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Music for Depression - 99%

Nojoch Akab, January 21st, 2013

When I started listening to this album I thought, "Dies Irae has changed not only members but musical style." I confess that I was surprised, I was disappointed for a moment and I almost turn my CD player off. However the guitar arpeggios with minor chords and elongated choruses of soft atmosphere, as in the songs “Fight” and “Hate”, stopped me at a kind of psychedelic charm, like I was listening a song of Pink Floyd or Lantlos' first album.

Undoubtedly the most important thing of this album is its artistic innovation. I do not care if Dies Irae has betrayed his style, if now sounds less aggressive than in the past. I ponder his musical evolution into something more atmospheric, with rich melodies and rhythm changes that suggest sad and desolate emotions. For example in the song "E7ven", which seduces with its arpeggios and slowness. Here everything seems desolate and almost silent, but this feeling is caused mainly by the music. After few minutes, this song changes tone and the vocalist sings with courage, while the music accelerates. For me this is a climactic moment, because the song resumes its slowness and ends with a guitar solo, which causes a psychedelic hallucination like that caused the old progressive rock.

Dies Irae seems in no hurry, "Want" begins with guitar arpeggios that synthesize emotional depression of the entire album. This depression is cornered in the shadow of ingenious harmonies and let the time go slowly. The imagination flies and generates fantasies saturated of loneliness and sometimes accompanied by courage.

In "Secret Veils of Passion" music is high quality. The only problem I find is at the vocalist. I think Dahern has no good intonation and safety in aggressive moments of the album. In contrast, in songs like "Free" his use of soft voices is fortunate, because it helps to maintain the atmosphere of emotional distress.

Despite the problem of vocalization, music is the best. In this album can distinguish progressive rock inspirations and maybe the Jazz of the late twentieth century. In truth, I was expecting something different from what had occurred Dies Irae in the two previous editions. I was right; the change has been remarkable and fortunate.

If you are fond of Amesoeurs, Lantlôs, Alcest, Les discrets, among other bands of similar style, I think "Secret Veils of Passion" will interest you and maybe can become of your favorite. I'm happy because Dies Irae has returned and I hope it stays alive for long with better music.

A dream trip - 99%

yamanashi, April 14th, 2012

After ten years, the Mexicans finally have managed to throw the market something new. A picture of progressive, doom, and all sorts of other crazy elements wait to be unleashed unto the listener. The order of the songs are chosen to be very aware and a change in the sequence is not particularly recommended.

With the song "Want", the album goes gentle. The guitars lead you to smooth passages and then voices invite you to stay in the journey almost like a dream. Seamlessly, it will rise with the songs "To" and "Tree". I feel like I'm in a dream again with the song "For" finally a change to the nut, and it's almost melodic death metal, but they include dreamy passages. Vocally, the fourth track has extremely suitable shouts marked, demonstrating the ability of Dah.

Carried by very quiet vocals on the song "Fight" brings us back to the dream trip. In the next song, "Sex", the guitar solo leads me to a time when virtuosity is combined with feeling, something that has been forgotten by many guitarists, but Fernz here shows what he is capable of doing.

Now the album leads to the dense and atmospheric "E7en". At this point the album has reached his high point, teaching us that there is something beyond the horizon. "Hate" is pure soul mixed with destruction and there is a little surprise with the singing/spoken words, reminding me of Mr. Doctor's Sprechgesang technique. The end of the album gives us dark doom metal pulled to playfully jazzy, atmospheric passages.

This album is not suitable for the average metallers who wants everything clean, dirty, or direct. In experimentation, "Secret Veils Of Passion" has touches of Pink Floyd and Ulver mixed with the creativity of Mikael Åkerfeldt.

Different and special. - 90%

alets, February 24th, 2012

I know that when something that is awkward and peculiar is on the verge to hit, usually the first action is to reject.

