"But what has happened to Secret Sphere with "Blackened Heartbeat", an album of old-fashioned power metal that combines all the clichés of the genre?"
TORPEDO (23.01.2024)  
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Despite a 25-year career and a few successes, including 2017's 'The Nature Of Time', Secret Sphere have never managed to break into the small world of power metal. Admittedly, the genre has rapidly gone out of fashion and has become rather demanding these days. Following precisely its codes is far from enough to earn a place in the sun, and it's even suicidal given how easy it is to fall into clichés. 

Hence the question: how could the members of a band with so much experience come up with an album like 'Blackened Heartbeat' in 2023? Everything about this opus harkens back to the most stereotypical melodic metal of the 90s. The vocals are constantly hitting the high notes with singing lines heard a thousand times before, the drums are epileptic to the point of being unbearable with their constant double-pedal and invasive fills, the pachydermic riffs form a wall of sound from which nothing stands out, accompanied by demonstrative solos that forget all about feeling, and the keyboards fill the little space left with pompous symphonic sounds or piano chords that sometimes border on the dissonant.

If the musicians' aim was to go as fast as possible and make more noise than their neighbours, the contract has been fulfilled. Unfortunately, the poor listener doesn't get much out of this noisy amalgam other than an irresistible desire to let them have fun in their corner. Only 'Captive', which finally allows us to hear a melody, and the acoustic ballad 'Anna', which we'll appreciate mainly for its simplicity and above all the absence of percussion, slow down the frenetic pace imposed by 'Blackened Heartbeat'. 

It's hard to appreciate anything in this saturated sound space. What happened to Secret Sphere that led them to produce such an overloaded and anachronistic album? Did they want to please themselves, or try to please those nostalgic for old-school power metal? The latter may well appreciate 'Blackened Heartbeat', but the rest of us will certainly remain insensitive to the old-fashioned charms of what some would describe as an error of course.
- Official website

01. he Crossing Toll
02. .'s Serenade
03. Aura
04. Bloody Wednesday
05. Captive
06. Dr. Julius B
07. Confession
08. One Day I Will
09. Anna
10. Psycho Kid
11. Blackened Heartbeat

Aldo Lonobile : Guitares
Andrea Buratto : Basse
Gabriele Ciaccia: Claviers
Marco Lazzarini: Batterie
Roberto Ramon Messina: Chant
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SECRET SPHERE: Blackened Heartbeat
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