Secret Sphere
Portrait of a Dying Heart


4.0
excellent

Review

by pizzamachine USER (211 Reviews)
November 27th, 2012 | 22 replies | 4,482 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Minus some forgettable ballads, a very solid and exciting progressive power metal album.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Portrait of a Dying Heart is a neo-classical, progressive power metal album. This is the kind of album that makes any similar band sound like garbage in comparison - or at least when Secret Sphere aren’t playing arbitrary ballads. When they rip it up though, they blow the roof off with tight, catchy, technically played songs. You’ll certainly be banging your head to this one, or at least nodding in agreement to sensible melodic patterns, smartly structured songs, and an outstanding vocal performance. The only truly regrettable aspect of the album is its heavy implementation of ballads. With such vim and excellent song writing shown in their more upbeat songs, having neither in the ballads slows the album down, and makes the listener skip through tracks. Indeed, the inclusion of a few utterly forgettable songs robs the album’s potential to be a masterpiece, but the fact that it’s even close to perfection makes Portait of a Dying Heart an excellent album.

Portrait of a Dying Heart is a concept album based on a love story about our main character dreaming about an unknown person. While the premise doesn’t seem that exciting, the album has an appropriately epic soundtrack feel that follows the progression of a fluttering heart. It’s mostly the speed and technicality of the band that infuses the story with energy; the lead riffs, impressive guitar and keyboard solos, and dizzying piano parts create a sense of urgency. The band isn’t showing off, they’re just feeling the ups and downs of the music. A better sound mix would have been appreciated, however, as the symphonic elements are not given enough attention in comparison to the vocals or riffs.

Concept albums can be subjective. Even the most interesting ideas can fall upon deaf ears if the music fails. Thankfully, Portrait of a Dying Heart delivers. This progressive power metal album is epic in scope, but still tightly written and very memorable. The choruses are fun (ex: ‘The Fall’), and you’ll undoubtedly have at least one of them stuck in your head. With the exception of a handful of forgettable ballads, and a confusing sound mix, Portrait of a Dying Heart delivers the thrills, and one of Secret Sphere’s best albums.



Recent reviews by this author
Jeremy Soule Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion SoundtrackRa Critical Mass
Gemini Syndrome LuxSirenia Perils of the Deep Blue
Rainbow (KR) Rainbow Syndrome Part. 2Part Myth Part Legend Almagest Codex
user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
November 27th 2012



12568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Could use some artwork, btw. What's up people?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2012



5612 Comments


Album art fixed.

And pizzamachine for staff 2013.-

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

Acanthus
November 27th 2012



9507 Comments


expectation

Exception is what your were going for here I think. Long time no see, pos'd and giving some tracks a listen now.

Digging: Symphony X - Paradise Lost

pizzamachine
November 27th 2012



12568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Voivod: Thanks a lot : )

@ Acanthus: Nice catch! Yeah I'm not around much but I'm still reviewing!





Acanthus
November 27th 2012



9507 Comments


I couldn't get into the guys voice, kept missing Hansi's vocals (an issue with a lot of power metal for me).

Nice instrumentation though.

pizzamachine
November 27th 2012



12568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shame, but I understand it's difficult to get used to a new vocalist.

MO
November 27th 2012



17357 Comments


hmmm prog power metal huh...interesting

Digging: Soundtrack - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil OST

ikarus
November 27th 2012



559 Comments


that band name and album art are out there... expecting loads of cheese

BlackLlama
November 27th 2012



1355 Comments


Will check this, been a while since I've listened to some new power metal.

Digging: Morgana Lefay - Maleficium

BlackLlama
November 27th 2012



1355 Comments


Whether or not you like the concept of the album won’t matter if the album sucks

Also that reads rather awkwardly. Maybe something along the lines of

A good concept doesn't matter if the music sucks

or

Concept albums can be subjective. Even the most interesting ideas can fall flat if the music fails.

Just a suggestion :D

SomethingSimilar
November 27th 2012



47 Comments


Been far too long since I've checked out a new power metal band. This sounds like good stuff, I'll have to check it out - which tracks would you recommend starting off with?

Nice review!

pizzamachine
November 27th 2012



12568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ BlackLlama: thanks for the suggestions, I think I'll take the second : )

@ SomethingSimilar: Why not start with the first songs?

CaptainDooRight
November 27th 2012



26409 Comments


koo bro i guess im down

fuk pm is so hit or miss for me, usually miss but sometimes some songs are so tits

fuk should i check my fellow brethren dm reviewer in small strides

shall i

pos'd btw

hi

how

are

you

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

pizzamachine
November 27th 2012



12568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bro mang u shood chec this shit out, yh I'm good u?

S
U
P

CaptainDooRight
November 27th 2012



26409 Comments


im down bro koo just needed a nudge na mean

i check theocracy when u rev it bak in the dayz, riffs were solid bro so u built def cred

m/


ThunderNeutral21
November 27th 2012



3864 Comments


power metal?

1.5 at the highest

BlackLlama
November 28th 2012



1355 Comments


I was heavily into the PM back in the late 90's early 2000's. Stratovarius and Primal Fear being two favorites. Listened to a lot of Iced Earth and Blind Guardian too. Shifted more towards death and technical death metal before too long though.

Detritivore
November 28th 2012



260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nothing new under the sun, not bad anyway

Detritivore
November 28th 2012



260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

only for powermetal fans!

hankdee27
December 12th 2012



259 Comments


Nice review, had me interested with the first few words. Pos'd



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: 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


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy