Mut(il)ation

Exclaim! - - REVIEWS - BRADLEY ZORGDRAGER

METAL

The Se­cret

Lux Tene­bris

The Se­cret have been black­en­ing their sound since their be­gin­ning as a darkly chaotic met­al­core band. Through two al­bums in that style, they were ap­par­ently turn­ing up the burner, so that the two that fol­lowed had a nice black­ened crust form­ing. Six years and some in­tra-band friction later, that crust has fallen off for re­turn EP Lux Tene­bris, re­veal­ing a much more raw black metal in­te­rior. On the sur­face, lit­tle has changed — the band con­tinue with their Latin ti­tle mo­tif — but a deeper un­der­stand­ing re­veals sub­tle changes.

Where pre­vi­ous al­bums from the Ital­ian quar­tet opted for near-con­stant for­ward mo­tion, this time they lock into cer­tain parts and em­brace rep­e­ti­tion. “Ver­tigo” lulls the lis­tener into a false sense of se­cu­rity, though its omi­nous na­ture leaves one with that nag­ging worry that it’s un­safe to do so. Those fears prove to be well-founded on “The Sor­row­ful Void” and “Cu­pio Dis­solvi,” which blaze for­ward with blast beats and black metal brash­ness. There’s a push and pull with these songs, where they slip into and out of en­tranc­ing hyp­notic pas­sages, while pre­vi­ous ex­per­i­ments with slower song­writ­ing were of­ten sec­tioned off into their own tracks. By em­brac­ing longer songs and al­low­ing them to mu­tate in ad­di­tion to mu­ti­late, the Se­cret have emerged from their dor­mancy with a life-af­firm­ing re­lease that con­tin­ues their evo­lu­tion in fash­ions both sen­si­ble and sin­is­ter. (South­ern Lord)

There’s been an evo­lu­tion [since] you were more of a chaotic met­al­core band, but you still had that dark­ness…

Gui­tarist Michel Ber­tol­dini: That’s al­ways been im­por­tant to us. We al­ways want to show some­thing dif­fer­ent, but still keep­ing that type of mood and dark­ness as a core. The form is not su­per im­por­tant, in my opin­ion; it’s more the pri­mal mes­sage that we want to de­liver.

I think it’s in­ter­est­ing that you are re­peat­ing riffs a lot more now.

Back then, we wanted to say one thing per song and we wanted to say that in the bold­est way pos­si­ble with­out any space for mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion. Now I think what we want to say is a bit more lay­ered and com­plex. There are also a lot of tiny ar­range­ments through­out the al­bum. I think the riffs and the songs, they morph slightly round af­ter round, but it’s lit­tle de­tails that prob­a­bly are some­thing that only I can hear. Quite sub­tle de­tails.

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