Secret Sphere - Sweet Blood Theory
Locomotive Music
Symphonic Power Metal Romanticism
11 songs (51'24)
Release year: 2008
Secret Sphere, Locomotive Music
Reviewed by Ben

Secret Sphere have so far released noteworthy and interesting albums. The debut Mistress Of The Shadowlight might have been awash with too many string patches on the keyboard but it was a healthy shot of Power Metal. By the time the third album Scent Of Human Desire dropped, the bands love for eighties rock and metal bands like Motley Crue crept into their sound. Guitar solos adopted a new bluesy, gainy, raw tone to them that was a unique addition. With this left field influence, doubled up with their steep classical slant, Secret Sphere have carved out their own niche in Melodic Power Metal. Album four, Heart And Anger is damn near perfect. Everything that is great about this band, their cock rock, their Bach, and their lovelorn lyrics, blended into an essential release and a career highlight.

Which brings us to Sweet Blood Theory. When most bands follow a wildly bad ass album, the next release is rarely as good. Instead of falling into the usual band trap of either cookie cutting the success prior, or drastically changing the sound of the band in an effort to completely distance themselves from the previous outing, these Italianos have refined their sound. The orchestra from Heart And Anger has been toned down dramatically. Antonio Agate is the envy of keyboardists the world over and he gets a fine chance to show off in the course of Sweet Blood Theory. Replacing the bombastic orchestra are film score like moments of a spooky nature. He also carries many great counter melodies and harmonies with his runs up and down the black and whites.

The first half of Sweet Blood Theory is where most of the double bass action lies. By that I mean look here to find the speedy Power Metal that makes the blood thunder with the pounding crack of the snare. I don’t know new drummer Federico Pennazato or where he came from but he beats the crap outta those skins. Man, he’s good. Two tracks from this “blood and thunder” Power Metal side are From A Dream To A Nightmare and The Shadows Of The Room Of Pleasure. Both songs have long titles and both songs are ample in length. What sells From A Dream To A Nightmare is its unrelenting strength. The guitar riffs hammer your head back and forth and that chorus is to die for. Things only get better in the climax when well placed and correctly utilized female vocals add a little extra oomph to the finale. Welcome To The Room Of Pleasure has a cool techno intro but what differentiates this from the pack is its super proggy slant. Halfway through there is a solo break where I could swear that guitarists Aldo Lonobile and Paco Gionotti are channeling the solo section of Take The Time.

Secret Sphere have a trump card that few bands do. They have a terrific knack for writing a romantic number. I use the term romance in every sense of the word. From the sensual innuendo of some of the lyrics, to the romantic feel of classical era music. The usage of “romantic” applies to not only the fairer sex, but in the same way David Defeis calls his music with Virgin Steele “Barbaric Romanticism“. The last half of this album is packed with songs like this. All These Words is pure lustful longing imbued with a sense of sadness from bidding a lover goodbye. Vocalist Ramon Messina employs a beautiful falsetto here that is on the same delicate level of Roy Khan from Kamelot. Before I close out this review I do have to give one mighty nod towards Welcome To The Circus. Pure, unadulterated, soaring melodic metal. Uplifting to the core, and buoyed by a fantastic chorus melody, this song has one of those barnstorming guitar solos that stir the soul. Gut wrenching string bending, squealing harmonics, furious and light fingered tapping, goddamn Aldo what else do you have up your sleeves? Definitely an album highlight.

Sweet Blood Theory is an outstanding album and a brother in arms to some of Secret Sphere’s greatest moments. They are one of the few out and out Power Metal bands today that can stand with both feet shoulder length apart firm in the ground because their catalog is completely worthy. With five albums over ten years plus, it is apparent that Secret Sphere spend their time crafting songs. If you are fan of the band, get this. If you’ve never heard em before, bypass that crappy cover art and get one hell of a Power Metal album.

Killing Songs :
From A Dream To A Nightmare, Welcome To The Circus, All These Words, Butterfly Dance
Ben quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Secret Sphere that we have reviewed:
Secret Sphere - Liveblood (The Studio Session) reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Secret Sphere - Lifeblood reviewed by Ben and quoted 90 / 100
Secret Sphere - Portrait Of A Dying Heart reviewed by Ben and quoted 86 / 100
Secret Sphere - The Nature Of Time reviewed by Ben and quoted 69 / 100
Secret Sphere - Archetype reviewed by Ben and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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