Spheric Universe Experience – The New Eve
Spheric Universe Experience
The New Eve
Because holy wow what a mouthful of a name, I will henceforth refer to the band known as Spheric Universe Experience as S.U.E., or possibly AOTY contender 2012, but probably S.U.E., whose newest release, as the astute reader might be guessing, has impressed me enough to be the third entry in my growing 2012 Prog AOTY sweepstakes. Unlike my other favorites from this year (the borderline pop-prog but unrelentingly melodic Lights from Oblivion and the somber, discomforting, but groundbreaking Storm Corrosion), The New Eve is a front to back metal album. I’ll spare readers the overlong diatribe on the true nature of prog metal this time, but this sits firmly as a great fusion between progressive complexity, and metal… well… \m/
In truth, The New Eve does lean a bit more on the metal sensibilities, especially during instrumental sections that, while full of technical wizardry and intricate complexities, are ultimately meant for the banging of heads and the raising of horns. While my preferred paradigm of progressive metal is progressive rock enhanced by heavy metal influence, I can always appreciate a band like S.U.E. that reverses that relationship and, in a tasteful manner, uses progressive complexity to give a fresh outlook to heavy metal.
When geeking out on this album to The Protagonist, there were three songs in particular that stood out to me, and I believe they are probably the best on the record: the opening track “Shut Up”, the title track “The New Eve”, and my personal favorite “The Day I Died”. Dan, who is perfectly within his rights to edit this out if he has changed his opinion, [Editor’s note: lol] compared the band favorably to Voyager, and I think that it’s a fair comparison. Admittedly, I am a sucker for the background chorus “Hey, hey, hey” chant in “Shut Up”; it’s simple, but it’s catchy, and as long as it’s not the point, is a really great tool for occasional use. “The New Eve” and “The Day I Died” are in similar veins of masterfully executed progressive metal with obviously talented musicians behind the guitar and keyboard. Perhaps the most fantastic relationship between these elements is the longest song and most obvious ballad on the album, “Angel”. If one were to strip away the background noise, this is flesh and blood the exact type of song I hate, from the cheesy lyrics to the overlong vocal delivery. However, the keyboard soundscapes, for reasons beyond my understanding, do a wonder for me. Perhaps it’s the nostalgic video game influence, but I really love this song.
I can’t really say this album has any major weaknesses, there are areas I would have liked to see done better, (like the progressive elements) but for a melodic progressive metal album, this is top form, and one of the most rockin’ of its kind. I’m sure, come the end of the year, you’ll be hearing about this album again, so I’d get on the bandwagon while there’s still room.
Dagg’s Rating: 4.5/5