Company: Replica Records Release: 2005 Reviewer: IcedMojo Genre: Progressive
On track for a perfect progressive album
As a fan of progressive/power metal, one could understand my excitement when it came to "Mental Torments", the debut CD by France's own Spheric Universe Experience. Born in 1999 and after three name changes, it finally happened. Let the mouth watering commence. Opener "So Cold" showcases their power side with a very technically sound and well-executed vocals. This track showcases each instrument in solos, which has become a bit overused in the progressive subgenre. The following 6 tracks are perfect examples of how refreshing and modern progressive metal should be--chalked full of forceful power, yet focusing on keyboards and changing tempos throughout all the while telling the age old story of the struggle of the human race. Yes, I did say 6 Tracks, plus the intro, equals 7. Granted, there are 9 tracks found here, but they could have and should have stopped after 7. the remaining two tracks have no relevance. "Sidereal Revolution" is completely instrumental [minus the random girl laughing] and doesn't seem to have an ending, which only leaves the listener bored to tears. The closer "Echoes of the Stars" again has no relevance to the story at hand. And the elevator type music found here makes you wanna jump off of a bridge. Just when you think the song is over, there comes more of it, equipped with whiny vocals and substandard musicianship. Then a random mixture of sounds leads us out. Fans of Symphony X or Dream Theater [Images and Words and earlier] will love the first 7 tracks, as I did then they came to that proverbial fork in the road and took a wrong turn. A perfect album is a rare find and Spheric Universe Experience were on track to do just that.