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To be labeled a Progressive Melodic Power Metal band right out of the gate comes with specific standards to be expected. Along with the vast knowledge of Dream Theater’s back catalog, musical technicality and vocals that reach the heavens are prerequisites to just be taken seriously in this distinguished sub-genre. And with hundreds of polished artists and endless Yngwie clones emerging out of thin air these days, the ability to rise above the rest cannot rest purely on instrumental skill but on longevity, perseverance and uncompromising self-awareness.

Italy’s Secret Sphere has been remarkably consistent in the quality of their songwriting for nearly 25 years. Lifeblood marks the Italian Prog/Power metal stalwarts ninth studio album and also the triumphant return of vocalist, Roberto Messina, who fronted the band through seven of the band’s iconic albums. Aldo Lonobile, the band’s founder and guitarist returns with longtime bassist, Andrea Buratto as well as keyboardist, Gabriele Ciaccia and drummer, Marco Lazzarini.

From the moment that play button is pressed, Secret Sphere take absolutely no time in establishing themselves as masters of their craft. After a cinematic, instrumental intro, “Lifeblood”, the album’s opening track, Lonobile turns on the shred while blowing your mind to kingdom come. “The End of Ego” and “Life Survivors” continue with that triumphant Neo-classical barrage of technical aggression that have gained them their well-deserved International legion of fans. “Alive” and “The Violent Ones” continues the album’s soaring intensity with Messina channeling his inner Bruce Dickenson with the same raw energy and sing-a-long melodic hooks that will keep them playing on repeat in your ears for days. The album draws to a dramatic conclusion with the sentimental acoustic ballad, “Skyward” leading to the cinematically epic, “The Lie We Love” which could fit comfortably beside the soundtrack to the Phantom of the Opera in its captivating, cinematic intensity and emotionally complex composition.

Balancing unrelenting aggression with poetic grace, Lifeblood is a triumph in every sense. With over two decades navigating this mortal coil, Secret Sphere have embraced the lessons they have learned on their long and impressive musical journey and have packaged it in under 50 minutes. On their opening track, Messina asks, “What is life without emotion?” Hollow and empty; and Lifeblood is anything but.


Be well and keep rocking!   Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  8.8 out of 10

Artist:  Secret Sphere,  AlbumLifeblood  Release Date: March 12, 2021,   Label:  Frontiers Music SRL



Raul Soria Jr.

Photojournalist - Portland

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