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Our universe contains many open-ended questions that are unexplainable after years of extensive research: UFOs, ghosts, spontaneous combustion, Korn’s roaring popularity...strange shit man. After acquiring Spheric Universe Experience’s “Unreal,” ironically an album themed around the paranormal, I suddenly had visions of poop…just falling...all over my CD player. Then one night, a white figured appeared before my eyes and moaned, “Ditch this bullshit! It’s causing the walls to defecate!” I should have listened. Oddly enough, I had just grown tired of prying the feeble abomination of Spheric Universe Experience on a constant revolution, so when the paranormal got involved, it was time to finally bag this abhorrent slab and let the necromancers have their fun. Kind of like a homemade physic ability such as pyrokinesis that is just ridiculous and clearly fictional (minus what the psi-army believes), “Unreal” is simply unreal to the ears; desperate and lacking, mediums everywhere feel this entity serves like a broken Ouija board.
And broken they are, those French bastards and their freedom fries! Now there seems to be few issues with progressive metal’s typical woes (wankery, unoriginality) within “Unreal,” but Spheric Universe Experience fails to cash in on this golden opportunity. Why? Because they love nu-metal. Yes, this CD has more in common with Devildriver than it does Dream Theater at heart, as the band utilizes riffs and patterns that chug and wail, sound almost identical, and generally lack anything listenable. Things, however, do not look up beyond that massive observation for obvious reasons. Basically, whenever the stop-start chugging and atmospheric keyboards run out of fun, Spheric Universe Experience puts a chorus on repeat and calls it good. Obviously, you’ll clock out of consciousness before “3rd Type,” guaranteed. Essentially, the group’s egocentric neutralism towards anything observant or solitary in identification drags “Unreal” and its instrumental spirit through lost plains and redundant territories that seem laced in banality, once again lost within a bastardization of itself. Still, the focus seems to be on lyrical themes of specific paranormal phenomena, which, although interesting at heart, can only aid the effort to a trivial extent that doesn’t cure the musical curse, which obviously mandates the jejune direction with an iron fist. Yep, head-on collision in progress!
But once cognitively viewing the record’s formulaic depression, there’s little doubt Spheric Universe Experience made a nugatory effort to achieve a dynamic, structured sound, instead relating to the status quo of progressive metal’s bowels. Items that should provide decent contributions such as the drums and Spheric Universe Experience’s obsessive need to powder their material with keyboards, keyboards, and more keyboards once again provide nothing important overall. However, it should be extensively noted Franck Garcia’s performance is absolutely stellar throughout despite his failing surroundings. The vocalist’s range of talents save this record from becoming an utter failure with awe-inspiring pitch control, falsetto, vocal range, and a voice that just sounds too cool for “Unreal.” Overall, Spheric Universe Experience better thank the stars they have such a phenomenal singer; it’s truly the only blessing our boys conjure.
If you look beyond the basic symmetry and occasional passable moment of “Unreal,” you shall quickly discover not even psi abilities can manipulate this sucker into enjoyable territory or beyond mediocrity. More so, bands like Pathosray or Suspyre have altered the traditional norm of progressive metal into actual progression, and that needed aspect of true evolution was abandoned by Spheric Universe Experience for this tepid, staggered attempt at sensationalizing the modernization of progressive metal even further; fancy keyboards and nu-metal chugging can’t hide what’s really going on during “Unreal.” Cash-worthy progressive metal? More like a free ice cream social with snobby clairvoyants.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com