However, when it comes to weird things in metal music, it can be downright interesting. Under the clout of progressive extreme or melodic dark metal, the Mexican trio of Dies Irae are the next thing closest to creative. Featuring elements taken from gothic and doom metal, the band present their new album following the intoxicating title of "Secret Veils Of Passion".

The thing that I admire about Dies Irae is that they have been following their own musical path. Although there are a few similarities to Nine Inch Nails, the electronic era of Paradise Lost, and the psychedelic nature of Pink Floyd, the material showcased here has the means to be recognized as ingenious and quite original.

Throughout the album there are constant shifts among metal and rock genres that might show mood changes. Dies Irae made sure that there will not only be relaxation in their material, but also harsher moments in the vein of modern, speedy death/thrash outbreaks to the side of a few strong solos and diverse vocals.

Truth be told, I think that "Secrets Veils Of Passion" is different and special than most of anything going on today, yet it lacked order that is even needed when attempting to outline chaos because even chaos is a sort of order. When I noticed that the drums were the cause of programming, I had no problems with that as some of the better albums are involved with the same. "Hate" is one of the top mix-ups of this album, having great potential. In conclusion, I understand Dies Irae's view towards the beyond of normality and inventive state of mind.

I also had some enjoyable periods where I felt the band's great talents. "E7en" had its share of monotonous melodic sections and "Fight" was equally spiritual and flamboyant. From sensations of pure relaxation to harsher electric guitar grooves, I noticed the awesome and hidden potential of what this band can actually do. Dies Irae can reach to the far heights of progressive extreme metal with their arsenal of ideas, but they have to have a drummer and try to produce better arrangement to their songs.

Secret Veils of Passion - 70%

todesengel89, February 1st, 2012

Prior to encountering Dies Irae from Mexico, the only other Dies Irae that I knew was the Polish band, with their furious brand of death metal. Mexico's Dies Irae, however, presents a totally different style of music, with the band beginning with melodic death metal in their early days, before splitting up then reforming and subsequently mellowing down their sound into what we have today, in the form of Secret Veils of Passion.

Not knowing what to expect (not being exactly a fan of such atmospheric/post-rock genres), the album certainly surprised me a little. Album opener Want introduces listeners to what will be the style of the band, with a calming and soothing soundscape, with clean and reverb-y guitars that greet the listener, before the almost-jazzy programmed drums enter, giving the music a somewhat psychedelic effect, and a trem-picked lead guitar line lingers at the background, throwing a whole myriad of sounds towards the listener. Then without warning, a distorted guitar enters the picture, giving some sense of heaviness to the music. Vocalist Dahern often drawls out the lyrics, dragging out the vowels and giving the songs a lazy sound (in a good way, though) and unique touch.

Throughout the album, the band presents a nice mix of various genres in their songwriting, that at times threatens to mess with the listener's head, yet managing to retain some sense of sanity throughout, and the soothing backdrop is especially important in helping to do so. On top of those already mentioned above, vocalist Dahern at times breaks out into a desolate scream/shout, and gives the music an almost depressive feel. Songs like To even emanates a haunting and doomish mood, with the atmosphere sending chills down one's spine, and the more calming and softer moments on the album like Fight brings to mind such psychedelic bands as Pink Floyd, and For brings in some of the band's older influences with the melodic death metal-sounding riffing patterns. Each of the members in the band are certainly capable at what they do, and this can be seen for example through the guitar solos of Fernz, often emotional and melodic, even on the faster ones, where he displays some excellent finger-acrobatics like on For. There are even some jazz-fusion moments on Sex, and the listener is instantly reminded of those instrumental rock records in the playing style and sense of melody that is clearly present.

Despite the strong moments being those softer moments, on the heavier moments on the album the impact doesn't really hit the listener hard enough, with the programmed drums being the one that pulled down such moments, and could have been better if the band had utilised a real drummer. The programmed double-bass drums are weak-sounding, and lack the force to really bring out the emotions of aggressive moments, such as those on For. Also, while the band's efforts to mix and match various genres is certainly commendable, there are times when the band tends to end up having the opposite effect instead, sounding almost as if they were unsure what they really want to do. The single-syllable song titles also could come across as overly pretentious as well. Overall though, Secret Veils of Passion is a nice mix-bag of surprises, whether one is looking out for post-rock, atmospheric metal material or more aggressive melodic death metal material.

