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Secret Sphere: The Nature Of Time
Secret Sphere - The Nature Of Time CD Album Review

Secret Sphere: The Nature Of Time

Melodic Progressive Power Metal

When I was first pitched the latest and eighth Secret Sphere studio album, The Nature Of Time, my first thought was more of a question. Where has this band been? We haven't had a new studio album since 2012's Portrait Of A Dying Heart. But they have been busy in between. They re-recorded 2001's A Time Never Come, but I'm not sure why. Then, in 2016, Secret Sphere dropped a live DVD/CD package One Night In Tokyo. But on to the present.

Secret Sphere Band Photo

Secret Sphere

The album's title, The Nature Of Time, is something of a misnomer. Like many previous albums, this one is also a concept album. According to guitarist Aldo Lonobile, it's has something to do with self-reflection and the pure expression of emotions. Song titles include Love, Courage, Kindness, Honesty, Faith, and so on. Ergo, the album could rightly be called The Nature of Emotions. (To be fair "the nature of time" is mentioned in the closing track, The New Beginning.)

The next curious question to ask is, how are these feelings to be expressed in a musical form? I'm glad you asked. We know Secret Sphere's sound turns upon a blend of traditional, symphonic, power, and progressive metal, yet always wrapped in melody, harmony, and groove. So how does this work for the song Love? It's more a metal anthem, a bit lighter with strong emotional vocal arrangements. Makes sense. For the feeling of Courage, a trait that involves some boldness and fortitude, Sphere goes with assertive power metal, with strong riffs, a brisk pace, soaring leads, and a determined catchy chorus. Curiously, for the song Honesty, the approach is somewhat similar. The riffs are heavy and sharp, the groove heavier, and the leads almost visceral. Sometimes honesty needs to be forthright and even blunt. Additionally, for the song Faith, something that requires both trust and strength, the music is also bold, especially in the drumming but also the crisp riffage once more and the pacing is swift.

Turning aside from the emotion specific songs, The Awakening, the longest cut here, turns on Secret Sphere's trademark progressive power metal having a galloping pace, energetic drumming, blistering riffage embellished by large synths, and Michele Luppi passionate vocals riding above it all. And that may be the single most persuasive element of these songs, Luppi's voice. He's always had a natural inherent passion to his delivery, and he applies that passion to the emotions expressed within this album.

All said, The Nature Of Time was definitely worth the wait. Secret Sphere delivers another solid and entertaining album of symphonic and progressive power metal, and may just be their best album to date. Easily recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

With The Nature Of Time, Secret Sphere delivers another solid and entertaining album of symphonic and progressive power metal, and may just be their best album to date. Easily recommended.

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