March 13, 2021

Secret Sphere is a rather impressive Italian symphonic power metal band with more than a hint of pomp rock about their style and delivery. The band was formed in Alessandria near Piedmont in northern Italy in 1997 by the remarkable guitarist Aldo Lonobile who you may also know through the metal band Death SS or the recent projects Edge Of Forever, Archon Angel (featuring Zak Stevens) and Sweet Oblivion (featuring Geoff Tate). Secret Sphere has been around for 24 years and has released nine albums to date although this does include 2016’s newly re-recorded version of A Time Never Come which was released to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the album. Lifeblood is therefore album number ten which is an impressive number for this long-lived but much underrated band.

photo : Cunene Photography cuneneart.com

There have been numerous personnel changes over the years with the ever presents being Lonobile and the bass guitarist Andy Buratto and the big news for this release is that the original singer, Roberto ‘Ramon’ Messina, has returned to the fold. He left in 2012 to be replaced by the ever impressive Michele Luppi (of Vision Divine at that time and more recently of Whitesnake) with Messina subsequently taking over the vocalist’s position again last year. Luppi will, of course, be missed but it does feel like the return of the prodigal son now that Messina is back in the band. The two remaining members are Gabriele Ciaccia on keyboards and Marco Lazzarini on drums and though the names may change the core sound of Secret Sphere remains.

Being an Italian band means that they love keyboards and a more progressive rock flavour to their sound so it is symphonic metal for sure but I have always thought there is something of Magnum about them as they are ever so slightly pomp rock. There is an epic feel to everything the band does and that comes through even on the shorter tracks as this is a band that always puts everything they have into every song. The drums and bass are pounding over which are layers of sumptuous keys and lashing of guitar from Lonobile with great riffs and intricate solos. Messina, as should be expected, hits the ground running and it’s as if the clock has been turned back and we have vintage Secret Sphere performing which is almost exactly what is happening on Lifeblood. There is also lots of melody for sure and plenty of huge choruses against a bombastic metal background of brilliant guitar and superbly written songs which means that Secret Sphere are every bit as valid and relevant as the big boys like Edguy, Helloween, Blind Guardian, and Stratovarius. OK, they may not be not as heavy as these guys but they are every bit as technical and vibrant.

If Secret Sphere is a band that has previously passed you by then take a listen to Lifeblood and begin your education as you will most certainly be pleased that you have.

Lifeblood track list

  1. Shaping Reality (2:23)
  2. Lifeblood (5:31)
  3. The End Of An Ego (3:44)
  4. Life Survivors (4:02)
  5. Alive (4:51)
  6. Against All The Odds (4:09)
  7. Thank You (4:37)
  8. The Violent Ones (4:02)
  9. Solitary Fight (6:02)
  10. Skywards (3:56)
  11. The Lie We Love (8:17)
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