(http://www.heavymetaltribune.com/)

Ahead of its time - 99%

philip777, January 14th, 2012

I saw the special edition artbook and I have to say that it is the best piece of work I've ever seen in a long time, I can believe the band just did 60 copies, this demonstrates professionalism and desire to do things.

“Want”, will surely be surprised. The opening of the album it is a Jazz influence interlude also atmospheric and has the enough intensity that will leave you wonder. Is this a Metal band?; Since first hearing the answer will come to your mind is not. It looks more like an experimental sound, a band that mixes Jazz to rock and cannot be classified as Metal sound.

Two songs that deserve more attention is: "e7en" and "night", this two great songs lead me to a passage of deep contemplation that only happens when I listen to classical music and alpha frequency music.

Dies Irae really deserves more attention, but i think they must remain unknown (underground). Because when a band becomes big, the essence loses significance and loses the reason for making music; do not misunderstand me, please. This guys do not know the potential and creativity they have, they moved a little bit outside the typical Swedish sound, to a sound more of theirs ,that's the reason this guys will be more recognized in the world, the only thing they need is patience of the audience.

This album is a really good bought, especially if you are in progressive and post- metal bands.

Secret veils of passion it's really interesting, mixing elements of Dark- Doom, Melodeath, progressive, and lot of 70's jazz music. Sometimes reminding Cynic, but with the difference of less twin guitar heroism and a better work in musical structure and feeling.

This is for a non-judgmental ear, and balanced minds, this kind of music goes beyond the genre so I challenge you to listen it.

Uh. This got published? - 20%

NovembersDirge, January 7th, 2012

So, last year (also known as last week) we introduced this thing called the "Top Records We Wish We Could Unhear" and I've already gotten to my first nomination for the year of 2012. Dies Irae (no, not that one, the Mexican one) is apparently an old melodic death metal band that has remade itself in the image of "post-metal" (no, not that kind of post metal, the kind from 1999) and got themselves signed by Chaos Records, who otherwise have pretty good taste in bands. Secret Veils of Passion is, therefore, the first of the band's new, updated versions of itself and it is a remarkable record to behold. But no, not that kind of remarkable. Think more like: I am remarking upon it.

At its base, Secret Veils of Passion could actually be a really interesting and engaging record. It is obviously the work of dudes fluent in metal and moving away from it, so it is quite reminiscent of mid-era Katatonia or Anathema. Though, it should be noted, that at times the band is much heavier than anything the aforementioned bands ever did during their later careers. When Dies Irae goes into its melodic death metal moments, like on "Hate" or "For" this material is actually very good. There's a thrashy Dark Tranquillity or Hypocrite vibe to the material that wakes up the slumbering desire for late-90s Swedish metal. The screams are raw and vicious, and while the guitar tone itself is remarkably kazoo-like, and the drums are obviously a drum machine, there is an appeal.

Even when the band wanders into other material, the music itself is not always predictable (or even very metal). The track "Fight" actually reminds me of more traditional Mexican pop music I've heard before and "Sex" has an Alice In Chains vibe that works pretty well. In these areas, the band is obviously pulling themselves away and striking off into unfamiliar territory. This means that at times the guitar work, which has several remarkably deft shredding passages, sounds almost amateurish and off. But even then Dies Irae actually does well on a lot of these tracks, combining styles of music you wouldn't expect to sound that great together into a dour cocktail of sadness and exhibitionistic depression.

