Thursday, December 8, 2011

SOUL SECRET: "Closer To Daylight"

Rating: 8/10

Label: Galileo Records 2011

Review by Martien Koolen

About 3,5 years ago I heard some music from the Italian prog metal band Soul Secret
for the first time and later on I reviewed their debut album called "Flowing
Portraits". I really liked that album and now, finally they have released a
follow-up album with the title: "Closer To Daylight".

The new album is in line with
the debut, so musically speaking there are no great surprises, but the line up
changed and that has taken its toll on the sound of the band. Michele Serpico used
to be the singer of the band but as he was ill his vocal parts on the debut album
were sung by Mark Basile. Next singer was Arno Menses who made a guest appearance on
the epic song but the new singer actually became Fabio Manda, so can you still
follow this.... Besides changes of vocalists bass player Lucio Grill was replaced by
new comer Claudio Casaburi.

Well so far so good, how about the music? Well the sound
of singer Manda is higher and in fact he did a great job adding a real new dimension
to the sound of Soul Secret. The eight new songs can still be described as powerful
prog metal tracks with a high Dream Theater influence. But the band absolutely has a
sound of their own and I think that on this album their sound has become more
distinct and therefore I really think that this album is a lot better than their

Soul Secret invited a couple of important guest musicians like Anna
Assentato, whose voice shines in "If", Marco Stogli, who played guitar on James
Labrie's solo albums and of course singer Arno Menses, who takes care of the vocals
in the epic song "Aftermath". The latter is THE absolute highlight of this album as
it is a prog metal epic gem, clocking over 16 minutes, filled with amazing tempo
changes, solos and superb vocal passages.Other great songs are "Behind The Curtain",
"Pillars Of Sand" (really guitar oriented) and the opener "Checkmate". If you liked
their previous album and if you like Dream Theater and VandenPlas then this album is
a must for you; play at maximum volume if you can!!


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