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Album Review

The Secret's second album, following some four years after the first, shows that the Italian band, sporting a slightly redone lineup for this effort, can make some punishing efforts in the vein of acts like Refused — to the point of engaging in the hero worship of recording with Magnus Lindberg at Sweden's Tonteknik Recordings. (A direct tribute to the setting comes with the title of one track, the brooding sprawl "Umea," referring to the town where the studio is located.) Some of the best moments on the brief album are the simultaneously subtle and overpowering touches in the arrangements, heralded by the way that Michael Bertoldini's guitars on the title track, toward its end, turn into a grinding, broken-down loop of feedback, undercutting the focused structure of the song. Bertoldini's parts throughout the album often take this as a guide, ranging from the fluttering flow of cycling noise during the break on "Inferno" to the millisecond two-note solo on "Funeral Monolith" (a strange judgment perhaps but in context hearing it is pure dramatic tension in a song loaded with it). With this as a series of regular if not constant counterpoints, the more formal full-band arrangements range from the flatteningly monstrous to the weirdly calm, sometimes in the same song and at the same moment — the extended break of "In Limbo," where acoustic guitar colors but never fully dominates, is a prime example. Best song title: "Poisoned Blood Is Never Enough" (though "Kill the Dead" comes in pretty close).


Formed: Trieste, Italy

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An Italian metal/punk hybrid band formed in 2003 after the demise of From the Dying Sky, Trieste's the Secret stood apart from many of their local competitors by adopting a sound that was decidedly American. Influenced by a great many bands, the Secret sharpened their skills at the outset with constant performance and touring, building support by playing with such names as Dillinger Escape Plan and Chimaira. Members Marco Coslovich (vocals), Michael Bertoldini (guitar), Daniele di Luca (guitar),...
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Disintoxication, The Secret
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