The Secret - Solve Et Coagula
Southern Lord
Grindcore, Sludge Metal
12 songs (34:48)
Release year: 2010
Southern Lord
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

Thankfully having nothing to do with the execrable ‘wish your life better’ self-help guide, The Secret are in fact a bunch of angry Italians making the sort of pissed-off Sludge and Black Metal-imbued grindcore that is sure to put a spanner in the works of anyone merely looking for something to mosh to. This stuff is bleak, harsh, and unrelenting, twelve tracks of utterly miserable crusty darkness that bury their atmospheric indulgences behind sheer naked fury. Recorded by Kurt Ballou at his apparently infamous Godcity studios, Solve Et Coagula is wonderfully bitter and gnarly, and even after multiple listens I have trouble finding any real catchiness.

There is no shade of light amongst all this darkness, but there is a human vulnerability to the shrieks and slow, almost Cult Of Luna-esque crashes and bangs of opener Cross Builder. Death Alive’s speedy, rampaging chaos, Double Slaughter’s percussive aggression, and the brief terror of Where It Ends all pass by quickly, virtually one piece of music due to the seamless way they flow together. Antitalian gets a bit more classic grind on your ass, shades of Napalm Death emerging from the instrumentation as discordant melodies dance spasmodically. To be honest, I could listen again and describe it all completely differently, but that’s a point in the band’s favour – so subtle is the reaction that this sort of music has, that the best way to describe it is to just say listen for yourself.

The best way to describe this album is as a fantastic blur, when all is said and done. Most of the shorter tracks are over before you’ve finished your third headbang, and the few longer, five-minute pieces veer towards the atmospheric – the gloriously grim Bell Of Urgency is especially throat-grabbing, the apocalypse in slow-motion. Yet there’s very little repetition, when you listen hard, even in the shorter, grindier tracks – the band’s songcraft is refined, and so we get an album which rewards the mosh-inclined as much as the armchair listeners. Closing burst of bile 1968 especially is fantastic, bursts of Neurosis effects very effective amidst the warring chaos. Hardcore as a whole has a very bad reputation with the underground metal community, yet albums like this prove that rejecting the genre because of the Hatebreeds is as silly as rejecting Power Metal for the Dragonforces. The Secret are more violent and enraged than most Black and Death Metal, and deserve the ears of anyone with a taste for musical extremity.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
All, especially Cross Builder, War Of Urgency, 1968
Goat quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by The Secret that we have reviewed:
The Secret - Agnus Dei reviewed by Koeppe and quoted 60 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:57 pm
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