All of that praise said, this record is entirely destroyed by one of the worst vocal performances I've ever heard in my entire life. Very few things can be said objectively when talking about music, but I can definitely tell you one thing: Dies Irae does not have a member of the band who can sing. And apparently they're all fucking tone deaf, too, because the record was released. And it's not just the overly dramatic and pompous, but remarkably amateurish delivery: it's that they're obviously out of key. On the aforementioned "Fight," for example, the harmonies in the chorus are gratingly bad. They make my skin crawl. In the not pronounceable and stupidly entitled "E7en," (Eh-seven-en?) the vocalist utters some of the ridiculously bad lyrics in what appears to be a melody... that is not actually in the same key as the guitars underneath him, if it's in a key at all.

This entire record is one tragically bad vocal line after another and it kills me (and we're not even talking about the lyrics). Because while I probably would have commented on the production and said "Wow, I like Katatonia a lot, too!" or I would have called the writer a pretentious naval gazer, this record should be much better than it is. I'm not sure if no one in his surroundings has told him he's a bad singer, or what the hell the label is thinking that signed them—but this is just bad. This is not a matter of taste, either. Unless what you like is out of tune vocals... but then that's a bit like enjoying necrophelia. Your thing, but you can't really expect the rest of us to follow along with you, you know?

So, don't, under any circumstances, check this record out. Save yourself the time and effort. And hopefully next time Dies Irae will find themselves a vocalist.

Well done come back - 90%

connierinna, December 20th, 2011

There are many bands out there that use, or have used, the Dies Irae name over the years. Perhaps the most common group using the moniker is the death metal act from Poland.

Secret Veils of Passion does start off with a rather atmospheric introduction to "Want" that honestly made me think it was going to head into jazz territory. I actually braced myself for it and readied for either a great transition or a very rocky one. This isn't what happened though, and instead the music came through with a more toned down melodic death metal output with some progressive guitar work that gives a slightly depressing tone to the track. The music itself isn't anything too jarring, but it still has enough of an edge that you can accept it for its more laid back sound until the very end of the track where it picks up and the clean singing is replaced with screaming. However, the first of these two styles really feels a little lacking in the song, being a more mono, docile approach with bad layering or backing vocals that kind of give an "I don't care..." attitude to it.

But the catchy music meshes nicely together with the start of the next song, "To", and once again we are given a highly atmospheric piece. It seems like an instrumental that tries to go into epic territory due to the additional horns being used that clearly can be recognized as a keyboard, and pretty bad at times with some spoken word dialogue that is a little harmonized against it all. The deeper voice and lack of backing or layering actually makes it stand up a little stronger, and the slight echo sounds great on it. This would have suited "Want" perfectly, and it's sad that it doesn't happen. It is nice to see that the band is trying to connect all of the songs together through nice transitions between one song to another, as "Tree" is cut into from "To" in a similar manner as before. Again the band pushes the atmosphere, and it's very laid back sound is actually quite enjoyable and soothing, though the higher chords being played in the background can get a little annoying by the halfway point. There's also some higher-pitched vocals that appear that seem a bit comical, all of which really makes you start to wonder what the direction of the album is and if the band is trying to be a bit experimental or avant-garde with their material.

"For" actually kind of breaks the pattern by not being bled into from "Tree" and ushers in the band's melodic death metal sound once more. The more traditionally-inspired sound comes through pretty strongly despite the obvious lesser quality audio production not quite capturing the material too well, but that can be overlooked given how well the music itself is handled and still comes through. The screaming vocals are pretty good and after the previous tracks can take a few moments to appreciate again. The guitar solo here is very well done and well worth making note of, actually bringing in a bit of a rock sound with it while the bass and drums hold the fort to keep the song rich while this goes on. It doesn't really feel like this track actually finishes, but goes into more of a slower-paced tribal drum beat-fused closing. This track, again, bleeds into "Fight" which is an acoustic passage just like "Want" that eventually goes into stronger sixties/ seventies stoner rock territory, organ in the background and all, though still mixed with more of a modern alternative rock-style ballad.

