House Of Spirits - Psychosphere

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: 77228-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:49:00

This is another much anticipated release which I had high hopes for. This is HOS second release and the follow up to the classy Turn Of The Tide CD which was released back in 1994.

House Of Spirits was formed from the ashes of the progressive metal act Jester's March, where Olaf Bilic (vocals) and Martin Hirsch (bass) released two albums, Beyond and Acts. House Of Spirits originally split back in 1996 after numerous problems with their label and management. After the split, Olaf Bilic worked as a session vocalist for bands like Falcon and Faithealer, drummer Jörg Michael joined Stratovarius, guitarist Benjamin Schippritt studied guitars in Arnheim, and Martin Hirsch joined Hilton as well as playing bass on Morgoth's final tour. During the summer of 1998, an old demo was discovered. The material was discovered by Century Media Records, who could not wait to hear the results of the recording session of Psychosphere with producer Rudy Kronberger.

The CD has 12 tracks with playing time close to 47 minutes. It kicks off with "Take Me To The Other Side" which is a great track with huge guitars, excellent vocals and a super chorus, coming somewhat close to the songs off the debut. It's from track two you start noticing the changes from the debut. Although no songs are particularly bad, the music doesn't have the inspiration and energy that the debut presented. The overall length of the tracks is a bit shorter and a slight 90s influence is noticeable, at least by the use of vocal box on some songs. As I said, none of the songs are bad, all songs are good, but they don't give you anything above being average, fairly enjoyable songs. Of course, some songs are better than others, and on some parts they are on to something, where you can hear the resemblance of past glory, but it doesn't move any further than that, losing the thread. Of course, the playing is faultless, the vocals of Bilic are still one of the best around and the production is great. The music is more modern, maybe slightly more straightforward and melodic than its predecessor, and the resemblance to Queensryche is still pretty obvious.

Maybe I expected too much of this album because the album is indeed good, but it pales compared to the magnificence of the debut. I guess fans of the band will buy this anyway and will to some point enjoy it, but for those not familiar with the band, get the debut first, at all (almost) costs. Just don't expect Turn Of The Tide part 2, because then the chances of liking this will increase.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site.]

Take Me To The Other Side (3:20) / Back On My Own (4:31) / History Is Repeating (4:36) / World Full Of Pain (5:07) / Voices (2:18) / Voice Of My Heart (3:24) / Save The Secret (4:36) / Time Is Drawing (3:44) / Oblivion's Night (3:43) / Dark & Light (4:34) / Back At The Double (3:29) / Psychosphere (3:24)

Olaf Bilic - vocals
Benjamin Schippritt - guitars
Martin Hirsch - bass
Jorg Michael - drums

Turn Of The Tide (1994)
Psychosphere (1999)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: January 1st 2005
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Hits: 841
Language: english


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