Review Summary: An intense, chaotic, yet melodic metalcore gem.
The Secret is a metalcore band from Italy that formed in 2003. One year later they released their debut album, Luce,
which flew under the radar of most North American metalcore fans, and for obvious reason; those fans were busy listening to Converge, Killswitch Engage, Misery Signals, Lamb of God, Unearth.. okay you get the point; there were a lot of american metalcore bands really "thriving" in the scene at the time. The Secret, though, is a very ambitious band that is worthy of much attention. This is an intensely chaotic, yet melodic metalcore gem.
Sharp and dissonant guitar leads are often layered over a very tight, thick and precise rhythm section, whether it be during the up-tempo riffing or the breakdown sections. Now yes, some of the breakdowns on this album may cause you to break things, so put away any valuable/fragile belongings and house décor before playing this album. Silliness aside, this is a band with more tricks in its bag than the ability to induce spinkicks, which is more than a lot of bands playing this style can say. The Secret likes to remove the rhythm guitar completely at times, leaving the soundscape more open as a haunting guitar lead or dischordant chords are played over a plodding drum beat, such as on the introduction track. It creates a sort of post-rock/post-metal soundscape, where the band focuses more on creating atmosphere than skull bashing, but before long we are plunged back into the angry and rhythmic assault of the riffs, which are usually catchy and always thunderous. The Secret can craft a nice little melody as well. The beautiful interlude track Segue
makes me wish it wasn't an interlude track (I want it to be like 3 minutes longer) and there's a very nice melodic section on The Last One,
in fact there are a few, which slip into the heavier parts perhaps a little sooner than you'd want. With that being said, there's a nice little mixture they've found, and it allows the longer tracks to breathe.
The vocals are almost always delivered in a mid-high pitched scream, which some people may describe as a shriek. But this shriek has balls. This isn't La Dispute we're talking about here. This guy sounds legitimately pissed off everytime he screams and that's great. The only issue with this is that the vocals are buried underneath the guitar and drums which are mixed much louder than the vocals. Seriously, much louder
. There are parts during Momento Mori
and Pretty Girls Make Graves
where you may not even notice that he's screaming. Over time I've adjusted to this production style, and quite frankly I think it was done purposely to enhance the apocalyptic nature of the music. The guitars sound like giants and the drums are very solid, often syncopating with the guitars. Unfortunately the bass is inaudible throughout most of the album, (except shining through during quieter moments at times) but that's not to suggest that there isn't plenty of low-end and thickness on the guitar sound.
Overall this is an excellent 40-minute slab of chaotic and atmospheric music. It remains fresh and genuine sounding after nearly a decade with its intense, diverse soundscapes. Highly recommended for fans of Converge, Trap Them and Cursed.