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4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Nov 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sensory
  • ASIN: B00004RDG5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,241 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Spinning
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Product Description

Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technical ecstacy! 3 Oct 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is a must for fans of technical metal. With a quite a diverse sound, these guys definitly pull no punches. I dont think there is one toe tapping moment on the CD (a good complaint to my ears). These album really gripped me from start to finish...its incredible stuff. You really need to own this disc
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars true genius 7 April 2010
Format:Audio CD
if you are on this page thinking about buying this go ahead, just do it and you will be rewarded with one of the most interesting and original albums in metal/rock, its outstanding.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Prog rock 14 Jun 2010
Format:Audio CD
Prog rock fra en svært så ukjent gruppe. Dette er en HDCD om det skulle bety noe. Mektig lydbilde. Mange detaljer å lytte til. Alikavel opplesves det som en noe fortettet stemning, litt klubb aktig?
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  70 reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars. Absolutely insane, yet incredibly interesting 10 Jan 2004
By M. B. Link - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A Sceptic's Universe(2000). Spiral Architect's first (and so far) only studio album.
"WARNING! Spiral Architect goes beyond progressive, exploring the realms of complexity and intensity that pushes the nature of technical metal further. 'A Sceptic's Universe' is not for the fainthearted! It may cause serious damage to your mental health."
This excerpt was taken from the sleeve that wraps around the album package. I almost laughed when I first read it because I've seen many warnings for strong language and cursing before on music albums, but never ever one that said that the music would be too complex for the human brain. It's probably a reasonable warning for those who never listen to this type of heavy metal at all. In fact, all you need to do is listen to the 30 second amazon clips to decide whether this is too complex for you or not. I on the other hand, didn't freak out on my first listen, due to the fact that I've previously listened to a lot of progressive rock and metal like Rush, Dream Theater, and such, so I guess it somewhat prepared me for Spiral Architect. But the music will most likely fly over most people's heads. I'd just like to see someone who only listens to either AC/DC or Top 40 radio try to sit here and stomache this. It simply wouldn't happen.
So what is Spiral Architect all about? Well, they derive their main influences from the 80s technical metal band Watchtower, who in turn sounds like an incredibly complex version of Queensryche. They show off other proggy jazz influences as well. Imagine the complex instrumental section of the Dream Theater track "Metropolis Pt. 1" as an entire song, then multiply that by a factor of 10, and you'll have some idea of what Spiral Architect sounds like. Originally I was only going to give this album 4 stars because its inaccessibility isn't for everyone. But I soon discovered that it wasn't meant to be for everyone. I could try to make an explanation for the band, but they describe themselves best on their website:
"Spiral Architect is about continual development, idealism, and intensity. Spiral Architect is controlled anarchy. The aim is to make music that challenges the listener, as well as pushes the abilities of the musicians and man."
So as far as their goal is concerned, they've succeeded at what they set out to accomplish. To create stunningly technical heavy metal music which grabs you by the brain and forces you to pay attention. With nine tracks (one instrumental), clocking in at a total of 44 minutes, the listener is in for one hellova rollercoaster ride.
I'm not going to describe each track individually here like I normally would, as it's quite impossible to do. The playing has so much going on at once, with literally tons of random time-change signatures, plus remembering that there's no "verse-chorus" approach to be found anywhere. Upon the first few listens, all eight songs will sound very similar to one another. There's so much depth to the playing that you're never going to be able to memorize the songs. You'll eventually catch on to small parts of them, but never the songs as a whole. I've been listening to this album for nearly a month now, and it still twists my brain into a knot. I still admire it though. If you come here expecting catchy hooks, you may be a bit disappointed. If you were to look up Spiral Architect in a thesaurus book, it's musical antonymn would be AC/DC. In other words, it's anything but predictable.
All technicality of the music aside, these are some AMAZING musicians, among the elite in refined musicianship. You've got vocalist/keyboardist Oyvind Haegeland who carries the music with Geoff Tate-esque singing. The keyboarding provides atmospheric, futuristic textures which play a key role in most of the tracks. Steinar Gundersen and Kaj Gornitzka provide the rhythm, lead, and accoustic guitars. Both play with a clean, complex style, with Steinar really showing off in the solos. Asgeir Mickelson works the drumming with great dexterity and precision. If one important thing is to be said, it's that Lars K. Norberg is THE BEST BASS PLAYER I'VE EVER HEARD. Seriously. I haven't heard any bass playing come close to the level that this guy displays. Most bands reduce the bass player to the roll of simply providing a simple low-key texture, but in Spiral Architect, Norberg's bass playing absolutely DOMINATES the music.
So now that they've released one carefully planned album, is Spiral Architect ever going to follow up? They lay down the truth on their website:
"...we have received lots of mail lately asking if we have broken up or are not going to release a new album. The answer to that is that we are very much alive and will definitely record a new album. However, we still haven't started rehearsing the new material so you'll probably have to wait some more years (you might say we're in no rush...)."
Hmm... they're in no rush, oh well. Maybe someday. Overall, if you're really looking for a complex metal album that will challenge you, you know what you're getting yourself into, and you want to be enthralled by stunning musicianship, then A Sceptic's Universe will not disappoint you. Otherwise, the vast array of technicalities that this album displays clearly shows that this is not for everyone, so it's your call. Afterall, the box _did_ warn you.
Other albums similar to A Sceptic's Universe:
-'Control & Resistance" by Watchtower
-'Focus' by Cynic
-'Awakening The Guardian' by Fates Warning
-'Operation Mindcrime' by Queensryche
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Norwegian technical metal 7 July 2001
By Church of The Flaming Sword - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm surprised at some of the reviews I have read for this CD. Some reviewers say this album is unmelodic. Others say this album was made as an excuse for these musicicians to show off their technical ability without any true regard for songwriting. And a few others only mention Lars Norberg.
First of all, this album is extremely melodic. The only thing is that the melodies are unorthodox and more complex than what is usually considered melodic. These are melodies that have to be listened for, not the type that punch you in the face upon the first listening. Once you are able to discern and appreciate the melodies, you will truly realize how profoundly talented Spiral Architect is.
Secondly, their awesome musicianship displays are not meant to hide a lack of songwriting (both lyrical and musical) ability. While I do not agree with the atheistic nature of some of their lyrics, they are highly intellectual and thought-provoking. And I admit, there are so many crazy time changes that it is difficult to tell one song from the other if you've only listened to the album a few times. The differences will only become evident after multiple listenings.
And finally, some of the positive reviews only mention Lars Norberg. Granted, he is an exceptional bassist. But what are the other four guys, chopped liver? All five members are incredible musicians. What I'm trying to figure out is how no one mentioned Asgeir Mickelson's drumming. Or the excellent guitar playing of Steinar Gundersen and Kaj Gornitzka. There were a few mixed reviews for vocalist Oyvind Haegeland. I for one think he rules.
Before I sign off I must remind you buy this album before it is downgraded from being merely difficult to find to being impossible.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super-intense and challenging. 24 July 2003
By Lord Chimp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is an extremely complex album, probably the most musically demanding progressive/prog metal album aside from Garden Wall's _Forget the Colours_. Spiral Architect's profound technical excursions are voxtex-generating maelstroms of staggered, sycnopated razors rhythms interacting in an abstruse, hyper-complex manner both intensely Dionysian and Apollonian. Polymeter and displacement, odd articulation, and very unusual structures (much more challenging to play than to hear) are the tip of the iceberg for this band's unbelievably insane music. The vocals are high-pitched prog metal style vocals which sound a little off at times, but the way he sings really fits so it's all good. Check it out or shame on you. And hey, anything where Sean Malone contributes is automatically amazing (even if it's only on a brief instrumental interlude). _A Sceptic's Universe_ [sic] is essential.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A musician's delight 6 Aug 2000
By Matt from www.prog.web.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This has to be the craziest, most unstructured metal I've ever heard - and probably the best bass playing I've ever heard, as well. It is completely unlike anything I've ever listened to before. Time changes abound, constantly changing, music that seems to relentlessly start and stop just to toy with the listener. I'm not sure there is a single toe-tapping moment on this entire cd! The bass work is furious and distinctly audible, accompanied by matching guitar work and unconventional vocal arrangements (that remind me of John Arch's style from early Fates Warning but with a less unique, more pleasant timbre). I've seen people describe this music as "sick", which I think sums things up very well. It's just twisted. It's all over the map, it's chaotic, and yet it still holds on to a thread of traditional, organized song-writing. And somehow it works. Think Fates Warning with even less structure, or Watchtower with cleaner vocals. The cd is only about 45 minutes long, with nine short (3 - 6 min) tracks, which I think was smart on their part. There's no way I would have liked this album as much if it were 70+ minutes in length and filled with 8 and 9 minute songs - it would have just been too much. It's great enough the way it is. Now, I wouldn't want every cd in my collection to be so limitless and insane as this, but it is very refreshing and done very, very well. I can't see any fan of technical metal being without this disc. Kudos to the good folks at the Sensory label, first Clockwork's "Surface Tension", now this!
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Robot Metal 8 Feb 2006
By Justin G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I found myself both amazed and disappointed by Spiral Architect's album A Skeptic's Universe.

