The Secret, Lux Tenebris (Southern Lord, 2018)

It wasn't long after the 2008 release of Solve et Coagula that I was introduced to The Secret. I knew it'd be a high-quality release since it was put out by Southern Lord Records. I can't say I was ready for what I heard and that is exactly what made me even more excited to hear Lux Tenebris, The Secret's latest EP.

Their first release in six years, I believe, serves as both a reminder and a notice of the power found on this EP. I was recently thinking about my long-time preference of hardcore and punk music, and also when during my later teen years I tended to listen to more "metal" than punk. Typically, at the time, I was focused on the length of a release.

Punk and hardcore records tended to be too short in my opinion; I've changed over time in this preference, especially after encountering some records and bands that don't know when to stop, but Lux Tenebris is a perfect example of what I've always looked for from a band.

Balance, ferocity, texture, and music that both grabs your attention and refuses to let go.

Both because of releasing music on Southern Lord and a similar tonal range, I see where The Secret could often be mentioned alongside a band like Nails. While the distorted and voluminous guitar attack may be something easily found in both bands, the pairing of guitarist Michael Bertoldini and bassist Lorenzo Gulminelli come together to present hard-hitting guitar work while also creating textures found in more often long-form songs that might be more associated with a post-hardcore sound.

Don't misunderstand me, The Secret is not a band that lets you ease into the music; even their more slow or mid-tempo moments are covered in filthy distortion and an unnerving level of noise.

Photo: David Robinson

Obviously, when a band returns after a number of years, there are various questions that can be asked. I believe The Secret have collectively delivered the best answer they could with the release of Lux Tenebris; whether you listened to them previously or are just discovering their music, this is an EP you can't pass on hearing.

Beyond any adjective, I could use describing it as brutal, filthy, harsh, aggressive, and every other stereotypical word used when reviewing heavy music; I'm most taken by this EP because it is clear that this is how The Secret intends to be heard and music made with intention is the best you can find. 


 Lux Tenebris comes out on Aug. 31 via Southern Lord and the vinyl can be ordered here.

Tagged: the secret