SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE — Anima (review)

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE — Anima album cover Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
adg211288
Anima (2007) is the second full-length album by French progressive metal act Spheric Universe Experience (herein S.U.E. for short). I first discovered this band through their more recent fourth album The New Eve (2012), which I think is a pretty excellent but rather modern sounding progressive metal album; one which may not appeal so much to the more traditional progressive metal fan.

Their second album Anima isn't totally traditional and by the book either, but will no doubt find more appeal to fans of acts like Dream Theater or Symphony X, than The New Eve. What we have here is actually what you could call a progressive power metal record, but that almost does the music on Anima a disservice as progressive power metal sort of implies that, above all else, it's a power metal album being dealt with. And that isn't really the case with Anima, which wears it's classic progressive metal influences on its sleeves and you could say turbo charged them with power metal style speed. The level of technical guitar playing is pretty damn high throughout Anima and I think that it's justified to say that S.U.E. deliver some of the best riffs in progressive metal and certainly they do a lot more with their music than most power metal acts. It's a progressive power metal record that's for certain, but a different kind to those produced by acts like Pyramaze, Vandroya, or even Wuthering Heights.

Anima is quite a long album at just shy of sixty-eight minutes, but it never wastes a second of that time and is quite easy to take in a single listen. The production shows off all the details which is perfect for the sort of music that S.U.E. are playing here while the vocals by Franck Garcia are excellent too. I'm especially fond of the opening trio of tracks Sceptic, Being, and The Inner Quest. Being isn't really much more than an interlude, but the three compositions work so well together to show off S.U.E's progressive power metal style that they're made extra memorable for it. But the band keep up the pace for most of the album, only very occasionally dropping that power metal speed that propels the music along. I'm not sure I can name a more energetic sounding progressive metal release than this, and it's certainly one of if not the best progressive metal release I've heard from the last ten years and without a doubt my album of the year for 2007, despite many of my favourite artists releasing some of their best works that year as well (such as Anubis Gate, Rebellion, Helloween and Epica). Five Stars, but damn I'd give Anima six if I could.
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