The Secret
Solve Et Coagula


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration USER (56 Reviews)
December 4th, 2010 | 56 replies | 13,857 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Secret respectfully request that melody go die in a deep, dark hole.

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

Hardcore has always been a genre defined not by melody, but by chaos. From the grating, oft-unintelligible vocals to the ungodly-sounding riffs and drums, all progressing at speeds of thousands of miles per hour, the more extreme bands of hardcore are the bands that your parents call unhealthy and demonic and your friends call random noise. The problem with these musical embodiments of utter destruction is that this emphasis on the chaotic can lend itself to a feeling of the individual bands being just as indistinguishable as their vocals. One can sometimes feel that once they've heard one band, they've heard them all.

Enter The Secret.

This Italy-based hardcore band truly is something else. Combining elements of Converge, crust punk groups such as Tragedy or Trap Them, grind, a sprinkling of black metal, and a thousand extra shots of pure, unadulterated intensity, this is unlike anything you've ever heard before. The vocals are just as rough and unintelligible as anything else in the genre, if not even more so. The production is exactly how this type of music was meant to be: raw, intense, coarse, and unrelenting. It isn't so underproduced that the instruments are indistinguishable from one another: anyone and their grandmother can still pick out the guitars and the bass and the individual riffs. But it still retains the intensity of a live performance, and contributes to the album's ability to invoke mental images of a genocide without much effort.

The instrumentalists are a highlight here. The Secret, as well as finding the balance between rough and clean production, have discovered an equilibrium between technicality and sensibility. Both the guitar riffs and the basslines show that the band members really can play, but they never descend into a pit of tiresome wankage. The guitars are characterized by low-tuned open power chords and fast tremolo picking, with a few heavier-than earth breakdowns thrown in for good effect. The bass isn't anything to write home about, but manages to keep up with the rest of the band while always retaining its own identity. And of course, like all good, chaotic music, the drums are insanely fast, intense, and, well, exactly what anyone would expect from a band like The Secret.

The problems that this type of music's critics like to point out when putting it down are all present, but don't necessarily detract from the album in any way, shape, or form. There isn't an incredible amount of variation between songs, and to the untrained ear one slab of distortion and demon shouts will be completely indistinguishable from the next. That's not to say that there is no variation whatsoever: on longer (5-minute +, as opposed to the average 1-2 minute runtime of most of the other tracks) cuts such as opener Cross Builder and album highlight Bell of Urgency, The Secret slows things down to a pace that turns the songs into sludgy slabs of utter darkness rather than chaotic slabs of frenetic intensity. On Bell of Urgency, the band even shows a few signs of black metal influence, with the first half of the track consisting of shrieked vocals over high-end tremolo picking. The second half is mostly made up of variations of one of the heaviest, most face-shattering breakdowns ever to violate your ear canals, making this one of the album's best tracks.

That's not where the experimentation and uniqueness ends: on album closer 1968, after about 4 minutes of head-smashing intensity, the track descends into a vocal-less stupor of feedback and ambiance for its final 2 minutes. This gives the listener some much-needed time for reflection. Give yourself a little pat on the back, go and reward yourself with something of a high caloric content: you deserve it. You've just made it through 2010's most dissonant, chaotic effort. Just remember when considering this album: this is not for the faint of heart, and it is not for those who don't like this genre in the first place and are attempting to get into it. It is not a safe record: it is the musical equivalent of getting one's face smashed in with a sledgehammer. If this does sound like something you would enjoy, then I can promise you: the pain is worth it.

Album Highlights
Death Alive
Where It Ends
Antitalian
Bell of Urgency
1968




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user ratings (118)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
wyankeif1337
December 4th 2010



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First time reviewing anything like this. Suggestions are appreciated, and you seriously need to get this: I wasn't kidding about the sledgehammer thing.

Defeater
December 4th 2010



5782 Comments


I recommend this for all Converge fans. It's a good record.

wyankeif1337
December 4th 2010



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I fucking love the cover art.

Defeater
December 4th 2010



5782 Comments


I didn't think the art really fit the album.

wyankeif1337
December 4th 2010



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, it does make me think more of a random creepy doom album, but I still love it.

alachlahol
December 4th 2010



7423 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

decent review. i expected you to be a furious masturbating 12 year old

wyankeif1337
December 4th 2010



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol, nope. thanks

McCopper
December 4th 2010



1367 Comments


Yeah, this rules hard.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2010



17914 Comments


am i the only one who hates when people say "instrumentals" when describing the musicians?

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 4th 2010



10553 Comments


I say "instrumentalists," is that okay?

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc

Ovrot
December 4th 2010



10253 Comments


Album art is sweet.
Makes me think of awesome doom or satanic post-metal.
And Isis was the shit wyan.

wyankeif1337
December 4th 2010



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Almost as good as Torsofuck and Apator, amirite?

Ovrot
December 4th 2010



10253 Comments


Maybe even better!!
In fiction is the best song

wyankeif1337
December 4th 2010



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

In fiction is the best song


you just increased our brodom 300%

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 4th 2010



23652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sounds tres interessant
Ill get this, who knows it might sneak into my 2010 list

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

cvlts
December 4th 2010



8917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuck yes this got reviewed! awesome awesome album.

Digging: Pedro the Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend

Ovrot
December 4th 2010



10253 Comments


Are we now super bros?

Also, Im gonna review the all the cattle decapitation albums ;D

wyankeif1337
December 4th 2010



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy shit, I just realized who this sounds like, it's been bugging me for hours: Gaza.

d00derz
December 5th 2010



113 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome review man. i was wondering when someone would review this. contemplated doing it myself, but by doing so i wouldn't have given it the praise it deserves.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

accompliceofmydeath
December 5th 2010



4083 Comments


This sounds awesome.

Digging: Crowbar - Crowbar



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