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Secrecy > Raging Romance > Reviews
Secrecy - Raging Romance

A Secretly Acquired Go-Between Status - 80%

bayern, February 3rd, 2019

This outfit rose from the ashes of Sweet Cheater, a one-album-wonder (“Immortal Instant”, 1986) whose happy-go-lucky power/speed metal would sit really well with fans of Helloween, Scanner and Warrant. An aptly-performed demo introduced this new project the delivery upgraded to a more complexly-executed blend of power, speed and thrash. The material on it served as the base for the excellent debut which showed a lot of promise with its encompassing approach, taking the middle ground between the power/speed and the technical/progressive thrash waves that started shortly after in the band’s homeland.

The style on this first outing was again hard to pin down as it was attractive to fans of several walks of metal the guys quite adept at tending to all those fans’ tastes by finely balancing things out. Blitzkrieg thrashers were sitting right next to more romantically assembled power metal cuts and multi-layered progressive listens, and yet there was barely an awkward moment to come across. The album reviewed here is based on the same formula if we exclude the less urgently-executed, not so much thrash-prone escapades which to some may be a pullback as some of the aggression of the preceding opus has been taken away.

Still, no complaints whatsoever at the beginning the guys opening with the bombastic speed/thrasher “Observer from Above”: steel sharp riffs, blitzkrieg pace, addictive melodies, soaring emotional clean vocals; everything seems to be in place for another thrilling ride. And it is alright, only that the listener has to adjust his/her senses to the milder prog-power metal aesthetics that get introduced with the romantic “Times of Tears” and seldom leave the stage afterwards. Short quiet balladic etudes (“Mourning”, “Through Clouds of Doubt”) are dispersed throughout helping the instilled idyll which gets seriously shaken and stirred by the speed/thrash metal delight “This World's Wisdom”, an intense dramatic shredder which aggrandizes the atmosphere in the second half, the resultant therapy leading to the emergence of a couple of rowdy gallopers (“No- No!”, “Ideology”), a truly rebellious situation which the peaceful balladic “Masquerade” tries hard to quench.

This is a more levelled, less fluctuating recording, but this is exactly where the debut’s charm lied, in the lack of predictability and the surprises thrown at the audience with not a track sounding very close to the subsequent or preceding one. It feels like a somewhat safer path that the guys have chosen to tread on this time by smoothing out the more intense moments from the first coming, not willing to fall into the traps set by the growing technical/progressive thrash movement. Obviously, the band were content with the middle ground they were occupying between the mentioned waves, especially when said ground was enlarged within a short span of time with other cross-breeders like Brainamputated, Salvation, Heavenward, Squealer, etc. Yes, Germany had three different fields to race each other, our friends here the first drop-out from this exciting competition.

The guys lost the thrash and the speed completely for the “Set the Sails” demo which offered mild dreamy quasi-progressive rockabilia to whoever cared. Then the band got lost from sight for a fair number of years until some of the musicians resurfaced in 2005 with The RamDo Connection, a groovy numetal connection... sorry, formation with a style modelled after the Helmet exploits, with one demo released so far. This particular project is still active, but it would hardly manage to excite the fanbase as much as a sudden Secrecy reunion stint… it’s time for that one as the natural-born go-betweens are a really rare breed nowadays.