Follow The Metal Crypt on Twitter  The Metal Crypt on Facebook  The Metal Crypt's YouTube Channel
Review: Secret Sphere - Portrait of a Dying Heart
Secret Sphere
Portrait of a Dying Heart

Label: Scarlet Records
Year released: 2012
Duration: 50:00
Tracks: 10
Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: December 8, 2012
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
Portrait of a Dying Heart

Rated 3.57/5 (71.43%) (7 Votes)

Like anyone interested in this style of music, I was salivating at the prospect of hearing Michele Luppi perform on the new album by Secret Sphere. Luppi has one of the most distinctive and acrobatic vocal styles in the genre, and after a string of similar-sounding (but decent) projects following his ejection from Vision Divine, it's satisfying to see him behind the wheel of a band with some sense of stability. Secret Sphere have been releasing quality Power Metal albums for a number of years, occasionally wandering into the Prog-Power bracket, but they have never completely abandoned their Labyrinth-meets-Highlord sound. Until now, that is.

From the opening six-minute instrumental (which operates in a Scenes From A Memory sort of way), Portrait Of A Dying Heart, abysmal title aside, is a gratifying, sometimes emotional stroll through Progressive Power Metal territory, leaning more on the Prog side for the most part. Though there are plenty of straight ahead, pedal to the metal moments ("X", a euphoric burst of Luppi brilliance, and the sublime "Secrets Fear"), the album is at its best when being sensitive and ponderous. Tracks like "Healing", with its highly memorable chorus, and tender ballad "Eternity", which closes out the album, prove just how much feeling this lot can squeeze out of these songs. Luppi provides most of that feeling with his vocals, which are as ornate and superfluous as ever before. The downside for me is this doesn't really sound like Secret Sphere, but more like Vision Divine circa The 25th Hour. Also, the band feel the need to throw in heavy, harmonic-pinching riffs every once and a while (see the awful lead track "The Fall"), which leaves you wondering where their loyalty lies.

If you've never heard Secret Sphere before, feel free to start your journey here. Portrait Of A Dying Heart sounds almost like a new band, one that sounds an awful lot like Vision Divine, which of course, is no bad thing.

Other related information on the site
Review: A Time Never Come (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Archetype (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Heart and Anger (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Lifeblood (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Lifeblood (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Mistress Of The Shadowlight (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Scent of Human Desire (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Sweet Blood Theory (reviewed by PowerMetal59)
Click below for more reviews
Latest 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Various Books/Zines 


The Metal Crypt - Crushing Posers Since 1999
Copyright  © 1999-2021, Michel Renaud / The Metal Crypt.  All Rights Reserved.