SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE

Progressive Metal • France
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French progressive metal band created in 1999.

The early beginning of Spheric Universe Experience dates back to 1999, when guitarist Vince Benaim decided to create a progressive metal band together with his friends Sam (on drums) and John Drai (on bass). The band did some local gigs in and around the southern parts of France, going by the name of Gates of Delirium. They knew that they limited their own repertoire by not incorportating vocals and keyboards, so by 2001 keyboardist Fred Colombo entered the band together with vocalist Alex. Now going by the band name of Amnesya, the guys did lots of liveshows and one demo CD. In August 2002, the band split because of musical disagreements leaving Vince, John and Fred to continue under the name of Spheric Universe Experience. During the next 8 months their passion for composing led them to write a complete
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SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Discography

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE albums / top albums

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Mental Torments album cover 3.94 | 9 ratings
Mental Torments
Progressive Metal 2005
SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Anima album cover 4.16 | 12 ratings
Anima
Progressive Metal 2007
SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Unreal album cover 3.92 | 9 ratings
Unreal
Progressive Metal 2009
SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE The New Eve album cover 4.21 | 7 ratings
The New Eve
Progressive Metal 2012

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE EPs & splits

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE live albums

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE The Burning Box album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Burning Box
Progressive Metal 2003

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE re-issues & compilations

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE singles (1)

.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
The Day I Died
Progressive Metal 2012

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Reviews

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Anima

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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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.

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE The New Eve

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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666sharon666
Spheric Universe Experience's latest offering is The New Eve, an album which I'm sure has fanbase divider written all over it due to some fairly major changes in their approach to progressive metal. First off the album is heavily influenced by electronic music and when we're talking metal electronic influences can be a very hit and miss affair. Secondly the songs are structured much more traditionally and are generally shorter than those found on previous album Unreal, and exceptionally shorter to those found on SUE's first two albums Mental Torments and Anima. This is still a progressive album, which also contains some power metal styled fast riffs and symphonic touches in the background of several songs, but it's most definitely fair to say that The New Eve is less obviously progressive and requires many dedicated listens to pick up on the fine details.

It may feel, should you come to The New Eve after any of SUE's previous work, that the band has toned their sound down in order to appeal to a wider audience, or have sold out, but the truth is they've actually become more adventurous with their music than ever before. The previous albums were amazing, but The New Eve has them branching out into a sound which is a little more unqiue. That doesn't change that I see The New Eve as a fanbase divider, but despite some obvious mainstream influences that have crept into it The New Eve is the bravest album SUE have made yet. It's also their best, but not for that reason. The reason that it is their best is because every single song is as good as the last, with repeated listens only giving me even more of a high regard for the album.

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE The New Eve

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Time Signature
Escape...

Genre: modern melodic metal

Spheric Universe Experience are slated as a progressive metal band but, to be honest, I have had a hard time hearing exactly what is so progressive about this album.

Fortunately, adg211288's review of the same album pins down exactly what the progressive aspect of this album is, so allow me to quote from his review:

"On The New Eve Spheric Universe Experience plays the kind of progressive metal that is more song based without excessively long drawn out instrumental breaks and is made most progressive due to the multi-faceted approach to creating their music, drawing on a number of styles both within and outside of the spectrum of metal music, but keeping it formed around the traditional concept of how to make a song."

That is exactly the thing here. Not only are the songs on this album, well, song-based, they are also incredibly straightforward, building on grooves and melodies rather than technical intricacies and other typical progressive metal elements. Just take the opening track "Shut Up", which is a melodic and groovy straight forward modern metal rocker and very much a statement of sorts cementing that this is very accessible music.

As adg211288 points out, the progressive aspect of this album lies in Spheric Universe Experience's eclectic approach, as they draw on a variety of modern metal genres as well as non-metal genres, most prominently electronica and pop music. The interesting thing here is that what causes this album to ultimately be non-progressive to my ears is the progressive and exploratory mindset of the musicians. On this album Spheric Universe Experience have more in common with bands like Amaranthe, Raintime, Engel and Sonic Syndicate, because, like these bands, Spheric Universe Experience take the Gothenburg-sound, normally associated with melodeath, and redress it in more melodic and pop-oriented music. That being said, there are instances of more complex song structuring as well as rhythmic ambiguities and the more typical prog metal keyboard solos.

Anyway, while I really do enjoy the many very strong groovy and metallic riffs on this album, the electronica-oriented elements as well as the slightly formulaic melodic choruses do not sit well with me. The album is, overall, very enjoyable to me, though, and there is no denying that we are dealing with top notch musicianship.

If you are into accessible modern metal with a twist of pop - such as Amaranthe and Engel - then, by all means, give Spheric Universe Experience's latest album a listen. It is accessible and melodic, and the songs it features are very solid and well put together.

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE The New Eve

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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adg211288
The New Eve is the fourth album by French progressive metal act Spheric Universe Experience. The album is released in September 2012. On The New Eve Spheric Universe Experience plays the kind of progressive metal that is more song based without excessively long drawn out instrumental breaks and is made most progressive due to the multi-faceted approach to creating their music, drawing on a number of styles both within and outside of the spectrum of metal music, but keeping it formed around the traditional concept of how to make a song.

That’s kind of what makes The New Eve a difficult album for me. The band clearly has no qualms about including just about anything in their music (nor should they as a progressive metal act), but this does mean that although on one hand they are including stuff I like, such as symphonic parts, or a bit of power metal style speed, on the other we also get some electronic keyboard parts, which take the album in a direction I’m sure many metalheads won’t be so keen on. It is therefore most certainly an album that requires the most open of minds to get the most out of it. There were definitely parts in the album that had my eyebrows raised during my initial listen. However given a couple more I began to appreciate the work that Spheric Universe Experience had crafted with The New Eve.

Indeed once given time to properly sink in The New Eve is actually quite the addictive album from Spheric Universe Experience. The musicianship is interesting and Franck Garcia provides a solid vocal for the lyrics which are not without their hooks. To my own surprise the electronic parts within the album work really well and really add to the variety to be found within the release, and it is an album that has plenty of variation between its nine tracks, so much so that the album’s close to fifty minute duration seems to pass by much faster than it actually is, and the album often leaves me wanting to play it again straight away after its conclusion. The band’s riffs are also very much top grade, so there is plenty to sink your teeth into on that front.

The New Eve is certainly not an album to be judged based off one listen (no album is really, but this especially so). It is probably not an album to be judged based off a second or even a third listen to be honest because with the amount of different influences Spheric Universe Experience have drawn on to create it means that most listeners will likely find a section or two that isn’t quite to their taste. Whether that means the electronic keyboards as with me (which I think are the most major of influences from outside what is the accepted norm for metal) or something else remains to be seen but I was surprised to find myself enjoying stuff I normally don’t in The New Eve.

What I like about the album most though is that it’s a progressive metal album that, although it uses mostly clean vocals (there are few growls in Self Abuse) and perhaps on paper could be grouped with the so called ‘vanilla’ or ‘traditional’ progressive metal acts, it just doesn’t fit my conception of such artists well enough that I’d consider the band to be of the same breed of progressive metal act. They are different in a good way, and they have most definitely made a fan out of me with The New Eve. An exceptional grade rating is easily deserved.

9.3/10

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE Anima

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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avestin
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 MMA rating purposes: This is a 2.5 rating for me. 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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