Sunday 4 March 2012

Secrets - The Ascent

Secrets are a post-hardcore/screamo 5-piece from San Diego and are one of the more recent additions to Rise Records roster. This is their debut release and was produced Tom Denny, formerly a member of A Day To Remember.

Track list:-

1. Genesis
2.  The Oath
3. Somewhere in Hiding
4. The Heartless Part
5.  40 Below
6.  Melodies
7.  The Best You Can't Be
8.  Blindside
9.  The Hardest Part
10.  You Look Good In Plastic
11.  The Ascent

The Ascent is another example of the modern metal craze that's coming out of America at the moment. It combines cool electronic samples, heavy mosh parts and cleaning sung choruses. The fusion bought forth by Secrets, is a good one.
Sometimes this type of metal can sound forced, but I have to say that they seem to have got it spot-on. It's poppy enough for newcomers to listen to, while being heavy enough for die-hard modern metal to appreciate.

Some people do get scared when a band uses electronic effects in their music, but I think it does add to the music when done in the right way. The production is good as well. It's clean, so you get a great all round sound and it adds something extra to the heavier parts of the record. The clean vocals sound organic too and not auto tuned, which is a huge plus, as other bands seem to use auto tune to mask shortcomings in their voices.

The songs are all around the three-minute mark; so not too long and just right for the type of music that Secrets play. Third song, Somewhere In Hiding is the perfect example of the band straddling between the mainstream and the metal underground, the clean, melodic singing perfectly juxtaposed by the growls and breakdowns. Secrets employ multiple vocal layers and very accomplished instrumentation, bringing a nice sheen to The Ascent.

I like the hardcore influenced parts of this record and as I listen, I've rediscovered my affection for the growling/singing formula that has made post-hardcore what it is. It takes me back to the days when I first discovered Funeral For A Friend and many of the bands on the old Drive-Thru roster. Those were simpler times, when there weren't so many sub-genres, but then variety does prevent boredom, so I can't argue really.
For me the standout track on The Ascent is the seventh track - The Best You Can't Be. It's seems to be one of the most accomplished songs on the record, with the clean singing giving it a sheen which is hard to resist.

The Ascent is a wholly upbeat record, you just have to listen to sixth track Melodies to realise that, and with all the hate and malice that is associated with metal these days, it's good to listen to something that gives you a bounce in your step and puts a smile on your face.

When listening to The Ascent, you can't help thinking that screamo, as a sub-genre, seems to be evolving again. It may be to the more radio friendly end of the spectrum, but that's no band thing at all, as it's this style that will in the end bring in new fans to keep the scene going and help build interest in other bands that get less attention. Velocity/Rise Records are also doing a great job of melding a roster that includes modern bands with some veteran bands that have helped to shape the scene we have today.

Be sure to check out Secrets on Facebook at You can also buy The Ascent from Rise Records at or from Velocity Records at

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