The Secret- Solve Et Coagula

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, September 25, 2010

Italy’s The Secret has been one of those bands that flew under the radar, despite the fact that they are a pretty solid metalcore/blackened thrash/grindcore act. Although their last album Disintoxication had some interesting moments it didn’t quite grab me in the same way that other groups did. In the two years that followed, The Secret has joined Southern Lord’s roster (their previous label Goodfellow went out of business) and completed their third full length entitled Solve Et Coagula. It is an improvement over their previous material, and while these guys still haven’t reached must listen to status they are slowly getting closer.

Listeners might be surprised to find that The Secret puts their longer, sludgier tracks right at the beginning of the album as the first four tracks push the 4-5 minute mark before the rest of the album heads back to the traditional 1-2 minute range. It’s an interesting idea, but does make Solve Et Coagula feel very top heavy and makes the shorter songs hard to distinguish from one another. However, at the same time this new direction showcases the group’s increased emphasis on sludge and atmosphere which gives them a bit of an edge. I must also compliment the instrumentalists on their level of technicality, as they have some fairly complicated riffs going on at breakneck speeds and make it sound very easily. There are still some metalcore leanings on the faster songs, but Solve Et Coagula finds the band heading into a slightly more grind oriented direction than before.

The vocals haven’t changed that much since Disintoxication, but they are complemented by the dirtier sound of the instrumentals. While you would think that the instrumentals would drown out the growls/screams of The Secret’s vocalist, it actually has the opposite effect and makes them sound even more intense and menacing. For the entire 34 minutes that Solve Et Coagula lasts, the screaming doesn’t let up for a single second and really hits the listener like a freight train. If you like this style of music, chances are you will find this group’s vocal style to be really enjoyable.

The Secret has taken some important steps forward as they have incorporated more sludge and grind into their material. However, I can’t help feeling that the album does feel a little too top heavy and that the most memorable moments occur a little too early on. With that being said though, I still like Solve Et Coagula and plan to listen to it throughout the rest of the year, but the group hasn’t quite reached their full potential just yet. They’re quite close, but a few more steps are needed to really put them above everyone else.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Earsplit PR

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