Review Summary: A microcosm of Hail the Sun's strengths.Hail the Sun
is one of the most versatile bands in contemporary post-hardcore. Throughout their entire discography, the band has showcased their versatility in dealing with different emotions through a combination of immense song crafting and instrumental technicality. Secret Wars
is a transient reminder of Hail the Sun’s multifaceted sound.
The most admirable trait Hail the Sun possesses is their immaculate song crafting, and Secret Wars
is no exception. Despite how vastly different various portions of the same song may be, they transition and harmonize to a calculated perfection. Take, for instance, the title track "Secret Wars." Directly after the first sing-along style chorus is a blast beat section for a mere six seconds before entering the second verse, yet this transition between the two distinct and varying sounds isn't jarring in the slightest. It's this practically ineffable quality to effectively amalgamate sounds that makes Secret Wars
, and Hail the Sun as a whole, so astounding. The best examples of this, “Repellent” and “Secret Wars,” possess so many twists and turns it would put a roller coaster to shame. The ebb and flow, the ability to stop and go at a moments’ notice is what in essence makes Secret Wars a phenomenal 20 minute experience.
Even when Hail the Sun maintains one soundscape throughout the entirety of the track such as the ominous "Bound," they still deliver an enjoyable listening experience. What the track lacks in over-the-top progression it gains in a heavy and thick layer of atmosphere, no matter how each song may deviate. However, aurally the band still maintains its extremely solid base. A combination of the extremely noodly guitars; immaculate, unrelenting drums; and immensely solid higher ended vocals stays consistent throughout the entire album to create unique and dynamic sound.
While Secret Wars
echoes projects of the past, such as Elephantitis
, it separates itself from its predecessors. For one, Secret Wars
is much less chorus-driven than any previous Hail the Sun project (the aforementioned "Bound" is only track to repeat its chorus three times). In addition, Secret Wars
is by far the most aggressive project Hail the Sun has released to date. The EP contains the most biting and intense sections the band ever created, thus adding more depth into Hail the Sun's already impressive repertoire. Secret Wars
also includes Hail the Sun's most technical instrumentals. Drummer and singer Donovan Melero unleashes what is by far is most chaotic and complex drum beats in the band's history. Donovan's unremitting pounding of the drums over top of his own soaring vocals is at the forefront on Secret Wars
now more than ever, and there is no doubt he is the driving force of the EP.
is a compact, energetic experience that does not let its brevity interfere with the band’s diverse sound and only accentuates the band’s brilliant composition and overall talent.