If the thought of being smothered with the most obese intensity possible whilst being ravaged by a carnal pit of sonic hateful vehemence has got the appetite going then Angus Dei the new album from Italian extreme metallers The Secret is a release for you. Destructive and vengeful the album is an unrelenting brutal assault of black metal, blackened hardcore, crust punk and blistering grind. It is merciless, a rampant beast of passion and rage borne of the blackest emotions and intent. It leaves ears ringing, senses cowering, and thoughts in turmoil, but enjoyment surging as fully as the crushing sounds.
Formed in 2003, The Secret made a mark from the start, their debut album Luce the initial attention grabber followed and built upon by Disintoxication and Solve Et Coagula. Fourth album Agnus Dei finds the Trieste quartet at its strongest yet and most violent. From the opening title track through to the final onslaught of Seven Billion Graves the album is a storm of sonic hunger and caustic malevolence, an impending cataclysm realised by its final act.
The track Agnus Dei sets the tone, its godly ‘words’ consumed by a sonic acid, the track eroding and melting the senses. The vocals of Marco Coslovich scowl and spit bile alongside the equally venomous rub from the guitar of Michael Bertoldini. With the drums of Tommaso Corte pummelling life from any previously unaffected part of the body and the bass of Lorenzo Gulminelli gnawing away vigorously at the open wounds, the track sets the scene and frame for the upcoming pit spawn malice.
The tracks come thick and fast and in varied explosives lengths, the likes of May God Damn All Of Us and Violent Infection barely around long enough to threaten the clock but with a ferocity to melt bone and extinguish hope to match the longer standing tsunamis of intensity such as Geometric Power and Post Mortem Nihil Est. The rich and tumultuous fusion of hardcore and black metal across all is thrilling, admittedly there is an initial surface similarity to the tempest offered but the brave delving beneath will discover skilled grooves and twisting discord which are impressive and invigorating.
The vicious Daily Lies alongside Vermin Of Dust with its groove magnetism and the caustic sonic lime pit that is Obscure Dogma are the pinnacles of a perpetually rewarding and satisfying onslaught. Imaginative and diversely creative maybe is not the description one would lay at the feet of Angus Dei upon the first combative engagement but given the time to come to terms with the decimation in progress there is no denying the inventive craft and invention underlying the sea of venomous atrocity.
The Secret has unleashed in Agnus Dei an album which takes no prisoners but leaves an impressive depth of pleasure and satisfaction which is undeniable. Produced by Kurt Ballou (Converge), it may be painful at times with a threat which many will crumble before but the album is without doubt extreme metal at its most imposing, primitive, and best.
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