on short notice,literally days before recording.After the recording sessions Garciia joined the band full time.
The band then began recording their debut album "Mental Torments",using session drummer Volodia Brice,in 2003.Drummer Nico "Ranko" Muller joined the band in 2004 and now SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE'S line-up was finalized."Mental Torments" was released in 2005 and the band continued touring and writing.Their sophomore album "Anima" was released in 2007.
The music of Spheric Universe Experience is technical,melodic progressive metal,and can be compared to bands such as DREAM THEATER,PAIN OF SALVATION and FATES WARNING,but filled with an incredible intensity and an original identity of their own.Highly recommended to all progressive metal fans.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
This band has been approved by the Progressive Metal Team of Special Collaborators



Discography:
Mental Torments, studio album (2005)
Anima, studio album (2007)
...

Spheric Universe Experience official website

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The New EveThe New Eve
Nightmare Records 2012
Audio CD$7.47
$4.96 (used)
AnimaAnima
Sensory Records 2007
Audio CD$13.79
$10.78 (used)
Mental Torments + 1 Bonus TrackMental Torments + 1 Bonus Track
NIGHTMARE 2006
Audio CD$9.99
$9.21 (used)
UnrealUnreal
Sensory Records 2009
Audio CD$17.06
$6.49 (used)
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SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE discography


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SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 71 ratings
Mental Torments
2005
3.64 | 59 ratings
Anima
2007
3.44 | 34 ratings
Unreal
2009
3.16 | 17 ratings
The New Eve
2012

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Burning Box
2003

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The New Eve by SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.16 | 17 ratings

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The New Eve
Spheric Universe Experience Progressive Metal

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Spheric Universe Experience's "The New Eve" is a journey into heavy prog metal territory with some synth and melancholy diversions. I have been cranking this album for a while and it really has grown on me, especially the melodies and powerful driving riffs.

It begins with the scorching muscular guitars of 'Shut Up', with Vince Bena´m's crushing distorted riff that gallops along on a fast time sig. Franck Garcia's vocals are raspy but easy to understand in the same style as Testament. The riffs are killer and the lead break is dynamic, along with keyboards played by Fred Colombo to soften the dense atmosphere.

'The New Eve' is a 6 minute track with a fast cadence and locks into a frenetic riff, only to break away in the slower chorus with some retro synth sounds. The synths are more prominent at times sounding like the music of Gary Numan. There is later a very choppy riff and then an excellent metronomic Dream Theater style riff. Christophe Briand's drums pound relentlessly and after another vibrant lead solo the chorus finalises this wonderful song.

After such an incredible start 'Escape' follows, driven by a very fast tempo with a brain melting complex riff that will test the dexterity of any respectful guitarist. The vocals are terrific, just serrated enough to have a metal edge without resorting to growls, and I love the melody on the chorus that is a real grower. The saw toothed synth buzzes along with spasmodic guitar bursts, and a lead break augments the heaviness. This song is an absolute belter; pummeling with breakneck speed sledge hammer riffing from beginning to end. 'Never Heal' follows, clocking 6.15, with synth and guitar thrashing out an endearing riff and then settling on a rhythm with doublekick drums. The vocals are more subdued and demonstrate the range of Garcia. The bassline of John Drai maintains the meter as a guitar solo unleashes with speedy hammer ons and then a scintillating keyboard solo takes over.

So far every song is excellent prog metal, so I was wondering with a title like 'Angel' would we be able to relax with a power ballad to break away from the intensity. The 6.44 minute song opens with spacey textures on a very slow beat; a dreamy soundscape. The vocals are very gentle with acoustic vibrations, so we have our respite which is a welcome relief. The melody is lovely, as Garcia sings building to a stirring harmonised chorus; "when the rainbow in the grey sky, light upon me or give me a sign, angel, you are my angel, fly on my shoulders when I am sad and blue, angel, you feel my heart and joy, thankyou for being here in my life." The lead break with angelic synth is mesmirising and this is a gentle song, underpinned by tranquil synths. It ends with an isolated piano and a baby cry echoing, then some unsettling spacey atmospheres.

'The Day I Died' has a surprising funky vibe and Colombo's warbling synth lines with much cleaner vocals. It certainly is a diverse approach and I like Beniam's choppy axe work. It a more mainstream form of metal sounding like a different band. 'In This Place' returns to the heavier guitar distortion and manic riffing, and the pace gets into a breakneck tempo. This is speed metal territory and the heaviness is jarring after the previous two tracks. The riff is killer and at times moves into the pentatonic style of Tool. Briand's drums crash unremittingly and there is a strong presence of keyboards layered over the density. This track is a metalhead's paradise.

