“Unreal” by Spheric Universe Experience

Artist: Spheric Universe Experience
Title: “Unreal”
Label: Sensory Records
Release Date: 5/19/2009
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to the forward moving efforts of the mighty Dream Theater the world’s Progressive Metal listeners are able to enjoy rising star after rising star based on their accomplishments. Proof that the genre’s realm is only getting more interesting as time marches on comes the band Spheric Universe Experiment who hail from France and have delivered an incredibly tasty album with “Unreal” courtesy of Sensory Records. While this is the bands third release I had to admit that their material had escaped me until this time but if I am reading the critiques of the recording properly it seems that I have jumped on board at the best possible time. It’s safe to say that the band will appeal to you based on its super high melodic nature and big sounding choruses. We see this coming into play with my very favorite track on the recording “3rd Type” that found me playing air drums, guitar and singing along quite loudly much to my neighbors dismay I am sure. “Down Memory Lane” is another winner and an earlier track that showcases the bands abilities in the Melodic Metal realm. The showcase some deft technical skills during opener “White Willow” and some serious groove crushing with “Lost Ghost” that offers drama and mood that proves to be very effective.

The band is fronted by Frank Garcia who has a very powerful voice and one that stands out from the other Prog-Metal leaders that have come before him. I liked that aspect since it allowed him to remain more of an individual to my ears and not find me saying, “Oh he sounds like James LaBrie” or “he reminds me of Charlie Dominici” etc. The bands proves their salt with a very tasty instrumental jam in “O.B.E.” which offers the listeners a little bit of everything from Metal to Jazz to brief drum solo fills and wonderful guitar riffing. My guess is that this one goes over as quite the killer in the live sense. It should easily appeal to those seeking out the more technical parts of the recording. The band is tight and sure seems to work together well which is to be expected after three albums and kudos are to be extended to the whole musical lineup which consists of John Drai (bass), Fred Colombo (keyboards), Christophe Briand (drums), and Vince Benaim (guitars). The guys don’t overplay like some of the Progressive Metal bands out there today and that is not meant as a slight at all but is indeed a truth based on some of the groups just playing note after note and not finalizing the road that they were leading us down. The massive sounding album closes out with the epic “Tomorrow” which should become a fast favorite to anyone who is smart enough to pick the release up. It’s safe to say that while there are now tons of Progressive Metal and Melodic Metal coming to the fore nowadays that Spheric Universe Experience is one that you should start paying a little more attention to. This is a sound recommendation for those fans of not only Dream Theater and Fates Warning but also for those that might find Kamelot to be their cup of tea as well. After hearing this one, I plan on looking back into their earlier works and hope that I am able to find it as impressive as I did “Unreal”.

Track Listing:
1. White Willow
2. Down Memory Lane
3. Lakeside Park
4. 3rd Type
5. Near Death Experience
6. Lost Ghost
7. Dragged
8. O.B.E.
9. Tomorrow

Official Website: http://www.sphericuniversexp.com

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