As a side note about the album, all the song titles are words that kind of reflect the pronunciation of the track number. Track one is "Want," two is "To," five is "Fight," eight is "Hate," and so on. This isn't anything too noteworthy, but perhaps shows the band trying to take on a different route with the music by going in a more progressive metal path since this is something one might expect from bands of that style as well as just with the music being played, and honestly, if this isn't meant to be more of a progressive-fueled journey, then I'll honestly be surprised.

The fluid progression from the first track to the last one I heard, aside the sudden stop at the end of "Tree, really help to make it all seem like just well done longer tracks separated into smaller songs due to the way the music will shift. This is clearly a rather raw album and it honestly shows in the audio quality, which is kind of where the album seems to have some problems lurking around, largely in the vocals due to the way the backing or layering is handled on them. But so far I'm interested to see what else the band has in store for me on the album, and I'm sure that this is going to be a release that will end up growing on me the more I listen to it. Mexico's Dies Irae have returned and so far I'm impressed.

Unique, unhinged and soon unglued - 55%

autothrall, December 8th, 2011

I can't recall if there was ever a Mexican melodic death metal act that floated my boat back in the 90s, but Dies Irae were one of the ones testing their hands at that genre on earlier albums. About a decade into their career, the band decided to disband after their sophomore outing Naive, but have now returned under a relatively new premise. I would still probably, partly label this music melodic death metal, as there are moments in "Want" and other tracks which reflect that genre to a fault, but The Secret Veils of Passion is clearly interested in avoiding such simple categorization, and instead creates a mix of rather eclectic ingredients which prove both its strengths and, sadly, in some instances, its undoing.

The use of the minimal, one-word song titles is curious, not because I haven't seen it before, but because even such prepositions as "To" and "For" are used as titles, or rather homophones for the song's placement in the track order ("To" is "Two", etc). So imagine my confusion when I was first met by a 3 minute, sparse progressive rock sequence in the opener "Want" (or "One"). After this point, a series of pretty bland power chords erupts into the mesh, aligned with some plucky, clean melodies and soaring, accented vocals. A fascinating shift in strategy, but not one that ultimately manifested into a song I'd want to listen through repeatedly, especially for nearly 8 minutes. There are some other behemoths here, like the 10 minute "E7en" and the 9+ "Hate", but these at least seemed more interesting. "E7en" opens with this lush, airy and sad passage which reminds me of some of Anathema's dreamier modern writing, then inevitably explodes into these driving, Katatonia melodies with harsher vocals. "Hate" seems a bit more disoriented, with jilted grooves alternated to flowing, somewhat forgettable melodies, but not bad.

As for the shorter pieces, they're all over the spectrum. "Tree" is a nice, scintillating post-rock piece of brief duration, but the varied vocal harmonies don't quite feel as stirring as the band might have thought. "For" is pretty much straight choppy melodic death metal, returning the Mexicans to their roots, and to be honest it's quite good...the contrast against the softer elements on the album is immediate, and the heavier shit just wins out here. The band even explores a saucy funk/rock on "Sex", as if channeling some aural porn stereotype, while "Fight" is ironically another psychedelic rock number, with a few bluesy licks reminiscent of Pink Floyd. And then there is the weird, narrative interlude "To" and the closer "Night", the latter of which brings back a bit of the more spicy, explosive death metal licks.

It's one thing to manifest such a broad, esoteric climate in your music, but there is something about The Secret Veils of Passion which unfortunately doesn't hold up to scrutiny. It feels far too scattershot, like a heaping of jarring ideas that unfortunately do not gel together even in an ironic sense. Where the band waxes metallic, they seem like a fairly competent trio with a capacity for well reasoned hooks. But too much time is spent here on those other things, which are all lacking in their execution. In the end, it feels as though Dies Irae were trying to craft some spiritual companion to Tiamat's A Deeper Kind of Slumber, only the songs do not come out quite so memorable or revelatory. Who knows, maybe this was just over my head completely. It's not a complete failure of an experiment, but neither was it so enticing.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com