'Self Abuse' is another very fast full on riffer, the band seem to be gaining pace the further into the album we get, and this has growls earlier thrown in to give it an even heavier mood. The raspy vox come in multilayered, and it seems to have an Arabian style melody. The fast strumming is traditional thrash, and the instrumental break is a trade off of razor sharp lead guitar and keyboard attacks. The lead work at the end is barking mad improvisation.

The last track is 'My Heart on The Cross', opening with a synth motif and slowed tempo. A breath of fresh air after the chaos previous, again the mood is completely different. The singing is clean and softer, as we hear about the girl who is in the protagonist's dreams but also in his nightmares at times. The compelling lyrics talk of the cross as a symbol, healing of afflictions, and the loss of a girl who has torn out his heart, this is why "the gravedigger is waiting, waiting for me". The melancholy is strong and it builds to the revelation that "behind the door there is my hell" and "this is my judgement, trying to escape distress, trying to escape this mess."

"The New Eve" is a terrific heavy prog album with enough metal to appease those who like thrash and yet there is a fair degree of prog elegance with ballads and some sweeping keyboard finesse. This variation makes the journey all the more captivating and I was very impressed with this album from Spheric Universe Experience.

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 The New Eve by SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.16 | 17 ratings

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The New Eve
Spheric Universe Experience Progressive Metal

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

With this album I am having my first experience with this French band, who have gained a place in the musical realm in the last years, that is why I got interested. This album is entitled "The New Eve" with nine compositions that range from 4 to 6 minutes average.

It kicks off with "Shut Up", whose first seconds seem to mark a delicate path, but the music all of a sudden explodes and the metal sound is offered right away. After a minute the vocals appear for the first time, with a sound like a mixture of Dream Theater meets Scorpions. The music is good, strings and drums in a powerful way, while keyboards put the background, Nice opener track, though I must say that in the chorus where the backing vocals say "hey, hey" is terrible. The next song is the title track, "The New Eve" which starts heavier than its predecessor and with a different voiceprint. The music seems to be more aggressive, and the composition more challenging. There is a cool instrumental passage after three minutes where the keyboards become a main instrument.

"Escape" has again that inherent power these kind of bands offer, since the first second we can appreciate the fast and heavy sound, with a slice of progressive rock on it. After three minutes there is a great part where the keyboards produce some kind of spacey-robotic sound that puts a different texture to the music, changing its path, but not harming it. Later it returns as it began and finishes like that. "Never Heal" is one of those songs that can stay on your mind, not precisely for being memorable or unforgettable, no, because it has a catchy sound, sorry if I sound harsh, but I don't mean a catchy-radio-station-tune, but it is easy to remember it and like it. Here I want to emphasize the bass work, which is pretty good.

"Angel" starts more electronic, reminding me a bit of Ayreon, then vocals enter along with acoustic guitar and create a nice mellow sound. The music flows and when the chorus comes it becomes more emotional, and I can't deny, a bit poppy. "The Day I Died" seems at first to continue with that mellow and soft sound, but after some 5 seconds it explodes and starts developing a structure with a recognizable rhythm, nice changes in tempo and mood, and good intercalation of keyboards and strings, with nice solos included.

"In This Place" reminds me again of Ayreon for the very first seconds, you know that keyboard sound is very peculiar, but well, the music changes right away and becomes totally different, with powerful drums, strings and vocals. This is a nice song because it sums up what Spheric Universe Experience's music is about, so this may be a nice example of their offer. "Self abuse" is another fast track, closer to other metal genre, rather than the progressive one, though with the keyboard and guitar solos the prog element is evident. The album finishes with "My Heart on the Cross" which is a pretty good track, a different one with a cool use of electronics, while a disarming voice sounds. Nice way to finish a good album.

So it was a good experience with this band, though as you may know, I am not fan of metal music, I can have good moments listening to bands of quality, such as this Frenchmen. My final grade will be 8 out 10.

Enjoy it!

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 Anima by SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Anima
Spheric Universe Experience Progressive Metal

Review by msphelps

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 intriguing to listen to, far from the bland flatness that so often plagues this genre. The album feels cohesive, rather than a collection of randomly thrown-together bits and pieces. And of course, their instrumental playing is top-notch. Anima isn't a perfect album, however. Sometimes the music feels less intense than it should, and despite all of the things that make it great, I honestly doubt it has too many listens in it. Despite all of this, Anima is quite an enjoyable album and certainly amongst the better of the albums to come out of this over-saturated genre.

