Album Review: Secrets - Fragile Figures

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Making a second album is always going to be tough. In my eyes it is probably the hardest thing a band has to do, as they have to keep their current fan base happy, while also trying to branch out and gain new fans at the same time. When you consider the fact that come April of this year this band didn't even have a lead vocalist, then the odds were seriously stacked against them. Yet, somehow, this five-piece band from California took the terrible situation they were in and turned it around as 'Fragile Figures' - an album which has become one of the best albums released this year. It isn't the best, but sweet Jesus it is up there with the big players. It is simply monstrous.

 

With their début album 'The Ascent', Secrets laid down some mightily impressive foundations. With one album, they became - in my eyes - one of the best up-and-coming bands to reside on the other side of the Atlantic. With this second album they have taken the powerful beat-downs and the hugely impressive vocals, and given it a slight tweak. This album is much more melodic, and they have somehow turned the winning formula they had into something bigger and better. I am pretty sure this is partly down to new vocalist Aaron Melzer. His demonic and quite frankly horrifically aggressive vocals give the band a new edge that they were missing on their début. When the songs get to that point that they do in every hardcore song - you know, where the shit hits the fan and everything just becomes a mess of sheer aggression - his ferocious voice gives the band a new edge. It is simply incredible. This is only accentuated once you add on an equally aggressive and wondrous drum and guitar beat, like in 'The Architect' and 'Fragile Figures.' There is no doubt that this band create some of the best hardcore break-downs I have ever heard.

 

It's not just Melzer's demonic screamo vocals that make this album so impressive, though. Each and every song that is on this album has this remarkable ability to get stuck in your head; you will find yourself humming along to the beat for hours to come. This is helped by the fact that singer Richard Rogers has such a wonderfully smooth and clean singing voice that is the perfect paradox when accompanying Melzer - something which is evident in verses of songs such as 'Maybe Next May.' The album is an assault on all the senses; you will be singing along, thumping your foot on the floor and banging your head during the duration of this album. When that last song comes around in the form of 'Sleep Well, Darling' and you find out it is an acoustic song, you will sigh with relief. Time for a break to relax and contemplate the amazing album you have just listened to. Yet even this - this three minute moment of relaxation - eventually becomes an intense listen, because when Rogers gets going his singing voice and lyrical mastery is truly impressive.

 

I love this album. I seriously cannot throw enough good words at it. Wonderful, stupendous, fabulous - you get the point. Then I remembered that this band only formed in 2010 and I fall in love with it all over again. A band that is only THREE YEARS OLD shouldn't be able to make such impressive music. While this album isn't perfect as it could be with that little bit extra to make it stand out from the crowd, the sheer fact that the band is only three years old is stupidly amazing. There should be more room for improvement. Then again, the only way they can improve is if they squeeze through the tiniest of holes - as this album is pretty spot on. Hell, even the album art work is wonderful. A wonderful album that shows the world just how much potential this band have. If you love hardcore like I do, I demand you listen to this album. It is truly remarkable.

 

Mark Wiglesworth

I am a student at the University of Portsmouth doing a Journalism and Media Studies degree who has an absolute passion for anything involving films or music. Give me any piece of media, I will do my best to review it.

Website: www.wix.com/wiglesm/reviews

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