A Little Beef With God
Italian black metal/grind merchants The Secret have almost nothing in common with the wildly popular self-help wishing book, save one thing: they want you to wish that you’d never been born. Their combination of black metal bleakness and grindcore intensity will definitely darken your day, and while their fourth full-length, Agnus Dei, may not tread new ground, it will certainly sacrifice a goat or two while there.
The opening title track is a high-speed journey through the blackness, complete with fast picking guitars, blast beats, and Marco Coslovich’s unrestrained barks. “Geometric Power” is another uncontrolled thrasher, this one allowing drummer Tommaso Corte to strut his stuff. “Post Mortem Nihil Est” slows it down a bit, the guitars taking this chance to intently outline the demonic harmonies, while “Love Your Enemy” channels a little hardcore punk, and its pummeling drums and bass. “Vermin Of Dust” is a ghastly death march, leading to “Darkness I Became,” a classic black metal tune punctuated by sludge interludes. Finally, “Obscure Dogma” is a perfect soundtrack for the chain gang of the damned, before closer “Seven Billion Graves” chugs its way to the finish.
Black metal and grindcore certainly compliment each other nicely, but it’s hard to combine them in a way that doesn’t alienate one of the camps. Invariably, you end up favoring one style over the other, as The Secret does with black metal. Fans of older, not necessarily “true” black metal will definitely appreciate this more than the fans of grindcore, as it skews more in that direction. But if you’re feeling just too damn cheery, Agnus Dei will put a stop to that, and quick.