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 Mental Torments by SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.04 | 71 ratings

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Mental Torments
Spheric Universe Experience Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars France isn't a country you would usually associate with Prog-Metal but SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE is out to change that. These guys are definitely as good as advertised. Very melodic with a good singer (Engish) and lots of heaviness. Lets just say that as a long time Prog-Metal fan these guys make me proud. I can't say it any better then that.

"So Cold" powers up fairly quickly with a nice heavy and rich sound. Synths and vocals before a minute. The vocals get passionate before 2 minutes as contrasts continue. I like the crunchy riffs. Nice chunky bass too followed by synths as the heaviness continues.The guitar rips it up too. "Now Or Ever" opens with keyboards before a powerful instrumental display takes over. A calm with synths after a minute. Drums and vocals join in. A nice heavy instrumental section with keys after 3 minutes. Passionate vocals follow. A good crunchy sound 5 1/2 minutes in before a long guitar solo ends it. "Burning Box Gala" sounds cool to open before a crushing soundscape takes over. Nice. Riffs with piano 2 minutes in as synths wash in. Lots of time changes here before a stampede of drums comes crashing in. I like the synths too. An amazing instrumental ! Check out the drum work early in "Saturated Brain" ! I like the opening guitar too. Synths roll in. Vocals a minute in. It settles with piano 2 minutes in but not for long ! Contrasts continue. Blistering guitar before 6 minutes. Vocals are back before 7 minutes. An all out assault ends it.

"Moonlight" opens with keys and drums. Synths and vocals follow. A thunderous attack before 1 1/2 minutes. How good is this 2 minutes in ! Ripping guitar after 3 1/2 minutes. Synths wash in. Piano and spoken words end it. "Halleygretto" opens with piano as drums and synths join in.The tempo picks up as guitar and heaviness follows. "Mental Torments" is the 15 1/2 minute title track. It opens fairly heavily with deep bass and drums. Vocals and synths after 1 1/2 minutes. The guitar comes flying in at 6 minutes. Killer rhythm section here as well. It's spacey 7 minutes in. Piano and vocals change that after 8 minutes then it kicks in again. Spacey synths and drums before 10 minutes. Heavy again as the tempo and mood continues to change. I like when it fades out then comes back in to end it. "Echoes Of The Stars" opens with thunder and rain as guitar and keys come in. Drums and synths follow in this laid back tune. Vocals 2 minutes in. It's heavier 4 1/2 minutes in. Guitar solo before 7 1/2 minutes. Great sound a minute later to end it.

I highly recommend "Mental Torments" to all you Prog-Metal fans out there.

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 Mental Torments by SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.04 | 71 ratings

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Mental Torments
Spheric Universe Experience Progressive Metal

Review by mindsmoothie

4 stars A fine English wine, as well as a fine French prog band, have been a joke in the minds of European and American citizens alike for years.

This CD is great, it's very entertaining and has lots of good riffs. Here's a sound sketch of the band:

Vanden Plas type vocals Kevin Moore piano parts meet Circus Maximus keyboard parts meet jazz fusion Heavy guitar that switches between chugging and fast, rampant riffs Lots of bass and bass solos Drum riffs that are similar to Mike Portnoy on Images and Words

Pros: Great use of odd meters Lots of emotion Great Piano Parts Jazz fusion elements Songs like Burning Box Gala have lots of great riffage

Cons: Dumb lyrics because of translations Tense sound gets exapsperating

What can I say about this album? The band is great, and I love their most recent album, Unreal. This album, however, like it's name, can be exhausting. Most of the material has this heavy (not guitar-wise, heavy as in baggy-eyed), tiring, sad feel. It exhausts me, and some of the album fades into the background like Tool...except when Tool does it, it's because they want to.

Mixed in with its awesome riffs, there are a lot of unexciting moments where riffs just seem to go on waaaay too long. This band is amazing, and Unreal is a must-have prog album. This one however, is good, but not essential.

I give it a 3.5/5, and for the sake of S.U.E. being an awesome band, I will round up to 4. Before you check out this CD, turn to Unreal and listen to that first. It is a much better representation of this band's skill level and talent.

An outline of the general sounds of the songs:

The CD starts slowly and...coldy with the intro to the song "So Cold", with it's clean, reverb drenched guitar giving a full sound. When the distorted guitar comes in on top of that, you know you're listening to something cool. A few meter changes and it picks up, the singing coming in (in my case, English with a French accent.) Once the singing comes in, it sounds very Vanden Plas - the guitar part is very reminiscent of songs like "Shadow I Am" and the singing sounds like "Christ 0" or "Wish You Were Here". This song has some cool clean riffage with the distorted parts on top.

