Naples based band Soul Secret has suffered with some line-up changes in the past. For several reasons their vocalist seemed to last for one album only. For their third album; simply called 4, a new vocalist joined the ranks by the name of Lino Di Pietrantonio. He replaced previous vocalist Fabio Manda, who was in charge of the vocals on their Closer To Daylight album (2011, see review). Remaining musicians; guitarist Antonio Vittozzi, keyboard player Luca Di Gennaro and drummer Antonio Morecino still are the core of Soul Secret. Bass player Claudio Casaburi entered the line-up before the previous release.
Where the previous album was quite impressive, the successor 4 definitely is from another order. The band has matured and grown in the process of song writing. One of the more noticeable influences still is Dream Theater, but also another impressive Italian band left their mark, DGM; listen to the fine drum and keyboard combination during Our Horizon and I am sure you hear some influences. A band like Subsignal, as you can hear in the vocal opening of As I Close My Eyes left their influences after the co-operation during the previous album. But even more; Haken has entered the perimeter of Soul Secret. Lots of compositions have a smooth watermark that says: Haken. But in a good way, Soul Secret never copies this band, but embraced their adventurous way of song writing and creating fantasy filled sounds. Like previous mentioned bands, Soul Secret discreetly uses harsh vocal parts, spoken words and even jazzy parts to create their unique sound. I have to admit, I really like those jazzy vocal lines the band has added, they really make the compositions stand out. The concept album 4 is filled with amazing songs and therefore forced itself into the major league of progressive metal. The long compositions are structured and varied, leaving lots of space for smooth piano playing as well as for outstanding guitar solos and melodies. Absolute highlight of the album is the epic The White Stairs, that holds over sixteen minutes of progressive metal in the purest form, highlighting Lino's perfect suiting vocals and all the amazing instruments.
With the addition of a new vocalist, hopefully Soul Secret will become a steady band. The band has matured into something very special and the brilliant album 4 is the result. 4 is recommendable for all progressive metal fans who like the technical side of music, combined with amazing vocals. After three spins I realized, we got ourselves a winner!
***** Thomas Rhymer (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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