It's hard not to be amazed by the musicianship on display here. This is a band full of virtuosos, creating highly complex progressive metal with such mathematical precision that one can't help but be impressed. The band clearly follows the path established by Cynic, Atheist, Watchtower, and to a lesser extent Dream Theater and Fates Warning, and then takes the technicality and complexity one step further!

Unfortunately it's not that much fun to listen to. Again, my hat is off to the band's technical prowess, but there's more to good music than ability. Spiral Architect bills themselves as "thinking man's metal", and that may be true. But metal also has a lot to do with emotion and power, and that is sadly lacking here. Some of the blame lies with the vocalist, whose delivery is so jagged and unmelodic that it does nothing to draw the listener in. A Skeptic's Universe might have worked better as an instrumental effort like Liquid Tension Experiment or Gordian Knot. Another flaw is that the tracks on this album don't seem like songs at all, but rather resemble complicated math problems. They're brilliantly executed, but cold and emotionless just the same.

Cynic and Atheist proved that you can make highly technical metal without sacrificing emotion, and Dream Theater and Fates Warning proved that you can have technical prowess and still write good songs. Images and Words was a very technical album at a time when that was still a rare occurrence, but a large part of its power is the feeling you get when the instruments, vocals, melodies, lyrics - the SONGS - come together to mesmerize the listener. It's been 12 years and I still get chills listening to that album!

I am totally in awe of what the musicians in Spiral Architect are able to accomplish technically, but given the choice I'll take something less technical and more emotional (see Evergrey) every time.
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