Spheric Universe Experience - 2007 Anima

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited November 2020 in year-2007

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ARTIST: Spheric Universe Experience
ALBUM: Anima
LABEL: Replica Records (FR), Sensory (USA)
SERIAL: RPL045, SR3036
YEAR: 2007

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Vince Benaim - guitars * John Drai - bass * Franck Garcia - vocals * Fred Colombo - keyboards * Nicolas 'Ranko' Muller - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sceptic * 02 Being * 03 The Inner Quest * 04 Neptune's Revenge * 05 Stormy Dome * 06 World Of Madness * 07 End Of Trauma * 08 Heal My Pain * 09 Questions * 10 The Key * 11 Black Materia

RATING: image
WEBLINK: Site Link

Background

This French prog metal band first came to light with their 2005 debut 'Mental Torments' which we reviewed at the time. They then moved record labels and distribution but continued with the same lineup after years of turnstile membership in prior incarnations Gates Of Delirium and Amnesya.

This band had often been compared to Dream Theater but to be perfectly honest, they sound closer to Norwegians Pagan Mind, Vanden Plas and Americans Symphony X. That surely is a good thing.

Some of the eleven tracks are extensively long, but there are three that are under four minutes. Thank the prog gods for that!

The Songs

From the get-go, you can tell this band have great musical chops, guitars, keys and rampant drums are apparent on 'Sceptic' with singer Franck Garcia announcing himself in spectacular fashion.

'Being' is a shorter track at 2min 31sec, an instrumental which segues directly into 'The Inner Quest', a track that has many twists to its run-time. The keyboard noodling from Fred Colombo is mind-bending right up there with the Jordan Rudess' and Derek Sherinian's of the keyboard world.

'Neptune's Revenge' is a powerful musical monster, like an audio equivalent of the Kraken. Plenty of beefy slam-dunk drum work here, and some cookie monster vocals similar to Pagans Mind's Egyptian vocal references on 'Celestial Entrance'. Pretty OTT.

'Stormy Dome' is another brief (1min 32sec) instrumental excursion which leads into 'World Of Madness', a song that changes shape like a chameleon during its 7-minute runtime. There's probably a story to be told with this song. One only needs to see the events of our year 2020 to recognise the song-title.

One can't help but throw the comparisons to Pagans Mind on 'End Of Trauma', the musicianship is so similar, the only point of difference would be the vocals. At 9 and a half minutes it's a hefty slice of prog metal.

I'm loving the chugging metal of 'Heal My Pain' which sounds like an apocalyptic track judging by the lyrics I read. For something different, the quite beautiful 'Questions' is bereft of guitars. It's just vocals, piano and an orchestral synth backwash. Nice.

'The Key' at 10min 25sec is the longest track on 'Anima', and as you may have guessed being a lengthy prog metal track, this one is broken into distinct sections. The 6 minute mark is where we hear the band lurch into a Queen like workout. The song contains several spoken word parts in French.

'Black Materia' is the final track, with more detours and side-roads than a mouse in a maze. It does have some sci-fi moments, with some rapid fire drum work similar to Symphony X at their best.

In Summary

Quite an enjoyable album overall if prog metal is your thing. SUE went on to release two more albums with 'Unreal' coming out in 2009 and 'The New Eve' landing in 2012. Sadly the band have been off the radar ever since but hopefully they're still around and can make a return at some point.


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