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   SECRET SPHERE
Scent Of Human Desire
2003
Nuclear Blast
http://www.secretsphere.com


rating: 4/5

1. Rain
2. Still Here
3. 1000 Eyes Show
4. More Than Simple Emotions
5. Surrounding
6. Desire
7. Virgin Street 69
8. Runaway Train
9. Scent Of A Woman
10. Life 1 (Walking Through The Dawn)
11. Life 2 (Daylight)
"Scent Of Human Desire" is the third album by Italian Secret Sphere. They play melodic power metal with some neoclassical and progressive elements. Having liked their sophomore album "A Time Never Come" quite a bit I was rather eager to listen to their newest effort and it is fair to say that they continue where they left off with "A Time Never Come".

The singer Ramon's voice ranges from really high pitched to "normal" to slightly hoarse and occasionally he even manages to sound annoying. All in all he is still a good, solid singer. Some female vocal parts here and there add their own aspect to the overall atmosphere. Both Antonio Agate (keyboards) and Aldo Lonobile (lead guitar) create some beautiful passages and the soloing sounds like it's more based on emotion than plain technical wizardry. Occasionally the going gets a bit symphonic, but mainly the keyboards focus on keeping the soundscape somewhat atmospheric.

Luckily the songs are memorable and accessible and yet complex enough at the same time, so that you definitely get interested on the first listen and still yearn for more. The song structures are more complex than on your average power metal band but still they pale when compared to some of the great prog metal acts. There certainly are some nice hooks to keep the interest up and whereas the majority of power metal bands are as predictable as weather in Sahara, Secret Sphere definitely have some surprising turns reserved for the listener.

The compositions seem like they are well thought and the overall tempo on the album isn't quite as furious as I expected. Still Secret Sphere seem to lack the magical factor that would make them rise above from the grey mass, although they quite obviously have found their own path with this combination of power and prog metal. The production of the album is not bad nor is it great. It is definitely not "stuffy" but leaves some room for improvement. Although at times I get the feeling that they have tried to blend too much details into a single song I must say that the overall result is very good and should satisfy the hunger of any fan of melodic metal. Especially songs like "1000 Eyes Show" and "Surrounding" are real gems.

submitted by Aleksi 01.05.2003

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