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Spheric Universe Experience: The New Eve

As has been the case with Cloudscape's new album, French progressive metal band Spheric Universe Experience has dropped the progressive aspect of their music in favour of a direct, more accessible sound.

The complex arrangements, interesting guitar and keyboard solos, and intricate rhythmic anchors that defined their riff-laden progressive metal identity are all gone. There are no unison leads anymore, which is a shame given Fred Colombo's amazing synth tones and Vince Benaim's choppy, powerful guitar work. With the exception of the album opener "Shut Up," the album is devoid of any keyboard leads, and even this one is very uncharacteristic of the band given it's very short and even feels out of place in the very modern-sounding tune. The primary goal seems to be writing hooks and melodies utilizing Franck Garcia's easily noticeable vocals, and it works, I suppose. Garcia sings a lot differently on this album: he goes for a poppy delivery mixed into supposedly epic choruses, marked by an alternative rock undercurrent and industrial synth elements in the background. Whether the electronically processed guitar tone, modern keyboard effects, or the awfully cheesy 'aggressive' vocals on songs like "Self Abuse" will win this band a new fan base also remains to be seen. Actually I was embarrassed for them when I heard the final seconds of this song, though the ballad "Angel" gives it a run for its money (just listen to the lyrics). What's the most disappointing about the album is perhaps the all-too-one-dimensional guitar work that provides little to no variation throughout the whole disc. The playing is based entirely on crunchy riffing that hardly develops into anything remotely interesting, and there are no solos to be found on the album.

I have always considered the band's first album their best with Anima a close second. Their third album Unreal did show signs of stagnation in the writing department and I was let down by the compressed, lifeless production, but this album is easily their worst offering to date. I do wonder what they were thinking when they wrote and recorded this disc.

Track Listing

  1. Shut Up
  2. The New Eve
  3. Escape
  4. Never Heal
  5. Angel
  6. The Day I Died
  7. In This Place
  8. Self Abuse
  9. My Heart on the Cross

Added: September 9th 2012
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: SUE Facebook Page
Hits: 2705
Language: english

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