Secret Sphere - Heart and Anger
Avalon
Symphonic Power Metal Romanticism
14 songs (71'33)
Release year: 2005
Secret Sphere
Reviewed by Ben

Here it is, Secret Sphere’s long awaited fourth long player, Heart and Anger. For the past year the band has been writing and recording the compositions that make up this stellar record and employed a full classical orchestra and choir for the purposes of making this one bombastic and epic piece of work. Many people felt that their last outing Scent of Human Desire was a confusing record because of the hard rock elements that permeated the cd. I personally enjoyed their forward thinking but now it is apparent that Scent of Human Desire was a transitional album, much like Blind Guardian’s Nightfall in Middle Earth. On Heart and Anger I hear elements from all their previous works, from the speedy and full on Power Metal assault of A Time Never Come to the traditional sounding hard rock solos by Aldo Lonobile that were so prevalent on Scent of Human Desire. A mixture of everything that is great about this genre, Heart and Anger is the best Power Metal album that has hit these ears in 2005.

The reason I classify this band as “Symphonic Power Metal Romanticism” is because I have always felt that Secret Sphere have had very romantic leanings in their career. Their string arrangements, the way that they structure their melodies (both vocal and musically) and hooks all have a romantic feel to them. Take a look at Legend and Under the Flag of Mary Read from their second release or More Than Simple Emotions from Scent of Human Desire, this is band that has as many hits with the fairer sex as they do with us dirty longhairs. I personally find this trait endearing, it is something that very few bands have the ability to accomplish. For every raging double bass section there are solos that soar and dive through seas of emotion and Ramon’s voice has the ability to be delicate and lilting as well as aggressive and powerful. Antonio Agate is one of the genre’s best keyboard players, his knack for composing orchestral sections that make the blood boil are inspiring. Not to mention when he goes all out and plays the classical piano the music that he is capable of creating is just beautiful, gorgeous in its nature.

First things first, this is the heaviest album in Secret Sphere’s career. I want this fact to be up front and obvious. The guitar tone is rich and meaty and many of the riffs border on thrash metal with their intensity and speed. This attack rears its head beginning with Loud and Raw and occurs throughout the rest of the album on a regular basis. Two of the best songs however are mid paced numbers, Dance With the Devil and I Won’t Say a Word. Dance With the Devil begins with an electronic keyboard lick before descending into a vocal chant and crunchy riffs that make the body sway to and fro. Female choir vocals are used sparingly to accentuate certain passages and their soft touch is the perfect counterpart to Ramon’s voice. I Won’t Say a Word is a prime example of the romantic nature of this band. Using piano and driving guitar chords intertwined with Ramon’s voice this song creates an atmosphere of romance and metal. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a ballad it is much too heavy for that, this is simply a beautiful song one that is a testament to the genius of its creators. Leonardo Da Vinci is a neoclassical tune with a great lengthy chorus and superb orchestration, a little simplistic compared to some of the other songs on the album but still a personal favorite. Japanese fans are treated to a stripped down acoustic version of Where the Sea Ends with just voice, piano, acoustic guitar, and a violin. Going from a speedy slayer to a tear jerking ballad is no easy feat and this song is the perfect way to end the album on a definite high note.

Heart and Anger is Secret Sphere’s defining album, of this I am sure of. Nothing else they have recorded has come close to this masterpiece, this work of art. Every time I pull this out for a spin around the stereo I am left wanting more and more. I cannot recommend this album enough for metal fans, all I can say is that this needs to be heard and embraced by our community.

Killing Songs :
Loud and Raw, Dance With the Devil, I Won't Say a Word, Leonardo Da Vinci, Faster than the Storm
Ben quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Secret Sphere that we have reviewed:
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
Secret Sphere - Sweet Blood Theory reviewed by Ben and quoted 87 / 100
Secret Sphere - Scent Of Human Desire reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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