Next comes "Now or Never", which starts with a few bars of acoustic, then transfers to a Dream Theater-like distorted octaved thing, finally going to a chuggy thing with piano chords and synthesized symphony on top. The drums play a cool bass drum thing. This one can be lackluster.

"Burning Box Gala" starts out with a techno like piano thing, and is immediately very fast and heavy. It really sets itself apart from the first two, more depressing songs. A classic rock hammer-on thing comes in, meters start to shift around. It drops out into some cool bass with synthesizer symphony effects on top for a bit, when this weird guitar part comes in, then drops away to chugging to leave a strange piano part. This is very jazz fusiony at parts, and switches to a very happy space sounding, fast riff in between. Think of O.B.E. from Unreal meets Sane No More by Circus Maximus. Tons of cool riffs in this one, really like it. Lots of bass solos, lots of jazz.

Saturated Brain is also fast and tense, rushing along on guitar through meter changes and under keyboard effects until the singer comes in. (Once again, sounds like a French Andy Kuntz). Lots of cool riffs later in the song. This is cool if you like the faster riffs but want singing on top. A little more of a tense sound, but sad like the first two.

Moonlight has another clean piano part, which tells us more about the keyboard player. Cool bass and a drum solo at the beggining. Calm, depressed, eventually gets covered by tons of fast synth and piano solos, along with some keyboard and effects. Gets really fast and rampant, the singer goes a little heavier towards the James LaBrie side of things. But stays in tune. Fun guitar solo with lots of whammy effects and meter changes. It is depressing like the first two songs.

Halleygretto is a fun, short, classical sounding thing on piano again. It sounds very happy and sets itself apart from the saturated, sad sound of the other songs. The guitar and keyboard go into this really cool thing in some weird meters, lots of fun riffs, and even some Planet X type chuggy riffs with keyboard on top, and at some parts sounds like it could make a cool addition to a Derek Sherinian album.

Mental Torments the title track, is a whopping fifteen minutes long. Starts with drum and bass solo, guitar comes in very muted in some weird meter that I haven't tabbed yet, gets wah and goes crazy...but it still has this depressed sound. Very sad and minory. This song gets really crazy, and is worth tons of listens because of a lot of awesome riffs.

Sidereal Revolution starts off with just bass, a cool drum lick, and is one of my favorite songs on the CD. Think of a more tense Learning to Live by Dream Theater.

Echos in the Stars, the last sad song, is very Pink Floydish, with lots of piano, clean guitar, and epic, 80's like drumming, feels good as an epic closer to the album.

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 Anima by SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Anima
Spheric Universe Experience Progressive Metal

Review by dmudd

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 influences...forgetting about the old-school bands that could actually teach them something about songwriting, commerciality, and variety.

Note to prog-metal heads & aspiring prog-metal bands: Every song doesn't have to be 7 minutes of virtuostic playing. In fact, many of the finest albums steer away from that it seems.

I do like this album. Strangely, it is their epic song (The Key) that I dislike...along with the tail end of the album. The first 7 songs are AMAZING!!!!! And as I said, speaking as a old-school fan of DT...I feel that Anima is an album that DT SHOULD be making right now.

This record sounds a bit like Images and Words conbined with WDADU...which are my favorite DT records.

I enjoy the lyrical content, as well as the heavy guitar/keyboard dynamic. The synths are rich and in your face...like good prog metal should be.

I give it 5 stars on the first 7 tracks alone. However, a part of me feels like they should have just left it at that. The remaining songs are the ones that bore me, so I give it 4 stars.

Kepp up the good work!!!!

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 Anima by SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Anima
Spheric Universe Experience Progressive Metal

Review by MaSuAnime

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 metal at some points. It is filled with melodic passages, and amazing guitar riffs, and enough groove to make your head bang for the full hour and seven minutes of this CD. I can not wait for Spheric Universe Experience's next album.

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 Anima by SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Anima
Spheric Universe Experience Progressive Metal

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

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 Mental Torments by SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.04 | 71 ratings

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Mental Torments
Spheric Universe Experience Progressive Metal

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

5 stars Outstanding album!!!!!This Frenchmen teach the universe how progressive metal should be played...They have the complexity of DREAM THEATER,the melody of SHADOW GALLERY,the heaviness and technique of ZERO HOUR and the intelligence of PAIN OF SALVATION...but most important...they know how to compose progressive,complex songs and not simply to show their skills...A masterpiece of the prog metal scene,a memorable album...

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 Anima by SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.64 | 59 ratings

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Anima
Spheric Universe Experience Progressive Metal

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.

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