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Track List: 1. Secrets 5:13 2. Believe 4:27 3. Mess 3:17 4. Burned Chest 5:24 5. Falling 5:08 6. Gentle Whisper 5:31 7. God 4:01 8. Alone 5:06 9. My Life 3:28 10. Darkest Side of Paradise 4:47 All tracks: by Morbid Death. Line-up: Ricardo Santos - bass guitar; lead vocals Paulo Bettencourt - lead & rhythm electric guitars Rui Frias - rhythm electric & semi-acoustic guitars Pedro Guerreiro - synthesizers & piano Pedro Andrande - drums & percussion Recorded, mixed & mastered by Eduardo Botchiho. Produced by E. Botchiho & Morbid Death.
Preamble. Most likely, "Secrets" is the debut album by Morbid Death. I have never heard of this band before.
The Album. Yeah, when I saw the name of the band I was also sure that they play a morbid Death-Metal or even Grindcore. Yet, even the lyrics by these guys from Portugal are quite topical. "Earth is a dying world. Jesus shed His blood for our sins, while the mankind just spits upon it and everything in general being in the ecstasy of self-annihilation. We don't have anything to hand over to the future generations", etceteras, and so on. While the style that Morbid Death works in (at least 'secretly') is nothing else but quite a traditional Classic Prog-Metal (which, nevertheless, is rather accessible) with elements of Doom-Metal & NWBHM and many 'symphonic' episodes as well. Like in the case with the French band Morpheus, whose debut album I have reviewed this week as well, most instrumental parts on this album are much in the vein of Iron Maiden (circa 1988-1990). Sometimes however, the music of "secrets" can remind one of that on Iced Earth's "Dark Saga", as well as "Clouds" and "Wildhoney" by Tiamat. But although "Secrets" aren't as dark and enigmatic as "Clouds" and aren't as beautiful as the "Wildhoney" flavors, some 'atmospheric' magic sometimes appears here as well. The timbre of voice and the way of singing of the band's vocalist are not unlike those of Matthew Barlow (ex-Iced Earth), i.e. Ricardo stands quite far from territories of the so-called Death vocals, as well as the music that the band performs. Almost all of the ten songs that are featured on "Secrets" were created within the framework of a unified stylistics and almost all of them are of a purely dramatic character. The only 'stylistic' exception here is Falling (5), which is the slow (yet, still heavy) Doom-Metal ballad and is probably the most impressive track on the album. The song God (7), sounding very optimistic (which, according to the title of it, was most likely done advisedly), is, in its turn, the only 'emotional' exception on "Secrets". In its entirety, it is based on the Rock 'N' Roll-like riffs that look really strange on this album. Compositionally, God and the album's title track (1) are less interesting than any other song here.
Summary. Most of all, I do wonder why this band took such an unsuitable and very unpleasantly sounding name as Morbid Death. I am sure that many of the potential purchasers of "Secrets" didn't get the CD just because of it. Maybe, this review will change something in this respect...
VM: November 22, 2002
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